Braves 7, Mets 0

The Braves haven’t had a rookie starter throw 6 innings of 1 hit ball since Ian Anderson went 7 innings on September 12th. That drought came to an end on Sunday as Kyle Wright went 6 1/3 innings to pick up his 2nd career win. Wright walked only his last batter, and struck out 6, to build from his encouraging start last week.

Rick Porcello was great for the Mets, going 7 innings, striking out 10 and allowing only 3 hits. One of those hits, however, was a solo home run by Ronald Acuna Jr. to open the scoring in the top of the 6th. The Mets bullpen was not so amazing, as a Travis d’Arnaud double cashed in 2 Jeurys Familia walks in the 8th, and Acuna’s bases clearing double in the 9th cost Mark Melancon a save. Marcell Ozuna doubled home Acuna with the final run.

Will Smith threw 2 pitches to erase Wright’s walk with a double play, and Chris Martin tossed a hitless 8th. Melancon gave up a couple of hits to start the 9th, but a double play helped him preserve the shutout.

Per Stathead, Wright’s effort marked only the 20th time in 53 starts that Braves starters have managed to complete 5 innings (38%.) Compare this to the rest of the National League, who coming into Sunday had done it 435 times out of 723 (60%.) Eighteen times Braves starters have failed to complete even 4 innings. Brian Snitker‘s bullpen management might drive one crazy on a day to day basis, but in this context, if he coaxes this unit to the NL East title he should be a serious candidate for Manager of the Year.

The Braves have completed 88% of their season, and the entirety of the road portion. They hold a 3 game lead over the Marlins, who come to Atlanta Monday for the first of 4. Huascar Ynoa and Trevor Rogers scheduled.

Author: Rusty S.

Rusty S. is a Braves Journal reader since 2005 and an occasional innings-eater. It was my understanding that there would be no expectations.

39 thoughts on “Braves 7, Mets 0”

  1. Split with the Marlins & we’re in good shape — up 3 games with 3 to go. Even win 1 of 4 & we’ll be up by 1 game with 3 remaining, which might not be so terrible, considering each team’s season-ending series.

    Next weekend’s tilt: Braves host the let’s-get-the-season-over BoSawx, while the Marlins visit the suddenly healthy & hot Yankees, who have incentive to win. They very much want to host the Twins in the 1st round.

    Just don’t get swept by Miami.

  2. Time to speculate on the Braves postseason roster. From reading it appears to be 26 players.
    I expect the Braves to carry 3 catchers. They usually did when it was a 25 man roster so why wouldn’t they now? Will it be Jackson or Contreras? I am going to say it will be 14 position players and 12 pitchers. For the first round at least.
    The position players should be: Freeman, Albies, Swanson, Riley, Hech, D’Arnaud, Flowers, Markakis, Acuna, one of Inciarte/Pache, (my guess is Inciarte but I prefer Pache) Ozuna, Duvall, Camargo, 3rd catcher. I could see them carrying Panda instead of Camargo if he’s hitting well at the alternate site.
    Pitchers: Fried, Anderson, Hamels, Wright or Ynoa depending on who looks best in their last start, Minter, Greene, Smith, Melancon, Martin, Matzek, O’Day, Tomlin. I think Dayton, Jackson and Webb get left off.
    Given our starting pitcher struggles to get past the 4th, other than Fried, they could go with 13 pitchers. Then Camargo gets dropped and Dayton makes it. But Webb is gaining ground.

  3. Ryan, that’s interesting. MLB site release I found said 26. Going with 28 then I say Dayton is the 13th pitcher and both Inciarte and Pache make it. Although I can see them choosing just one still and adding Culberson or Panda.

  4. Leave it to the Falcons to defy all odds (again). Man, being an ATL sports fan is so infuriating……With the Braves possibly facing the Cards or Reds in the first round, my confidence is waning.

    The Falcons had 39 points with zero turnovers in their loss against the Cowboys.

    Entering today, teams were 440-0 when scoring 39 points with 0 turnovers since 1933, when team turnovers were first tracked, according to Elias. pic.twitter.com/LZdqzwQZyD

    — ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) September 20, 2020

  5. #6
    You can touch the ball & they can’t until it goes 10 yards.

    Fall on the ball unimpeded & you win. Very simple.

    So… everyone just let it go 10 yards & jump on it then. It’s like there were 5 guys standing around who didn’t even know the rules.

    Dumbest/worst regular-season loss in team history. And to the Cowboys, which makes it special.

  6. The best spin you can put on it, and it’s not much, is that they didn’t think the ball was going to go 10 yards, and they didn’t want to risk Leon Lett-ing it. But an NFL hands guy has got to be capable of falling on a slow moving, rolling football.

  7. That Falcons games was bad even by Falcons standards. I was strangely calm about it, though, which must mean that I’ve accepted the fact that the Falcons are going to be bad until they run Dan Quinn off, which surely to god will be by the end of this year.

    The onside kick was one of the most colossally stupid things I’ve ever seen, though. Like, how badly coached do you have to be to not fall on the football there? If there’s a better illustration of the “play-not-to-lose” ethos that’s been instilled in this team since the Super Bowl disaster, I can’t possibly conceive of what it would be. “Don’t touch it! Something bad could happen!” is the philosophy instead of “I’m gonna fall on it so we can win the game.”

    Anyway, nice win by the Braves. Apparently I should’ve watched more of it and less of the Falcons game.

  8. I really like how Kyle Wright, in his past 3 starts, has quieted a lot of the chatter in regards to the failure of the pitching prospects.

  9. d’Arnaud had the biggest hit of the day in the 8th. He kind of gets overlooked in this team but he has been nothing short of spectacular for us. He even has an outside shot of winning the batting title.

  10. @10

    Wait, what? He gave up 5 runs in 4 innings 3 starts ago. He’s certainly had a couple of good starts, but he was really fortunate to avoid giving up more runs when he allowed 10 baserunners in 6 innings in the start before yesterday’s. I’m encouraged, but it’s not like this is a run (is 2 starts even a “run”?) that leads me to believe he’s definitely turned a corner.

    With that said, I don’t know what it will take, so maybe I’m being unfair. I’ve just been burned so badly by these prospects. Newcomb was 2 outs from a no-no against the Dodgers, and then he was in AAA about 11 starts later. Folty made the All-Star team and then ended up in AAA in each of the next 2 seasons. Matt Wisler had game scores higher than Kyle’s performance yesterday. I think Wright will be good, but I don’t think this is enough evidence.

  11. Overall, I’m just really disappointed that we probably won’t win the World Series this year because of our starting pitching, which is the one thing we should have been able to rely on when we entered the rebuild with an eye towards the 2020 season. And yes, losing Soroka absolutely hurts, but I’m not willing to let the organization off that easily. Soroka’s one guy. We’re short 3 starters right now. That’s not just acceptable, so I’m not going to 1) get too excited because a prospect has a good start and 2) I’m overall just really annoyed that this is a lost season because of starting pitching. I think it’s moreso the second point that has my fire a little dimmed.

  12. @14 – I agree wholeheartedly. Those that have been saying that at least one rotation spot is covered now by Anderson seem to forget those you mention. Fried seems to have come into his own (if he can stay healthy…and I think I saw him blowing on his hand the other night as if another blister formed) and Soroka seems the real deal, but going off a few starts to see the future is foolish. Aren’t we famous for crying small sample size?

    I’d agree that Anderson and Wright seem to show some good make up (that Folty especially lacked when something bad happened to him) but it’s a little early to cry success with any of these young prospects. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love it if they fulfilled their promise, but I’m not holding my breath and waiting to see it. (Not Chief negative here…just realistic.)

    EDIT – And I hear you. It is more than frustrating that we finally have a decent bullpen and a lineup that most days can knock them in with the best of them and now have no starting rotation to speak of (when we’ve spent the rebuild trying to stock pile them.)

  13. (Not Chief negative here…just realistic.)

    This is kind of the problem with what Chief has done to this blog. Every time you say anything less-than-positive about the starting pitcher development, you’re afraid of being lumped in with rampant negativity. No, I really like some of our pitching prospects, and I’m overall very disappointed with where we are right now, and Soroka being healthy doesn’t completely erase that sentiment.

  14. Rob…

    How can you be annoyed/upset by something that hasn’t happened yet?

    Nor is particularly likely to according to many here?

  15. I pretty much completely agree with where you’re coming from, Rob.

    I disagree with Chief on a lot of his individual player assessments, and I think he writes guys off too soon. But I agree with his broad organizational critique: the Braves have a lot of unearned overconfidence with regard to their scouting and player development pipeline. In the last several years, that pipeline has delivered a couple of stars in Acuna and Albies, a couple of likely stars in Soroka and Fried, and a whole lot of too soon to tell. Now, I like Wright, and I believe in him, and yesterday’s performance was exactly as advertised: that’s the guy we drafted, and that’s the guy we were told we’re getting. It’s very possible that that’s the guy we’ll get. Same with Anderson.

    Still, given that we tore everything down and started over more than a half-decade ago — as our ex-GM decided to undo the handiwork of our ex-ex GM — you and Chief are completely justified in asking, where’s the beef?

    We’ve been told that there has been a fair amount of cleaning house over the last couple of years, but the team still appears to have a residual stick up their collective butts about “championship baseball” and “doing things the right way” that is laughably unearned, given that they haven’t gotten out of the first round of the playoffs in two decades. I’d love to hear a lot more humility and a lot less “trust us, we know what we’re doing” out of the suits. They haven’t earned that trust. And what’s worse, they don’t seem to realize that.

  16. Ya know it’s Ynao baby!

    Let’s stretch him out, fix his back, and let him start.

    Man, loved his last game. (It’s always “what have you done for me…lately!” – – right?)

  17. @19

    Just a feeling of what is to come, blazon. We will likely be out-matched with Game 2 starters, and will undoubtedly be out-matched in Game 3 and 4 match-ups. Unless the offense shows up every night, I’m really concerned.

    Which is probably the right perspective to have. I can’t count the number of times I’ve gone into a series thinking it was ours to win. I’d love for this to be the year they surprise me in a good way, but barring something completely unforeseen, I don’t think we’re raising the trophy.

  18. So here we go:

    Vs. Stl
    Fried vs. Flaherty (push slight edge to ATL?)
    Hamels vs. Wainwright (push?)
    Anderson vs. Kim (push?)

    I mean, could win or lose any of those games but doesn’t feel outmatched.

  19. Let’s try Brewers

    Fried vs. Burnes (push?)
    Hamels vs. Woodruff (Atl)
    Anderson vs. Brett Anderson maybe (Atl)

    Giants

    Fried vs. Cueto (Atl)
    Hamels vs. Gausman (Atl)
    Anderson vs. Cahill (Atl)

    Like our chances at least on paper in these 2 matchups

  20. NL East

    Philly

    Fried vs Nola (slight edge to Atl)
    Hamels vs Wheeler (push)
    Anderson vs Elfin (Atl)

    Mia

    Fried vs Sanchez (push?)
    Hamels vs Alcantara (Atl)
    Anderson vs Lopez? (Atl)

    I don’t love the Philly matchup and Sanchez would be tough, but I’d take our top 3 in both matchups.

  21. Worst matchup just from an SP perspective:

    Cin

    Fried vs. Bauer (push?)
    Hamels vs Castillo (Cin)
    Anderson vs. Gray (Cin)

    Still like our offense and bullpen, but they’ve got 3 good arms there.

  22. Since many of those same teams are in the 6-7 seed running they could also be the 2nd round opponent if they get past the Cubs. None of them have a decent 4th or 5th starter so those games will probably come down to bullpens and I like us there.

    Lets do Cubs

    Fried vs Darvish (push)
    Hamels vs Hendricks (CHC)
    Anderson vs Mills (? push)
    Wright vs Lester (CHC maybe)
    ? vs ?

    I’d favor the Cubs SPs but not overwhelmingly so.

  23. I think you’re overselling these individual matchups in our favor, Dusty. All three of those Cincy matchups are Advantage Cincy from a purely pitching matchup standpoint (that is not taking the rest of the team into account) and as far as St. Louis goes, Flaherty-Fried is Advantage Cards and the other two are pushes at best. Brewers is Advantage Crew in the first two games and probably Advantage Us in the third. Philly would have the advantage in the first two games, us in the third. With the Marlins, it would be Advantage Braves in Game 1 and somewhat push-ish with a slight edge to us in the other two.

    Now again, that’s without taking the lineup into account, but still…

  24. @ 20 (and to the sentiment elewhere),

    I agree that the preening about how great we are when any damn fool can see holes is unfettered hyperbole. However, I don’t think it is as far out as lots of FO’s throw around. When you get awful teams going nowhere telling you how great it is going to be (2020 Rockies?), that is even worse.
    So I would say this FO is, by usual ML (or pro sports FO’s) a 3 on the scale of 0 to 10 of increasing BS.

    Coming into this season I had the Braves pegged kind of where they are. That is, clearly less than the Dodgers, around the same level as Cubs with maybe the Phillies or Nats a possible challenger. I knew the Padres were on the rise but figured it wouldn’t show this year (likewise for Marlins). I saw no path to catching the Dodgers in this year where Braves would have a roughly equal talent level. What I wanted was to “step forward.” Until we get postseason results, we won’t know about that fully. If this “late rising” 2, 3, and 4 work, then we are there.

    The loaded bullpen is a potentially devastating postseason weapon. Long term studies have shown that actual teams whose offense was homer driven have a lower standard deviation than those that are on base driven. Intuitively, that seems backwards, but data says it is correct. However, our offense definitely seems to be able to turn “on” and “off” at the drop of a hat. Unlike earlier years, it doesn’t seem to be “when the pitching is good we are crap and we feast on the crap.” However, it is still painful to be unable to launch the Orioles into space.

  25. 28 – Thanks for the comment, Flaherty has gotten roughed up a bit this year, while Fried has stayed pretty consistent, so I give Fried the slight nod, same with Bauer, I’d take Fried only slightly but it’s 55-45 in both cases I think. I wouldn’t take Woodruff over Hamels though I’ll admit I’m counting on Hamels rounding into form by the end of the year.

    The one I probably disagree with most is that Nola is better than Fried but again it’s probably 60-40 in my book.

    I get the pessimism, and if you added Soroka back to the mix I think ATL would be favored in any non Dodger series. I still have hope that we sneak through the first couple of series and that SD knocks out the Dodgers and we remind the Padres that they are one year too early in the NLCS.

  26. To be clear, if you add our lineup and bullpen into consideration, we very well may be the technical favorite in any non-Dodger series. But the issue is that we’ve all seen this movie before, I think.

  27. FWIW, FG has ATL 3rd most likely to win WS (LAD 18.1%, SD 11.9%, ATL 9.7%, Min 8.0%, NYY 7.9%) and BRef has ATL 2nd (LAD 21.9%, ATL 15.3%, NYY 9.0%, Min/Oak/Hou 6.7%).

  28. On Wright and last 3 starts:

    1st: Command and control, much better, results weren’t

    2nd: Same but results much better.

    3rd: A breakout performance.

    Quietening and abolishing voices aren’t synonymous for me.

  29. @22

    Rob, understood…but did you catch ububba’s post soon after the game last night when he relayed what Ron Darling said on the air- that Wight’s breaking stuff was the best he had seen all year? That got me pretty excited considering the source. And he kept it going all evening.

    Similarly, in a different way, Anderson showed us how he could recover and be dominant after an awful start – so much more encouraging than starting well and then collapsing as the early Wright was doing before he transformed.

    I figure we’ve as good a chance as anybody bar the big two. Should be fun, something to enjoy!

  30. @33: Note that, as I have said all along, the best team’s chance of winning the world series is about 20%, so if your chance of winning is 18%: (a) you probably won’t win; and (b) you have a better chance than almost everyone else.

    Same with all the prospective pitcher matchups here. None of them is worse than 44-55, or any better than 55-45. Kershaw against Ynoa is only maybe 75-25. Embrace the crapshoot.

  31. I don’t see how there’s enough evidence to suggest that Ian Anderson will pitch better than, say, Brandon Woodruff. Woodruff is a good pitcher, and he has a lot more experience. Ian Anderson has made 5 big league starts.

    Plus, if we’re going to make a run, we need a 4th starter, which scares me even more.

  32. If you go back pre COVID, AA’s bullpen moves set this team up to go deep even if the starters didn’t get it done. Atlanta had room for a couple of bullpen injuries and still had a lot of depth.

    However, yes, the COVID altered landscape doesn’t let the bullpen do as much to make up for a weak middle of the rotation. 2, 3, and 4 are more important than in recent years.

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