NLCS, Game 5: Braves vs. Dodgers

Many of us pined for Max Fried to take the hill on short rest and it seemed sensible, but I do believe it’s the right call to let both Max Fried and Ian Anderson pitch on regular rest to maximize chances of winning.

Like we all predicted, A.J. Minter will get the call for the first inning tonight and there’s good reason for it:

vs. LHP in 2020

  1. Mookie Betts: .531 OPS
  2. Corey Seager: .827 OPS (.998 vs RHP)
  3. Justin Turner: .745 OPS
  4. Max Muncy: .795 OPS
  5. Will Smith: .841 OPS
  6. Cody Bellinger: .663 OPS

Whether it be 1 inning of quick work or 2 innings of quick work, the Braves are betting on the splits and it’s a smart bet to make. We’ll see if it works out.

Sign Marcell Ozuna with World Series $?

Most Braves fans would like to see Ozuna in a Braves uniform in 2021 and I second that motion as he seems an obvious fit in the lineup and a perfect fit in the clubhouse. In Game 3, when the Braves were being pounded by the Dodgers, Cristian Pache hit his 1st HR and as he was rounding the bases, the camera shot over to the clubhouse where Pablo Sandoval and Ozuna were begging for the ball, stirring it up, and seemingly unaffected by the score and happy for the kid and his moment. Winning attitudes don’t disappear in losses and Ozuna’s value goes far beyond his dingers.

So, of course the year that revenue is down like crazy and The Battery is largely vacant, the Braves have a chance to go to the World Series for the first time this millennium. If Ozuna re-signs with the Braves, it won’t be due to “World Series cash” as there’s just not enough to balance out the loss of revenue.

Braves Lineup

Get that W then 4 more and call it a year. Go Braves!

Author: Ryan Cothran

Ryan is the site editor and manager of Braves Journal. Follow him on Twitter.

128 thoughts on “NLCS, Game 5: Braves vs. Dodgers”

  1. I liked Brian McCann a lot, but it is more than a little ironic that the year after he (being the self-appointed party pooper police enforcer of every imaginable unwritten baseball “rule”) retired, Atlanta now far and away leads the league in wild, in-game, in-your-face celebrations.

    I LOVE IT.

  2. I love it, too! I think Ryan’s right on the money — the ability of these guys to stay loose is absolutely huge. There have been previous years where they simply looked like dead men walking after they struggled. These guys can take a licking and keep on ticking.

  3. McCann’s rep as unwritten rules cop is, of course, exaggerated. Carlos Gomez was not celebrating, he was cursing out Maholm and spitting on the ground in front of the infielders as he ran by them. He could not be more unlike Marcell Ozuna in temperament or reputation among his teammates.

  4. Exaggerated maybe, but there was plenty of truth to that rep. I’m mostly glad that baseball as a whole is turning a new leaf and embracing an exuberant style of play. It’s great to see, and it’s even greater to see that most of the teams are not getting butthurt about it.

  5. Oy. 9 o’clock cannot get here soon enough. I’m ready for this game. I like Minter as the opener. Push him for two and get as much out of him as possible. Let’s hope it’s good Minter and not wild Minter.

    As for Ozuna, I love his presence. And his hitting prowess. But DH/can’t play left field/going to cost a ton will likely play into that. Something we can deal with after we win the World Series, however. :)

  6. I also like the Minter choice. I already had him coming in later, but he could easily go 2 innings in then Ynoa, Matzek, O’Day. I think Minter is better coming in during a fresh inning. Seems to me (with no proof) that he has been worse when coming in with men on base.

    Minter has had to change his style of pitching. He came up with a FB/SL with the SL being his out pitch. At the ML league level, hitters stopped waving at the SL because he has a hard time throwing it for a strike (it’s more of a trick pitch). He has developed a changeup that is extremely effective and is now his best out pitch. He should only throw the SL when he is already ahead in the count. I think this is counter to D’Arnaud’s general philosophy so I’m interested to see how he calls the game.

    My gut feel is that Minter will be on a pitch count and I’ll bet it’s no higher than 30.

  7. @8 – Snitker already made clear that Ynoa is not available, which makes sense given that he pitched 4 innings and will only have had one day of rest.

  8. @11 their lineup has always surprised the heck outta me; how did they score 14 against us this season? Well, anything is possible in this sport, but still, that looks like a patchwork lineup.

  9. Solid 1st inning from Minter and not many pitches (thanks Mookie!). Back for the 2nd inning, certainly.

  10. Thanks for the free-ish run (not entirely free, but it will go as unearned because of the passed ball), Dodgers!

  11. Thought I’d point out that we just had a runner at third with less than two out, and got him home.
    Way to go, D’Arnaud!

  12. If Minter gets Pollock here, I’d let him come back out for the third and let him face Pederson.

  13. Minter has done yeoman’s work. I admire him so much for what he’s done to get here.

  14. Clearly, this offseason will be time to stretch Minter out so he can start and put Newcomb back in the pen, right? Mostly joking.

  15. Yeah, if O’Day is next, I let Minter face Pederson, I think. It’s very tempting to, as well, because Roberts somewhat cheekily started him and shoved him all the way down the lineup not thinking Minter would make it that far (or at least hoping Minter wouldn’t make it that far).

  16. @8 – Great breakdown of Minter’s game, Roger. I hadn’t even realized the change up was in his arsenal now because he throws it’s so fast. Gameday says he’s got a cutter too. Is he a 4-pitch pitcher out of the pen now?

  17. May does not look good. Deep counts and now a second walk. And Chipper wants Minter to stick around!

  18. Yeah, Minter faces Pederson, then O’Day could face at least the next 4 hitters (three RHBs). Not sure where we’d go from there.

  19. Sorry guys, my father insisted I watch this one with him. But so far so good, no jinxes en my end.

    How about that Pache!
    And Neck gets some credit too!

    Fox really doesn’t care about ratings with all the zoom shots on May’s face…

  20. What a pitch to Betts!!!
    Awesome performance by Wilson, ditto by Minter.

    What a baseball team we have here in Atlanta!

  21. I would’ve pulled him after Pederson. Then after Taylor. Come on, 1 more strike.
    Yes! Wow, what a job by AJ!

  22. I know Wins aren’t important, but damn, Minter should get one if the score holds.

    Edit: took away a BB for Ozuna with a bad call, but he still gets a hit. Nice!

  23. @53 As long as braves country appreciates and remembers the effort, just like with Bryse last night , I would hope that would be satisfying enough. (Along with team appreciation, of course)

    TDA!

  24. It wasn’t like he got caught in between like d’Arnaud in the NLDS. He actually went back to tag up but didn’t bother to wait until the ball hit Betts’s glove or the ground.

  25. That baserunning was so bad by Ozuna that I figured he thought it bounced in front of Mookie. That’s what I thought at first. Of course he’s got Wash yelling in his ear to tag.

  26. I agree with Smoltz there…Pache played that poorly. Feeling for the wall would’ve helped spacing.

  27. @65 honestly I think his view might have been blocked by all the players in the way. Still a bad play.

    Matzek doesn’t have it tonight, thats 3 straight hard hit fly balls.

  28. Yeah, looking from Ozuna’s view, I can see where he thought the ball hit the ground. He certainly knows that he has to tag up on a caught ball.

    Did the Dodgers ever appeal to third, or did they just go straight to the challenge?

  29. @75 They challenged but we never saw any appeal play. And now that you mention it, they should’ve saved the challenge and done it the old fashioned way. Marcell mistake, Dave Roberts mistake!

  30. I’m not gonna gripe at Pache about that play in CF. I think he misjudged the ball and thought it would stay in. I’m betting the wind has shifted from last night. He has done so well in Duvall’s place. You gotta give him a rookie mistake or two.

    Maybe we should call Ozuna “Lonnie” now. I think he also misjudged the ball – how far it would travel before Mookie caught it. The ball seemed to hang in the air forever to me. And he seemed to just have too much nervous energy. Any more hesitation and Betts might have thrown him out anyway.

  31. @76

    They had to appeal first, surely. If they never appealed and got a safe call at third from an umpire, there would be nothing to challenge.

  32. Smoltz said they did appeal and he was declared safe, so then they went to replay… (which, BTW, means the 3rd base ump missed it as well.)

  33. @79 The announcers said they appealed but apparently they found no need to show us that on the screen. They said the ump said “safe” on the appeal.

  34. @79 Smoltz or the other guy mentioned that they did appeal. The camera was focused on the dugout asking for the challenge.

    Edit: lol, beaten

  35. Joe Buck haphazardly mentioned an appeal, I think. They definitely didn’t show it.

    All I’m saying, though, is that there has to be a call to challenge. If you never appeal, there’s no actual call to challenge there.

  36. That bottom of the 5th was pathetic.
    First pitch soft outs by ronald and lonnie.
    It seems like they want to fast forward through this game.

    Cross your fingers for Greene….

  37. I’m less worried about Greene than Smith. Shane has looked good lately. Hopefully Smith’s last outing was just an off night.

  38. Will Smith has sucked in high leverage situations all season. Why on earth in game five of the NL CS we let that idiot pitch?

  39. @103 I’m second in command in negativity after Chief.

    To be honest, the series was lost when Ozuna made his boner, lol.

  40. Cheating dodgers, first turner kicking at the ball, now this asshole crying about a ball that hit the bat.
    Edit: replay ftw…this time.
    I like what Webb has shown even with the 2B, too bad Snit choose poorly with the guy that nearly ruined yesterdays game and now this one.

    Oh well

  41. That extra runs are meaningless. We have been in complete hibernation mode since the bass running blunder by Ozuna

  42. Ick. I wanted to see more Webb but don’t we know that Seager is the one guy to pitch around?

    Five runs isn’t impossible but c’mon.

  43. Actually I want to go to bed but what if we actually come back? Improbable as it may be. Don’t want to miss our first pennant clinching this millennium. Ugh.

  44. This will almost surely be the latest a Brave home game has ended since the July 4th/5th game against the Mets.

  45. Seems like everyone went to sleep, but I hope someone else saw and appreciated how Pache deked Muncy on that home run he robbed. Let’s hope our guys can make it mean something!

  46. Man Ozzie looks really bad left handed sometimes. Could he really be worse hitting right handed against a righty?

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