Don’t Give Up Yet: Braves 10, Blue Jays 1

It’s becoming apparent that Max Fried is an Ace.  He turned in another excellent performance, going six innings and giving up only one run on four hits.  It was his third strong start of the still young season.  He also flashed a skill that he showed in abundance last year, when he led the league in run support.  (Actually I’m not sure if he led the league, but if not he was close; Max got almost seven runs per start last year.)  The Braves scored 10 runs on the night, cruising to a 10-1 win.

Ronald is heating up; he had a couple of hits including a double and two runs scored.  Dansby, Johan, and Ender also had two hits apiece, and Matt Big City Adams, Tyler Alpharetta Flowers, and Austin Graceland Riley each homered.  Riley’s was the three run variety.  Even though Albies and Freeman are below the Mendoza Line, the team is scoring plenty of runs.  And those two will come around.

But oh that starting rotation! Max may be a legitimate Ace, but when your other cards are a 4, 6, 8, and a 9, that’s not a winning hand.  If you’re reading this, I don’t need to tell you what a disaster the Braves once promising rotation is turning out to be.  Last night, I was among the many who, upon seeing the awful injury to Mike Soroka, decided the season is lost.  I found myself wishing they would just go ahead and cancel the season now.

Today I have more perspective.  2020 is still on track to be the worst year of my now long life, but I can still get excited about our Braves and their chances in 2020.  After all, it’s August 4, and the Braves are in first place (by a game and a half over the Marlins—how’s that for an odd and especially meaningless statement?).  With the strong offense and excellent bullpen, the Braves chances of finishing over .500 are very good—even if Varsity Fried is the only dependable starter.  That will get you in the playoffs, and once you’re there anything can happen.

As to whether AA should go out and trade for a proven frontline starter, of course that would help.  But I don’t imagine anyone who fits that bill is available, and in this uncertain season it’s probably not worth the prospects you’d give up for a lesser talent.  I’m with JonathanF on this one.  We never seem to win a playoff series when the team is good; maybe this strange team in this strange season will have the magic October touch.  Our team does have a bunch of former #1 draft picks available to start (Touki, Newk, Wright, Anderson) and maybe two or three young guys will put it together at the same time.  It happened in 1991, after all; if that team could go to game 7 of the World Series, why not this one?

By the way, in the Atlanta Braves’ first 25 years, they won the Division pennant twice, in 1969 and 1982.  Each season they had only one really good starting pitcher.  That was of course the same guy both years, HOFer Phil Niekro.  He won 23 games in ’69 and went 17-4 in ’82–and virtually single-handedly won the pennant in a brilliant final week of the season.  (Don’t ask about the playoffs those years).

I know, they could cancel the season tomorrow, or next week, or the week after that.  A part of me believes it is highly irresponsible for them to be playing at all.  But I love watching RAJ run the bases with abandon (stolen base in the first, and brilliant dash home on a groundout in the third), I’m delighted to see Dansby put it all together, and it’s fun to watch Fried show what he can do. Selfishly, I missed baseball, and these games have brightened my life in these dark times.

Wednesday Newk LaLoosh takes the hill for the second game against the Jays.  Hope springs eternal.  I haven’t given up hope that Sean will find the strike zone with more than half his pitches.

Author: tfloyd

Tfloyd was born on the site of Atlanta Fulton County Stadium. Before the stadium was built, that is; it was then the site of Piedmont Hospital. It took the Braves another 11 years to arrive on what is now Hank Aaron Drive, but I‘ve always liked to arrive at the ballpark early.

22 thoughts on “Don’t Give Up Yet: Braves 10, Blue Jays 1”

  1. Well done, thank you.

    And thanks for the reminder of the ‘Acuna Dash’ in the third. If he’d gone O for 5 we would still recall this evening with much pleasure, athleticism con brio to that degree is a beautiful thing. He’s happy now of course and we shall also reap the benefit of that.

    Young, fat talent though is a terrible mix. We had a pitcher like that, recently and where is he now? Vlad is not ours but it still hurts to watch him. A God given pedigree with every door open to him. A couple of years on and he might be a crowd favorite in Japan. Stop it.

  2. Max Fried. It’s a very short season and we’re already well into it. How many starts are left for him?

    Start him every 4 days, twice through the order, no more than 50 pitches. How many more starts then? How many more pitches in toto?

    Once underway let Fauchi assess his arm after each start. Or whomever.

    This kind of schedule mates perfectly with our super competent, multi armed and versatile bullpen.

    Yes, don’t be precious! Try it twice.

  3. Yesterday, upon waking up: Doomed

    Today: Not Quite so Doomed

    I’m all in for the strange season so strange things will continue to happen narrative

  4. It is oddly compelling for sure. I agree with the sentiments not to expend a great deal of resources on the rotation at the moment — the postseason, should it even come about, is a crappier shoot than ever. I also don’t think a division title would carry much glory, given that it’s already an uneven playing field, maybe hopelessly so.

    If they continue playing, I hope Glavine gets back in the booth some. I can forgive Frenchy’s gaffes, but I don’t much like listening to him try to be an announcer. Glavine doesn’t try too hard, he’s just watching the game.

  5. Great recap, thank you very much, tfloyd.
    This was an important win for the morale after yesterday. Would not be surprised to see Newk step up today. We have such a strong lineup this year. Basically every single guy can carry the team on any given night.

  6. May your year improve, tfloyd; and may the Atlanta Baseball Club find an adequate starter or two in its collection of not-so-young-anymore arms. Small sample so far, but yeah, the hyped may be catching up to the hype. Go Dansby!

    Great recap. Today is your day, Newk. Throw strikes, please.

  7. Pete Hamill, dead at 85. A fabulous journo, editor, author, quintessential New Yorker and a Mets fan who had no time for the bloated pretensions of the Yankees. Or so I believe. Like all good New Yorkers he died in Brooklyn, after a fall. His own obit might read – ‘Hey, have you noticed how many good guys are dying at 85 recently.’ Which they are. No waiting for Covid for him. Lovely man.

  8. With Big City on the IL, is it Bryce Ball time? I doubt it, but it would be fun to get a look at him. I would also love to see Culberson get some playing time. I think last year was the outlier at the plate for Hechavaria .
    Also, on the trade front, I wonder what the premium will be for a 1 month rental at the trade deadline. On one hand, it will be an even shorter amount of time. On the other, those games would be extremely important – especially the playoffs.

  9. Thanks for the kind words re the recap, folks. I should add that 2020 has not been nearly as hard for me and my family as it has been for millions of others. We have been blessed to remain healthy, and we welcomed the birth of a granddaughter last month (all are well). But the state of the world has been pretty disheartening. Which leads to my profoundly conflicted attitude about baseball. It doesn’t really make sense to play right now, but baseball brings many of us joy in the darkness.

  10. Both Adams and Albies have now been placed on the 10-day IL. Alex Jackson has been recalled and Nick Markakis has been reinstated.

    Adams has a strained left hamstring (which you noticed if you watched last night’s game) and Albies has a right wrist bone contusion (which you’ve noticed if you’ve watched any game this year).

  11. Well, we’re facing a lefty today. Let’s see if Snitker can resist the urge to immediately plop Markakis back into the middle of the order. My guess is he can’t.

    Side note: I’d completely forgotten that Hyun-jin Ryu signed with Toronto during the offseason.

  12. #9
    From Pete Hamill’s obit in today’s NY Daily News:

    “His Brooklyn upbringing fomented a lifelong hatred of Dodgers owner Walter O’Malley, who moved Hamill’s beloved Bums to Los Angeles after the 1957 season.

    “Hamill and reporter pal Jack Newfield once compared notes on the three worst people of the 20th century, and produced matching lists: Hitler. Stalin. O’Malley.”

  13. Which is the setup to the classic joke:

    Q: You’re in a room with Hitler, Stalin, and Walter O’Malley, and your gun only has two bullets. What do you do?

    A: Shoot O’Malley twice, to make sure the son of a bitch is dead.

  14. I first became aware of Pete Hamill when I bought Blood on the Tracks and he had written the liner notes. As I recall, that essay was more enigmatic than the song lyrics. But I loved it!

  15. Genuinely interested to see how good Nick will be. I guess it’s the equivalent of a rehab assignment to get a bunch of ABs against the AAA taxi squad, right? In fact, is it better since they can manipulate the game to get him as many ABs as possible (like they did with Freddie)?

  16. I stand corrected @15.

    Freeman’s getting rested today, so this lineup has a very Bobby Cox Sunday Lineup feel.

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