Halfway Through: 0.600 Ball Good Enough For You? Braves Sweep Yankees, 2-1

So I gave tfloyd the first game because I got the Soroka debut and Braves Journal rules prohibit any recapper from getting more than one “next great pitcher” debut. I will no doubt be rewarded in the next life for this act of generosity, and that’s good enough for me. Nice job, both Ian and tfloyd.

A quick note on seven-inning no-hitters. In 1991, Fay Vincent retroactively redesignated less-than-nine-inning no-hitters as non-no-hitters. (See https://www.nonohitters.com/near-no-hitters/) This is, in my opinion, as were many things Fay Vincent did, unsound, but, as with everything else Fay Vincent did, I wasn’t consulted. So when someone does pitch a seven inning no-hitter, I’m counting it. Who’s with me? (Fay had some good points, e.g. he opposed the DH, but more bad ones.)

The nightcap found Max Fried against Masahiro Tanaka. The last time Tanaka started against the Braves, he took on Huascar Ynoa. I like this matchup a lot better. That game had neither Ronald Acuña nor Aaron Judge. Now they’re both back, RAJ spectacularly so in the first game. Both had hits in this game, but neither was of much offensive or defensive consequence.

From 1920-2019 there were 12,428 doubleheaders. The home team won 31% of them, the visiting team won 21% and the remaining 48% were split. Furthermore, these numbers have been pretty stable over the years. I don’t have any brilliant insights about this, but I figured it out while I spent the first few innings watching neither pitcher give up much at all. Tanaka wiggled out of a little two-out difficulty in the third, as did Fried in the top of the 4th.

You suddenly realize that you’re in the bottom of the 4th and… whoa!… the game is half-over. The rhythm of a seven inning game takes some getting used to. It would be a little easier if they just called when they started the third inning, or maybe not, but I kept finding myself adding two to figure out what the situation really was.

The ice broke in the 5th. A single, double and sac fly plated the first run of the game in the top of the inning. But, starting from 2nd and 3rd with nobody out, Fried ended up pitching 6 innings and giving up one run — could have been a lot worse. That should be good enough, and was. Tanaka was replaced by Chad Green in the bottom of the 6th after only 66 pitches, a few scattered singles and no runs. This was not inherently stupid: Green had given up only one run all year. Well, now he’s given up three. After overpowering Camargo and RAJ, Dansby got an infield single and the magnificent Frederick Charles Freeman gave the Braves the lead with an opposite field homer.

Melancon pitched the 9th. I mean 7th. I think I’m on the record somewhere as not being a Melacon partisan. And he did give up a solid two out single to Sanchez, but looked pretty good, and the Braves completed the sweep.

Halfway through the season, and the Braves are playing 0.600 ball. As was pointed out in the game thread earlier today, the only team the Braves face for the second half of the season with a winning record (as of today) is the Florida Marlins. That’s really weird.

Day off tomorrow, then a weekend series in Philadelphia, concluding our games with them this year. Go get ’em.

Author: JonathanF

Alive since 1956. Braves fan since 1966. The first ten years were pretty much wasted. Exiled to Yankees/Mets territory in 1974 --- bearable only with TBS followed by MLB.TV.

25 thoughts on “Halfway Through: 0.600 Ball Good Enough For You? Braves Sweep Yankees, 2-1”

  1. Timely and trenchant…but then it always is…thank you.

    My observations…Getting Tanaka out of the way was the sine qua non…we could do nothing with him, he was superb, thank you Aaron. Fried was not at his very best until, strangely enough, the last innings he pitched when he smartened everything up…’not at his very best’ is a relative term.

    Their Green had only given up one run? He surely looked it until our two heroes got to him. Both of them now carry quality assurance, they are moving up. Happy us, Freddie we long knew, Dansby will take over one day but only when it is apropos.

    Duvall we can no longer afford to start automatically against right handed pitching if we are now reaching for the sky this season. Neck we will start against anybody. Camargo is pure bench fodder for Ozzie but his versatility does not allow us to lose him. His bat will be back.

    I couldn’t believe the magnificence of Acuna’s home run. We are lucky boys and girls.

    We must continue our patience with Riley, till the end of next season if we have to. He is worth it and a good team can carry him until the October next. His hands at third are impressive if not certain and he needs to stop throwing short hops to Freddie who so nearly lost all of his teeth – not from Riley.

    What a great afternoon and evening. Who would have thunk it.

  2. ‘be here and stay here’… you got it, you earned it.

    What I completely fail to understand is how reluctant we were to bring him up here for so long when at the same time we were flailing with the Newcombes of this world – c’mon! Can they not recognize control and command down there or did it just happen for him in the last week? Right. Wright and Touki – can they see now what poise in a young pitcher looks like? And stuff.

  3. If you would have told me in June that we would be. 600 at this point, I would have said that sounds about right. However if you told me we’d be. 600 while losing Martinez, Hamels, Folty, Newcomb and Soroka for various reasons, along with Acuna and Albies missing significant time, I would have assumed you were on drugs. It has been a remarkable year so far.

  4. “Oh, it’s such a perfect day,” once sang a famous Long Islander, and it was, for sure.

    Stating the obvious & dreaming a bit here, but… if Ian Anderson is the real deal, things could get more than a little interesting.

  5. @4 I hear the Duran Duran version in my head.

    What a beautiful morning to wake up to. Thank you so much, again, to tfloyd and JonathanF for fantastic recaps.
    Ian Anderson has a great changeup it seems. Was that to be expected?

    Somehow I am expecting AA to go after Bauer.

  6. Thanks to JonathanF for another sterling recap, and for sharing part of his Wednesday duties with me. I was prepared to do the Ian Anderson game, but only because I thought it was my duty to reassure everyone that, when he inevitably stunk up the joint, it wouldn’t mean anything about his future.
    Turns out he was at least as good if not better than Soroka in his debut that JonathanF covered. So now it’s my duty to caution everyone that Anderson may not immediately be the frontline starter that we need. But I’ll be happy to be proven wrong on that, as on so many things!

  7. In the newsletter that went out this AM, David Lee gave Ian’s changeup a 60 grade and that is a HUGE bump from previous reports. Good on Ian for working so hard from October on to make his worst pitch his best.

  8. @ 8 – I’m shocked that you don’t have confidence in Erlin, Tomlin and Ynoa. Is that really 3/5 of our starting pitchers and we’re still .600???

  9. By my count, the Braves have 16 starts made by guys not currently on the active roster. It is pretty amazing to be .600, agreed. To be fair, piggybacking a couple of those guys would be a decent 5th starter.

  10. I know this is an unpopular take, but I actually really like the 7 inning game. It gives the game a sense of urgency earlier in the contest. Plus as I get older, quite frankly it’s a lot easier to consume a two hour ish game than a three or even four hour game. Also I was wondering if Snitker was dead when Anderson was throwing ball after ball into the dirt in the 6th, and while I’m happy he got out of it, Snitker’s pitching decisions, even in a shorter timeframe, still make no sense to me.

  11. Thanks, y’all.

    The 7 inning game ought to favor teams with good starters over teams with good bullpens. Since that isn’t us, I wouldn’t count on it as a favorable event. You can’t always rely on managers removing effective starters after 66 pitches. That said, if Anderson pitches like this and Anderson and Fried pitch every doubleheader, I want a lot of them.

  12. Also I was wondering if Snitker was dead when Anderson was throwing ball after ball into the dirt in the 6th, and while I’m happy he got out of it, Snitker’s pitching decisions, even in a shorter timeframe, still make no sense to me.

    Yeah, I was not enjoying that part of the inning. He lost his feel for the strike zone in a hurry.

  13. LOL. I just reread my post (pro tip: don’t do that.) And nobody noticed (including me on my proofread) when I wrote that Melancon pitched the 9th. He didn’t. No one did.

  14. I also really like the 7-inning games. I don’t have three and a half hours to watch every baseball game nowadays. Baseball has a huge urgency issue with 162 9-inning regular season games.

  15. I believe tonight we have the first Baseball player protest baseball postponement, in support of the NBA players. Orioles/Rays.

    Marlins at the Mets is underway.

  16. Hold all that. Everyone in position for the first pitch when both teams emptied their dugouts and lined up in a straight line, caps off, heads bowed. Players on the field joined them, 42 second pause, for Jackie Robinson.

    Everyne goes back then into their dugouts

    Just announced, game postponed till tomorrow. They are staying on air for interviews.

    One wonders if Doc Rivers’ tearful speech yesterday re Black Lives Matter played any part in the timing of these two striking displays. And Dominic Smith interview from yesterday.

  17. If you’re missing the lack of further input here to get you through the night TC have somehow managed to cobble together an Open thread that currently runs through 13o+ plus posts resting at 3 in the morning.

    What was/is most interesting about it was how initially it got going mid evening from news posts re the postponed games Thursday night which generated a lot of traffic on Blake and Kinosha with two clearly defined groups on either side of the issue. Unsurprisingly it got passionate quickly but never in a way that got out of control. Some of it was legal erudition even which had not been in the national media apparently. Tempers were controlled on both sides. Ivan TG played a major role in this segment, skillfully showing deference all round. It was even fun because it was so interesting.

    Then, gradually, baseball crept in to the dialog which was helped by anyone new who was political being automatically ‘lifted’ back up to where it all got started. It was heartening to see this transition happening so naturally, nothing forced.

    Finally, in the wee small hours, it was all baseball with deep discussions on the homer vs. sac fly issue and, ultimately, a comparo with how Dansby and Riley, in their own way, were coping/adjusting with varying success with fastballs and sliders…

    ‘He(Riley) has some good component skills, but his inability to catch up to and do damage on harder fastballs is killing him.

    “On the plus side, that’s fixable. On the minus side, it is strange it hasn’t already been fixed, and if the real issue is that he can’t avoid getting victimized by sliders while also being able to hit the harder stuff, then he’s just not going to hit very well. Then again, Swanson seems to have figured it out eventually — that so long as you aren’t completely eaten alive by sliders you can just kill fastballs and it’s fine, so maybe Riley will grab some of that torch flame as well.’ Ivan TG TC

    It was uplifting to see and read all this variety in a good natured discussion. So it can be done.

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