Braves 10, Dodgers 2 – One More Win Left

With how good the Dodgers lineup is, you would expect Bryse Wilson to suffer a fate more similar to Kyle Wright’s performance the night before than the performances of our top two guys. Instead, Bryse Wilson pitched the game of his 22-year-old life. He delivered the best performance of his career, better than his previous best, 6 strong innings against the Phillies on July 3rd, 2019.

And this wasn’t a cheap outing that doesn’t stand up to watching it live. Wilson was in command the entire night. His 95mph fastball was popping and located perfectly from the first batter of the game. He located his offspeed stuff. He got behind very rarely. The line is almost NSFW: 6 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 1 R, 5K. For a team coming off a humiliating, bullpen-taxing loss the night before and a bullpen game coming up, this was just what the Braves needed. He only threw 74 pitches. He’ll be rested for Game 1. :)

The final score may not show it, but this game was a nail-biter for the majority of the night. Clayton Kershaw matched Wilson through 5 innings. But things erupted for the good guys in the 6th: single, double, double, line out, single, double, single, walk, single, strike out, groundout. Yes, they scored 6 runs without the aid of a home run. Through 6 innings, they had seen 124 pitches, which is one of the few ways these Braves can create a clear advantage over the Dodgers. Make their bullpen work harder.

As exciting as the 6th inning was, the 7th was as well, but mostly for the wrong reasons. Will Smith had nothing, and left having given up 3 baserunners and only getting one out. Chris Martin was not much better, but he was able to mitigate the damage and get out of a bases loaded jam with only one run scoring. Marcell Ozuna got the run right back leading off the bottom of the 7th with his second home run of the night. Tyler Matzek handled the 8th inning with relative ease, and Shane Greene continues to look like he’s rounding into form with a perfect 9th.

The Braves are now up 3-1. One win away from their first World Series appearance since Bill Clinton was in the White House. We have a bullpen game tomorrow with the official starter yet to be announced. The Dodgers will have to beat us tomorrow, then beat Max Fried, and then beat Ian Anderson. Friends, I’m confident your Braves won’t let them do that.

98 thoughts on “Braves 10, Dodgers 2 – One More Win Left”

  1. We started rookie for game 2, 3 and 4. We hit jackpot for game 2 and 4. No worry Kyle. Go get them the next time. You are one of the reasons why we have arrived at this stage. This team is awesome.

  2. Rob, how’d you get this up this fast???

    Clayton Kershaw gets yet one more ugly night in his “shaky in the playoffs” narrative, Bryse Wilson becomes the greatest unexpected hero in modern Braves postseason pitching history, Marcell Ozuna singlehandedly destroys the “momentum” narrative, and the Braves are back on top.

    The series isn’t over — far from it — but no one in the world expected the Braves would win this game. And we didn’t just win, we moitelated the bums.

    Not bad for a bunch of 22-year-olds.

  3. As promised, I didn’t watch the game.
    Now I won’t watch tomorrow because of superstition.
    I’m very pleased with the score, haven’t read how it happened yet.

  4. Acuna’s leap of joy was the picture of the night. We all know that Freddie is this team’s leader both in performance and in character, but Acuna has to be the emotional leader. The whole team’s spirit rises and falls with Acuna. I really like how they showed that pic of Acuna over and over and started playing “Jump” to it by the end.

    And for all the hate thrown at Kyle Wright and previously for Bryse Wilson, too. These guys would combine right now as a competent 5th starter. And both are young enough to get better.

    Note: As good as Bryse was, he did benefit from the wind. There may have been as many as three more Dodger HRs if the air had been calm.

  5. @5, very true.

    But I’m going to pat myself on the back for this comment 24 hours ago:

    Snitker’s superpower — his literal superpower — is getting his guys to play hard for him. That is the thing he has that Fredi Gonzalez did not have.

    There is a possibility that we lose the next three games. There is also a possibility that we do not. Tonight’s trainwreck notwithstanding, the likelihood of the latter is far greater than the likelihood of the former.

    Snit’s guys would run through a wall for him. Complain about his tactics all you want, the effect he has on the clubhouse is palpable.

  6. A-Rod is throwing Kershaw under the bus. (To be fair he made the same point before the game.) He thinks Kershaw is too reliant on the inner two inches of the plate, and that good hitters like Ozuna can sit on that. You want to say, “Alex, is it really that simple?”

  7. So for those who scoffed (to put it mildly) at the notion that Bryse Wilson would flat-out beat Clayton Kershaw, there you go.

    And no, I didn’t think it would happen, either.

  8. How about Braves Bryse?
    And the same continues in the postseason as it did the entire season. Any single Braves player can beat the opposition on any given day. TDA, Marcell, Freddie, RAJ, Ozzie, Dansby even Riley.
    Braves in 6.

  9. I don’t know if we’ll do it, but a Kyle Wright reboot makes sense to me. I don’t see how his 2/3rds of an inning can be considered much more than batting practice. I’m still not a fan, but why not?

  10. @15 I would prefer Wright and then let Tomlin take the ball for the middle inning beating if necessary so we can again save the good pen options for game 6 and/or 7

  11. Have I missed the “Phil Collins to the rescue” tribute?

    Just the one more for now, please – don’t care how it happens

  12. I think the only optima are to start Wright or go full-on bullpen game, everybody throwing 1 inning. I’ll pass on Tomlin.

  13. The problem with the opener thing is that the Braves have not only never done it before, they refused to consider it at every opportunity. They seem to hate bullpen games as a concept; they much prefer “traditional” starts.

    In terms of who’s fresh, I think Webb and Dayton and O’Day and even Wright have to be considered in the mix for the first five innings, as well as Tomlin, though he still feels like a garbage time choice to me.

  14. Snitker is definitely making the correct but relatively easy decision to not start Fried on short rest but nevertheless I think he could still end up facing a much more difficult decision later in the game. For example, what happens if the first four or five innings turn into a shoot-out, and Snit has to use a bunch of our more reliable relievers but we manage to get through those innings with a three run lead? The temptation to bring Fried as your bridge to Martin/Melancon is going to be intense, especially if the alternative is handing the ball to Tomlin or Wright. I think in that case you have to grab the series by the throat and use Fried, but it’s obviously risky.

  15. Alex, I just wrote the bulk of it in the 8th. Didn’t think much would change.

    They’re gonna go Kyle Wright, aren’t they?

  16. I still think Snit should start Fried tonight, but I’ve been outvoted by both the forum and the manager of the Braves (hey…his choice.) That said, if Fried does not start, he should not be anywhere near this game. Either start him or rest him.

    I think he has to go with some combo of Wright/Tomlin/Dayton/Webb to at least get us to the 6th inning. With last night’s win, we have the luxury to spit on this game and try to win it in the 6th or 7th. I’d prefer to close it out as soon as possible but if you’re not going to contemplate short rest, then that’s what we have to look forward to. Plus…the game doesn’t start until 9pm! Ugh!

    No matter. Still basking in the euphoria of last night. What a win. What a start. On paper, no way we should have won that game. But that’s why you have to play it out for real.

    ETA – A positive for tonight, while we didn’t do much against May this series, apparently we touched him up for 4 runs in 2019. So there’s that.

  17. Lost in all the craziness is Pache. He’s been about as good as you’d hope he’d be. Very patient at the plate, great defense in center. Eventually the hits will come. If he had pushed that bunt for a hit, that’s a play we would have really been talking about.

  18. @23 FWIW, if you hold him back until game 6, and we win tonight, then he’s ready for game 1. I know, I know, gotta get there first…

  19. I may be in the minority to have hoped Snit would go with Fried regardless and try to finish this thing up. I hate to give a game away. If not Fried, my preference would be to start with Wright and turn over to the good bullpen at the first sign of trouble.
    How many pitches will May be able to throw today?

  20. Helluva game. Agreed on Pache — he makes himself a tough out, and those catches just short of the wall are not as easy as he makes them look. Very much enjoying watching him.

    On another note…it’s a small thing, but I wish Snit had held off on congratulating Wright after the sixth. He still had a fairly low pitch count, and given what the offense did in the sixth Snit could have at least put Wright back out to start the seventh. Innings are precious, and who knows, he might have gotten one more out of him. Why rush to limit your options?

  21. @10 this is the problem with making the most superlatively gifted athletes commentators: for A-Rod, when he was playing, it really just was that easy.

  22. 30 – I kind of felt the same way, but the way Wilson had to sit for 35 minutes meant there was no way he was staying in even if that was the orignal plan.

    So next year the rotation could have Fried, Soroka, Anderson and Wilson? That could be pretty impressive.

  23. Here is what I would do perhaps changing the order for matchups:

    Webb 2 IP
    Minter 1 IP
    Wright 2 IP
    Matzek 1 IP
    Martin 1 IP
    Smith 1 IP
    Melancon 1 IP

    Snit said Dayton would be unavailable along with Ynoa, Wilson and Fried but everyone else available (even Anderson?)

  24. The last 4 innings obviously assuming a lead/tie game. If trailing you could throw in Tomlin, O’Day and Greene if you wanted and even stretch some of the early guys longer.

  25. Actually (and while I don’t like the idea) I think we start Tomlin tonight. Give him once around the lineup and then plug in Wright. If he shits the bed again, then we move to Webb. Start playing match ups after that with Matzek/Martin/Smith/Greene.

    And to return to Rob’s comment @26, indeed we have to get there first. If Fried actually pitched tonight, he’d still have short rest to start the WS. If he has to start tomorrow, he won’t be lined up to start in game 1 (only 2 days rest since the series starts Tuesday.)

  26. Agreed about Pache—he is terrific in the field and looks anything but overmatched at the plate.
    The future is indeed pretty bright. You know, 5 of the starting 10 last night were 23 or younger.

  27. Dusty’s approach seems reasonable. I’m not putting Tomlin in the game unless all is lost and I’m throwing in the towel.

  28. Let play it out where ATL wins in 7 and has to go Fried, Anderson in 6 and 7.

    WS Game 1 Wilson (normal rest)
    WS Game 2 Wright (normal rest)
    OFF Day
    WS Game 3 Fried (1 day extra rest)
    WS Game 4 Anderson (1 day extra rest)
    WS Game 5 Wilson (normal rest)
    OFF Day
    WS Game 6 Wright (1 day extra rest)
    WS Game 7 Fried (normal rest)

    To me this is where you go Fried on short rest for game 2. By doing that you get:

    WS Game 1 Wilson (normal rest)
    WS Game 2 Fried (short rest)
    OFF Day
    WS Game 3 Anderson (normal rest)
    WS Game 4 Wright (3 days extra rest)
    WS Game 5 Wilson (normal rest)
    OFF Day
    WS Game 6 Fried (1 day extra rest)
    WS Game 7 Anderson (normal rest)

  29. I’m glad to see I’m not the only one hoping Wright gets the start tonight. We’ll need him in the World Series, and what a way to show confidence and let him rebound. It’s also a great investment for 2021.

  30. @22, great question and I don’t think so.

    @30, for me, I was happy with sending him to the showers there. I’ve been an advocate for quicker hooks by Snit all year, just as I think that it really could have affected Wilson’s confidence if he went back out for one more inning and he ran into trouble. The last couple of innings, the Dodgers had some really long at-bats against him and I felt like he wasn’t fooling them or getting swinging strikes as easily. It felt like the margin of error was razor-thin by that point. I wanted him out of there under the “don’t look a gift horse in the mouth” principle.

    The thing about Pache that has been remarkable to me is his poise. He belongs. And he believes he belongs. That speaks to his makeup. That’s what he’ll need once the slumps start, and he’s in the middle of a long season fighting it. Makeup is what helped Dansby Swanson to finally turn the corner and round into a good player after a couple years of scuffling sandwiched by injuries. Pache looks like he’s going to be awful fun to watch for the next couple decades.

  31. Pache’s plate discipline has been what surprised me. All the scouting reports say his hit tool is great and the power will come, but he was going to be limited by his eye unless he figured something out. Then, he sure as hell looks like his batting eye is no drawback at all in this series, against an amazing pitching staff, on the second biggest stage in baseball.

  32. I wonder if slapping Graterol around a little bit last night will work in the Braves’ favor today. That’s always got to be a bit of a confidence boost, but to my untrained eyes Brusdar’s fastball looks a lot like May’s- 100mph, lots of armside run- and hopefully facing BG last night will have them a bit readier than they would otherwise have been to face Carrot Top.

  33. @42, that’s exactly why I’d start Wright tonight. Let him rebound. He probably won’t be perfect, but he ought to do a heckuva lot better than the other night. Up 3-1, we still have some margin to give in case he bungles it. But if he pitches effectively, then he can regain confidence ahead of the WS and show us what he really has in terms of resilience. Even if Snit was thinking all along of starting Wright, he’s smart by keeping it close to the chest and not letting the media feast on him ahead of the game.

    Speaking of the media, the national story from last night’s game isn’t really even about the Braves. Sure there’s a little about Bryse, but it’s mostly how Kershaw in his whole career is not nearly as effective in the postseason, and how the wind robbed the Dodgers of 3 home runs (2 by my estimation).

    I will accept help for this team in the form of an act of God. Goodness knows this team deserves a few breaks.

  34. This tweet kinda took off!

    Also, this is my heart on this team right now.

  35. I wonder if not having King Felix has actually been beneficial to this team? Or would the young kids have come up anyway being we were so thin at SP?

  36. In before the first person gets carried away and calls this a must-win game. (Only kidding…kinda.)

    @47: I’ve seen plenty of coverage of us and of Bryse Wilson on the national media last night and this morning. It is probably instructive to realize that the Dodgers being in this position yet again is a big part of the story of this series, so it’s gonna get covered. It’s not like national media types aren’t giving the Braves plenty of credit for the Dodgers’ predicament, though.

    The media hangup on Clayton Kershaw being merely fine in the postseason instead of the second coming of Sandy Koufax is getting to be a bit much, but that’s the type of thing that the national media is just always gonna ride completely into the ground. They act like he’s been truly horrid in the postseason, and he hasn’t really been. I thought he was fine yesterday, especially given he’s dealing with a back issue.

  37. I will say this. If I weren’t a Braves fan I would feel sorry for Kershaw.

    I sat at an airport gate next to him in Dallas a few years ago determined myself not to say a word. He struck up a conversation with me unsolicited and was a very genuinely nice person. He will be 70 someday and will be tortured by this legacy.

  38. There is a little part of me that wonders if Atlanta has been too slow to trust some of the youngsters. Pache sitting behind Inciarte, Anderson and Wright waiting behind Erlin, Milone and Tomlin come to mind. This part also makes me upset that Davidson and Muller (and even Waters) didn’t get a look this year. If this postseason has shown anything, it is that you can win with youth.

    The other part of me wonders if our youngsters are having the success they are having because of the patience of Snit and AA. Snit has managed and coached in this organization since the early 80s, so maybe I should just trust that he knows what he is doing, especially with young, developing players.

  39. There’s no defending Atlanta’s handling of their young pitching over the last few years. Once they started having difficult decisions about how to handle specific young pitchers, they consistently and thoroughly made the wrong moves, and it’s resulted in having almost no value for any of their young pitchers outside of Soroka, Fried, and Anderson, who were all so good so quickly that they didn’t give Atlanta any hard decisions. But if anyone had any early struggles at the big league level, Atlanta cratered their value, confidence, and development until there was almost nothing left.

  40. I think the extra attention the young guys got this year also really helped, come up, pitch, go down, and really work on it, not hopping on busses to go all over the place.

  41. I think you have to assume the org genuinely misread how ready Pache was to come up and hit against MLB opposition, given how squeamish they were about giving him any exposure. This feels like a case of serendipity to me—they only played him out of necessity and he has well exceeded anyone’s (other than perhaps his own) expectations.

  42. @57

    Yeah, I think he’s playing his way into being our starting center fielder on Opening Day next year. If Duvall hadn’t gotten hurt, he likely would’ve started the season in Triple A.

  43. I don’t object to giving Pache the extra time. In general, I think extra minor league time as a starter can really help a guy whose bat is less advanced than his glove.

    But I completely agree that the Braves have not done as effective a job as they could have with their young pitching prospects. I simply don’t understand why they haven’t worked more of them out in the bullpen, tried to stretch them out in long relief, and given them the opportunity to experience success at the major league level.

    Even if they have to stay in the pen as effective middle relievers — like Sean Newcomb, speaking of which, and it’s pretty striking that he fell behind Dayton on the depth chart — that’s a better outcome than having to jettison them altogether. Most pitchers aren’t Anderson, hitting the ground running. Even Anderson has benefited from monumental good luck to avoid a few crooked innings.

    For a lot of these guys, I think that starting out in an opener/long relief/swingman role would be extremely helpful in gradually stretching out to becoming a potential #3 or #4 starter. Wright has that potential. Both he and the Braves have to share the blame for his inability to pitch effectively on a more consistent basis.

    Also — I think Pache has benefited tremendously from the fact that teams were prohibited from scouting other teams’ prospects. Prior to this postseason, the scouting line on him through 2019 and the Braves organization line through the summer was that he had offensive potential and developing power, but was still raw as a hitter though a finished product as a fielder. I doubt that completely changed in two months at the alternate sight.

    What’s good for him is that there is zero book on him right now since he barely played in the majors during the regular season, so teams have very little idea what his weaknesses are. I’m betting that he’s experiencing some beginner’s luck right now, even if he’s also clearly proving that he has the ability to rise to the occasion beyond what any of us could have hoped. There are going to be a lot of bumpy patches ahead, once the other 29 teams get to see him on a consistent basis.

  44. 57 – I agree. And the biggest problem with Pache sitting was that it wasn’t like he had to perform at the plate AT ALL to be an upgrade over Ender. The only reason (other than money) to keep him down was to not shatter his confidence with a poor showing. Luckily, I’d say we are well beyond that now and CF should belong to Pache for the next decade at least.

  45. @56 you made me check and that’s exactly what she is, cute. Love watching Kershaw pitch but all he did is beat us every time – until Bryse and the 2020 Braves finally came along.

  46. Oh so THAT explains it:

    But the winds, blowing in from right field, undoubtedly made an impact.

    Plate umpire Cory Blaser, who wears contacts, initially had a hard time seeing. At one point, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts went to Blaser to inform him that his starting pitcher, Clayton Kershaw, and his first baseman, Max Muncy, were also having difficulty, according to the Fox broadcast. Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman reached for his eyes after striking out in the first and said, “I can’t see,” as he made his way to the dugout, prompting him to temporarily try glasses. Teammate Ronald Acuna Jr. did the same in the outfield.

    https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/30123854/gusty-winds-challenge-los-angeles-dodgers-atlanta-braves-nlcs-game-4

    What unprofessional crap from the umpire. If you can’t see, what the hell kind of business do you have calling balls and strikes?

  47. Kershaw’s postseason resume strikes me as fairly similar to that of Greg Maddux, and Maddux doesn’t get a whole lot of stick for his aggressively so-so postseason record at this point. Maddux did win a World Series, granted, but the Braves almost don’t even get any credit for winning that championship at times so…I dunno.

    If the Dodgers never win a World Series with Kershaw on the team, maybe he’ll hear about it some, but negative postseason legacy does not seem to be hung around individual Hall of Famers’ necks in baseball when looking back on their careers to the extent that it does for, like, NFL quarterbacks. Baseball folks tend to blame the Lonnie Smiths, Bill Buckners and Mark Wohlers of the world for their team’s postseason failures rather than the Hall of Famer who went 2-for-20 in the series or went 0-1 over two starts with a 6.00 ERA. Sometimes, they blame a guy who wasn’t even on the team (see: Bartman, Steve).

  48. I’m going to have to disagree with Rob and Alex about the organization’s handling of pitching prospects. I’m not asserting that it’s been stellar, but I do say it is too soon to make many judgements.

    But if the only ones who really make it are Soroka, Fried, and Anderson, that’s pretty great! Developing three very good starters at about the same time is pretty unusual.

    It’s too soon to make much of a judgment about Wright and Wilson (Wright is not as bad as he looked on Wednesday–who could be!–and Wilson is not likely as good as he looked last night–how many are?). Beyond them, any of Ynoa, Muller, Davidson, or Tarnok may become quality ML starters. Or they may not.

    Sure there have been many flameouts among the hordes of pitching prospects the Braves have had in the past five years. That’s to be expected. But if a team develops one or two TOR starters and 3 or 4 other quality ML starters, I think that is a clear success. And most importantly right now, the Braves are one game away from the World Series riding one of the most inexperienced starting rotations in history. I’ll take it.

  49. Suddenly remembered this and got a bit bothered:
    Who the heck are the 2 ptbnl to be sent for Milone? I’m gonna be pissed if it’s Vodnik , Tarnok, or someone worth a damn. Oh, and Milone would also get a WS ring….what a joke.

  50. #64
    I’ve made a similar comparison before, but in reality Maddux (& Glavine who also has a sub-.500 post-season record) pitched much better than Kershaw (11-12 w/ 4.31 ERA in 177 IP) has in the post-season. Both have ERAs that are a full run lower than Kershaw’s in way more IP. Maddux was 11-14 w/ 3.27 ERA in 198 IP & Glavine was 14-16 w/ 3.30 ERA in 218 IP.

    Kershaw has been very up & down, to be charitable. He’s had some big games where he closed out a team or won a crucial game in a series. (Until last night, he’d never lost to the Braves, ever.) He pitched a great Game 1 in the ’17 WS, but got bombed in Game 5. He was bad in Game 1 of the ’18 WS (5 ER in 4 IP) & lost the clincher where he wasn’t exactly awful (4 ER in 7 IP), but still lost. Also, some of his relief stints (like last year vs WAS) didn’t go well.

    The reason he gets compared to Koufax & Gibson, say, is because in the post-season, those guys actually exceeded the lofty standards they set in the regular season. Kershaw (2.43 career ERA) just hasn’t done that.

    Kershaw has pitched in 19 post-season series and he’s had 8 of them where his ERA was over 5.60. He’s had only 6 series where his ERA was at 3.00 or below. (In Maddux’s 23 series, his ERA is below 3.00 in 17 of them; in Glavine’s 24 series, his ERA is below 3.00 in 17 of them as well.)

    For some reason, Kershaw’s also been particularly bludgeoned almost every time he’s faced the Cards (6.14 ERA in 5 starts/29.1 IP) or the Nats (6.26 ERA in 2 starts/2 relief appearances in 18.2 IP). Also, his WS numbers aren’t terribly shiny: He’s 1-2 w/ a 5.40 ERA in 4 starts/1 relief appearance in 26.2 IP.

    In comparison, Maddux seems to have really been a victim of bad luck/no offensive support. For example, he shut out the Yankees in G2 of the ’96 WS, then lost 3-2 in the clincher. In the ’97 NLCS vs the Marlins, Maddux went 0-2 with a 1.38 ERA. I mean, if that ain’t tough luck…

    Anyway, there’s no getting around it – overall, Kershaw just hasn’t been the same pitcher in the post-season.

  51. One more note on Kershaw

    Just seen on Joe Posnanski’s Twitter that 80% of his inherited post season runners have scored

    That seems high

  52. 67 – Posnanski pointed out the Maddux has given up a lot of Unearned Runs in the postseason. 25 for Maddux and the 2nd place in that category is Glavine with 11. Was the folk hero playing 2nd behind him, I honestly don’t remember defense being too much of a problem in our defeats other than the Brooks game. Just saying his ERA is probably a little shinier than it should be.

  53. Kershaw got Grady Littled to a certain extent last night. Going into the game, I said that he probably only had five innings in him so we should try to work counts and push him out of the game sooner. Especially considering his back issue and his reduced FB velocity, it was obvious that he was not pitching at 100% capacity, but he was able to paint the black at the bottom of the zone for five innings.

    Dave Roberts obviously should have had a quicker hook, which is basically the day-after narrative. If Kershaw just allowed one run in five innings, it cuts against his “anti-clutch” narrative. But Roberts seems to have gotten lost in the dream that the guy on the mound was Cy Kershaw, instead of an injury-prone lefthander with an 88-mile-an-hour fastball. What’s worse, amid all the postgame questioning he’s faced, he doesn’t appear to have had a second thought about going to get Kershaw at that point even though he was pretty clearly gassed.

    Basically, Dave Roberts is the new postseason Bobby Cox. Genuinely great regular season manager who too often in October seems to be all thumbs.

  54. Here’s the Posnanski article referenced @71:

    https://theathletic.com/2142778/2020/10/16/posnanski-how-can-we-make-sense-of-clayton-kershaws-postseason-woes-braves-nlcs/

    It’s hard to downplay how bad our defense tended to be in postseasons in the mid-to-late 90s.

    In that 1997 NLCS, Maddux was the victim of the Livan Hernandez/Eric Gregg Game 5 (an evergreen topic around here).

    The other game is even more indicative of the point, though. He allowed 5 unearned runs in Game 1, which I remember (apparently accurately) to be an absolute defensive calamity…possibly the worst defensive game the Braves have ever played in the playoffs. A glance at the play-by-play shows a two-out Fred McGriff error in the first inning was immediately followed by a bases-clearing Moises Alou double (on a play that was scored a double but featured a brutal Chipper Jones ole attempt to field it), and a three-base error by Kenny Lofton in the third on a ball that should’ve been caught outright put the Marlins in position to score two more unearned runs in that inning.

  55. I vote for Matzek to open. With the exception of Dayton, I think lefties have been more effective against the Dodgers. Matzek might be the best choice to assure getting past the first couple of innings then mix and match from there. By the end of two innings, this game will come into much sharper focus.

    Matzek for 2
    Ynoa for 2
    Minter for 1
    O’Day for 1

    Then decide if the game is a winner or a loser and sub accordingly. I think Wright only comes in if we’re way behind. Not blaming Wright but he just doesn’t seem to match up well.

  56. TFloyd contacted me about an issue of his comments not posting then he found them in the spam section of the dashboard. I’m glad he was able to get it corrected, but if anyone else has those issues, please reach out to me at cothrjr at gmail dot com.

    I’ve found several other regular posters here who’ve had comments go to spam and retroactively posted them, but it was after the thread is buried. I’ll do my best to fix these issues asap.

  57. Well, you guys are finally getting your wish. The Braves are using an opener. A.J. Minter is starting the game for us, according to Peanut.

  58. Looks good now and Minter yay!

    I would alternate lefty righty to give them no chance to settle in, so follow with O’Day, Webb or Wright and go from there.

  59. Do you think Minter can go 2 innings? He has gone 1.1 several times but never more than that. If he’s crusing and LA has Muncy and Bellinger in the 2nd you have to try it right?

  60. @83: I would say you do.

    By the way, I just spent 15 minutes watching SportsCenter highlights of the 1997 NLCS on YouTube, for some reason, after looking at that Game 1 box score and uh…yikes. The only thing that really sticks in the mind from that series is the Livan/Eric Gregg situation, but if you think that’s the only thing that cost us that series, you’re sorely mistaken. What an absolute clown show of terrible defense that series was by us! And some really crappy baserunning thrown in on top, just for some seasoning.

    I’ll provide the link, if you dare, but hide the women and children before watching it:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mrCHB3R_t1U

  61. Yeah, I would think that if he can get through the first with 10-15 pitches, then you owe it to yourself to let him face Muncy and Bellinger.

    Wonder why they waited so long to announcer an opener. I wonder if they were seeing if Wright could go again.

  62. I suspect we will see Wright, but it makes sense for him not to face the top of the order at first. I like having Minter in to face those guys.

  63. Okay gang, taking the fam over to Arlington for Game 6. Driving from Chattanooga, so we will stay in Louisiana tonight. I’m hopeful that we just wake up and drive home because there is no game 6, but if not I hope we get to see Fried pitch the clincher.

  64. @87 That’s awesome, Dusty. Literally a win-win situation for you.
    But please turn around in the morning for us.

  65. I have no particular recollection of that series, but yeah that was not a great defensive roster. Especially when Lemke was hurt and Andruw wasn’t in the lineup. Javy, McGriff, Lockhart, Blauser, Chipper, Klesko, Lofton, Tucker….

  66. Roberts was in a bad situation. If he takes Kershaw out after 5 and the same relievers do the same bad job (big if, but you never know) he gets pounded on for removing a Hall-of-Fame pitcher trying to assert bloody-sock-tenacity over back spasms in favor of a bunch of chumps.

    If he takes him out with Ozuna coming to the plate, then Kershaw’s loss would be fully attributed to the Grybos, even worse.. And if he waits (as he did) for Ozuna to deliver, he gets the criticism he’s getting now.

    If Wilson had given the Dodgers a big lead he almost surely would have been replaced after 5. So it’s all Wilson’s fault if Roberts gets fired.

    2-3-5-4 is still on track. Next dice roll tonight.

  67. @88

    Yeah, a brief rundown:

    Game 1 featured the above-mentioned two errors and the Chipper bullfighter routine that was ruled a hit, leading to 5 unearned runs.

    Game 2 was incident free and we won 7-1.

    Game 3 featured Andruw misplaying a rising line drive in right field that turned the game the Marlins direction, as well as Chipper getting caught in a rundown between second and third to end an important late-inning rally.

    Game 4 (an easy Braves win, for the record) featured Chipper getting caught in another rundown and (though it didn’t matter much) Andruw almost dropping about the easiest fly ball you’ll ever see (he wound up catching it on the bobble).

    Game 5, in addition to the obvious, featured Michael Tucker not securing a fly ball on a leaping would-be catch that was in his glove when he hit the wall. This eventually led to Florida’s winning run scoring. Tucker lost a contact lens when he hit the wall and had to come out of the game.

    Game 6 featured Tom Glavine hitting a batter with the bases loaded (not a defensive issue, I know, but I think it plays into the general narrative) and Jeff Blauser not fielding a ground ball cleanly that led to an important insurance run scoring.

    And that’s only the stuff that ESPN deemed important enough to be in postgame highlights, apparently. Other than all that and the Eric Gregg situation, a fine series of fundamental baseball for the local nine.

  68. Given the modern game, I think many managers leave their starters in too long. Baseball right now is being played at the extremes as it is.

    Dumb openers, everyone playing for HRs, 3 outcomes being en vogue, etc.

    Might as well pull them and go to the relievers at the first sign of trouble, because it’s not likely the SP is going to pitch a complete game anyway.

  69. It’s a max effort game now. That’s why everyone throws 100 and no one has stamina. Just have to adjust, otherwise the game will pass you by.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *