Braves Game 15 Recap: Homers Sink Wright, Phillies Win 5-0

There was a lot of waiting for a lot of nothing.

Friday’s rainout gave the Braves their first off day of the season, and almost 48 hours of waiting for the follow-up to Thursday’s dramatic win yielded a flat 5-0 loss at Citizens Bank Park.

It took about five minutes for Kyle Wright’s night to cave in after another promising start. J.T. Realmuto hit a solo home run, Didi Gregorious singled, Jean Segura walked and Jay Bruce homered.

Four batters, four runs, four losses for the Braves in six road games so far this season. And fittingly enough, all the damage came in the fourth inning.

Positives:

  • I suppose picking out the positives in another Kyle Wright loss is like saying the dentist chair was comfortable at your root canal, but there were a few. He responded well from the fourth inning debacle, allowing just one hit across three more innings after the Bruce home run. His fastball command was on point, and he threw a ton of strikes. At a certain point the positive signs have to turn into positive results, but it feels like he’s inching towards that first career win with every start.
  • Two base hits for Adeiny Hechavarría. Every day you can get some value out of the second base position without Ozzie Albies available is a win.
  • The Braves are a quarter of the way through the sprint with a 9-6 record. That’s a 36-24 pace, or a 97-65 pace in a normal schedule. Tonight was a terrible performance, but perspective is important.

Negatives:

  • Jake Arrieta looked like 2015 Jake Arrieta, and the Braves were more than willing to comply with that by hitting like the 2015 Braves. Getting a shot at Philadelphia’s bullpen in the little league park known as Citizens Bank Park was supposed to be the chicken noodle soup that remedied a scuffling offense. Instead the Braves did the impossible by failing to plate a run in a bandbox against a bullpen with a collective ERA at 7.89. It was a game that showed serious shades of the 1-0 loss at Coors Field last August.
  • Austin Riley is an extremely polarizing player, so I’m just going to slide this information across the table like a supervillain’s messenger in a horror movie and let you figure out what to do with it—Riley is 2-for-28 with 12 strikeouts in his last eight games and his season wRC+ is down to 57. The word “yikes” almost doesn’t feel strong enough for those numbers.
  • Wright never found command of his offspeed pitches. There were few flashes against the bottom of the lineup in the second inning, but not enough to really cause problems when the middle of the lineup came back around. Realmuto and Bruce were both able to sit on hanging breaking balls and mash them into the seats, and that was all it took to pretty much decide the game. 
  • Not being able to at least make the backend of Philadelphia’s bullpen pitch could really hurt tomorrow. A seven-inning doubleheader is a crapshoot but Joe Girardi will have all of his best horses available. Of course knowing how the high leverage relievers have pitched so far this season for the Phillies, this might have been a stealthy finesse job from the Braves to get two shots against them tomorrow. 
  • Home plate umpires. Strike zones. Human error. Robots. I’m sure you can connect the dots.

Former Brave Of The Day:

Kolby Allard made his second start of the season for the Rangers tonight and tossed five innings of two-hit shutout baseball. He even struck out Mike Trout twice, and that alone might qualify him for a place in Cooperstown one day the way Trout has been swinging the bat this week.

Quote Of The Game:

“No, no, no! Nothing happens!”

– George Costanza

Tomorrow’s Goal:

The Braves have 11 hits in three games since Tuesday. Getting 11 tomorrow across 14 innings would give them a good chance to win one or both games.

90 thoughts on “Braves Game 15 Recap: Homers Sink Wright, Phillies Win 5-0”

  1. Can’t Camargo play second until Albies is back? In 100 innings at the position over three seasons his RF/9 is right at league average. He doesn’t look to have a second baseman’s build, and his arm wouldn’t be as valuable as it is at third, but he has a better chance of contributing with the bat than Hech.

  2. Game sucked. Gave up after four. However, recap rocked. Thank you for your faithful stewardship of Mac’s legacy.

  3. Thanks for another great recap.

    @1
    I am very surprised Johan hasn’t been getting at least some of the starts at 2b. It makes no sense to me at all, especially in the age of defensive shifts.

    Speaking of Kolby Allard, did anyone see Lucas Sims tweet regarding the Braves inability to develop pitching? I wouldn’t have thought much of the tweet had it not been in line with concerns I already held.

  4. I’ll admit I’m a little biased as a Vandy fan, but I think Wright just needs more reps. He’s had all of 7 starts and 37.2 innings at the ML level. Not everybody has it figured out right away.

  5. Wright and Riley are AAAA, at best. Riley is probably not even that.

    He’s developed himself into a pretty good 3B and has a good arm, and he’s undoubtedly a pretty good athlete for his size, but he’s never going to hit MLB pitching and he’s always going to just be the HUGE kid from a southern town that beat up on smaller kids pitching until he couldn’t anymore. AKA, now.

  6. At the plate, he’s an oaf. He is not athletic at the plate at ALL. In the field and on the bases he’s athletic.

    He’s continually mistimed and he’s either way early or WAY late.

  7. Riley has adjusted at every level. Admittedly, he looks bad right now but labeling him Quad-A after 336 PAs isn’t logic.

    And Wright has 37.2 innings. Even worse. We all want immediate stars but it doesn’t happen like they most of the time.

    If they don’t turn into regular MLB players, something has gone wrong.

  8. Chief commits the perfect crime. So many players bust that he’ll be right 75% of the time. And on the aggregate, he’s right that a lot of these players will be busts. But as an example, you could probably go back to 2018 and Chief would have told you that Max Fried will be a bust. But two years later, no one is going to remember that some guy on the internet didn’t like Max Fried. And he can say, “Well, I told you Tyrell Jenkins, Rob Whalen, Matt Wisler, Lucas Sims, etc. etc. were going to be busts too,” and he comes out ahead. Guarantee he’s also said AJ Minter was going to be a bust. How’s that looking right now?

    See, Chief, the trick is not to just say that everybody but Mike Soroka is going to be a bust. The trick is to identify who else is going to be good. In fact, just run down the people you said were going to be studs over the last several years.

  9. Riley frustrates me. He’s not going to get grooved fastballs all the time, but he hits the heck out of those he gets. The other stuff, not so much. I’d prefer Claude get the preponderance of his at bats.

  10. There’s no doubt that Riley has a timing issue right now. Hope he gets it resolved. It looked resolved in spring.

  11. It’s only 39 PAs. I know the season’s short and the team success is hindered by slumps, but he needs his time to develop. He’s 23. Plus, the offense is putting up runs amongst the best in the league. If a 23-year old top prospect is your weak link, then things could be worse.

    Same with Wright and I agree with BigD. It’s a whacky season, and we’ve already lost so much developmental time for these guys in the beginning of the year and no real minor league system currently. Let the kids work through their stuff.

  12. At what point after 16 games do we start being concerned about Acuna swinging through mediocre 92 mile per hour knee high fastballs time and time again?

  13. Pretty sure I compared Albies to Joe Morgan very early on.

    The counter to your post is that many BJ bar patrons think every Brave is going to be a HOFer. Now you can applaud them for their homerism, or you can condemn them for being delusional. You pick.

    PS I will go on a hot take limb and say that Freddie Freeman has had his best season already and will only decline (possibly precipitously) from here.

    I also think that the money has changed Acuna. I am entitled to my opinions/predictions.

  14. FWIW as I expected … IMO many players are going through the motions and this is bad baseball overall.

  15. @16, yup, there are a lot of players to blame on offense; Acuna is swinging through everything, missing 87 down the middle yesterday, among others.
    Guys who looked good in spring training (camargo, riley) look terrible again. Freeman is a shell of his former self.
    Ozuna and Swanson have cooled off considerably.
    Go Ynoa?

  16. IMO Freddie has fallen in love with hitting the ball the other way to a degree that is harmful.

  17. Hmm, good thing Neck never strikes out…..

    And yeah, I could see Freeman making too much of an effort to go the opposite way.

  18. I suppose Ronald would have guided that ball a foot to the left if he hadn’t hit his first payday yet and was still nobly puttering along at league-minimum pay.

  19. Ynoa>Wright as a TINSTAAP.

    IMO.

    Better stuff, slightly worse control.

    He’s tiring now and pushing the ball but before I liked what I saw. Can change speeds and at least tries to work the ball.

  20. Well I was pretty impressed by Ynoa’s breaking ball command. If he can locate his gas in short bursts, he might become a pretty good reliever.

  21. Matzek regressing :(
    But not a terrible job of damage control.

    Better question is will the braves ever score again.

  22. El Pintor de la Corte is not especially sharp today. Really need to get on the board off him this inning.

  23. Oh look, the daily bad call against a braves batter (camargo).

    I swear, it’s like the umps are getting back at us for a decade of giving glavine and maddux calls off the plate.

    Haha running with Markakis, this team / manager is so stupid.

  24. #43
    And he swung at ball 4.

    I know Arrieta was terrific last night, but it’s very difficult to get shut out for 13 consecutive innings in this bandbox. Let’s pick it up, fellas.

  25. The hit and run makes no sense in today’s game, it makes even less sense when your team is striking out 11 times per game.

  26. Shows bunt, pulls back, doesn’t pull trigger on the strike he does get. I am doubtful we’ll see Pache this year, but I’m so tired of Ender.

  27. @46

    It wasn’t really a straight hit-and-run, more of a run with a full count to stay out of the double play. However, with as much as we strike out and as slow as Markakis is, you’re right that it was pretty dumb.

  28. Finally ran into one. About time the painter got shelled.
    So right now its a bigger advantage since we only have to hold the lead for 3 innings.

  29. Cool bounce off the base of the wall for Duvall!

    Remember when everyone was debating if he should be non tendered? Pepperidge farms remembers.

  30. The thing I love about this new three-batter rule for relief pitchers is that it forces everyone to manage their bullpen like Snit already managed his.

  31. @71

    I’m not normally one for taking Statcast data and projecting a whole bunch of stuff with it, but uh…that’s not good.

  32. @62–yes, give Snit credit for pinch hitting Duvall for Kakes. It was obviously the right call against the lefty who had to stay in the game (even if Duvall hadn’t come through) but I’m not sure he would have done that a year ago. Snit is using his deep bench very well.

    Come to think of it, the rules were different last year. They would have brought in a righty to face Duvall. Personally I’d rather have Adam against a righty than Nick against a lefty, but that is a closer call.

  33. @70

    At the very least, most games are now playing into his hands with the way he manages games. He knew, for instance, that their left-handed guy would have to face Duvall, so pinch-hitting Duvall for Markakis became the obvious choice. And Duvall lit that guy up like a Christmas tree.

    The old way, he probably leaves Markakis in to face the lefty knowing that, if he puts in Duvall, Duvall winds up facing a righty.

  34. I recall saying I liked the Duvall trade before he was less-than-Mendoza in 2018. I also recall saying I liked the Braves picking up his option before he was a playoff hero. And I am saying right now that a Markakis/Duvall platoon is not so bad. Duvall is a better fielder than either Markakis or Ozuna.

    P.S. Eephus, I still have dibs on Max Fried – my bromance has not waned. You can have the “twinkie IL mullet” if you want.

    BTW, saw that reference to Kolby yesterday. Are we ready to say he’s better than Chris Martin yet?

    Is anyone ready to admit Dansby is worth the wait? If he stays healthy, he will put up star numbers.

    For Chief and his Acuna doubts, hasn’t anyone yet noticed that he starts every season slow? We used to blame it on Snit trying to bat him anywhere but leadoff, but this season he’s just starting slow like every year. Seems like he needs more reps than just in the cage or Spring Training to get it going. Unfortunately, this season is so short, he may not get to superstar numbers. And everyone will talk about regression and they’ll all be wrong.

    I am not convinced about Wright yet. He may figure it out or he may be the son-of-Folty.

    And, my opinion of the starter to go get if you can – Alex Cobb. The Orioles may thing they can compete in a short season, but if they fail before 8/31 then Cobb will be available cheap and he is back to his TB form. And he has both one year of control left and only one year of control left (on a contract the O’s would like to dump). That would eliminate the need to sign another Cole Hamels next year.

  35. Chip: “Look. The only thing you cannot defend is a walk.”

    Me: “430 foot homers are a little hard to defend as well.”

  36. @82

    Yeah, but you can always have the outfielder throw his glove really high up in the air in an attempt to knock the home-run ball down and turn it into three bases…

  37. I hate watching Melancon. He seems to get the job done, but I always feel like he’s at the mercy of the baseball gods.

  38. The hardest hit ball we managed this afternoon may have been the Markakis drive that missed the RF foul pole by inches. By crack of the bat that was a contender.

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