Blue Jays Thump Braves 13-5

The only place to really start here is Drew Smyly. 

He was very clearly a high priority for Alex Anthopolous. Not only did Anthopolous give him an $11 million deal off the back of a shortened season, he did it on November 16th. Less than a month after the Braves concluded their 2020 season, Anthopolous decided he needed to get Drew Smyly through the doors before doing anything else. 

Smyly turned in another brutal start on Friday in Dunedin, surrendering six runs (five earned) in four innings on seven hits. His ERA for the season is now 7.38, and the Braves have lost all four of his starts. Tonight was an especially ugly one with a 13-5 final score against the Toronto Blue Jays? 

So what do you do with Smyly? A trade isn’t an option and neither is just eating the money and releasing him, so it will have to be something within the club? A stint in Gwinnett when the Triple-A season starts? A phantom IL stint that serves as one or two skips of his spot in the rotation? Just keep sending him out there in the hopes that he will justify the price tag? 

We are now exactly one month into the season, and Anthopolous already has a major decision on his hands. 

Positives: 

  • Marcell Ozuna snapped his 0-for-20 start to the season against left-handed pitchers with a hit off Robbie Ray in the seventh. 
  • Sean Newcomb is back from his injury. Don’t ask about the results, but at least he’s here. 
  • You never have to think about that game again. It’s over and done with. Tomorrow is a new day and Charlie Morton is on the mound. 

Negatives: 

  • I don’t need to tell you Drew Smyly has been terrible, but this section is called “negatives” so I’m just going to go ahead and say it. Drew Smyly has been terrible. You never want to get too far in the weeds with takes this early, but the early returns on Smyly are about as discouraging as possible. 
  • Every now and then in a baseball season you’re just going to get thumped. It’s as much of a fact of the sport as peanuts and cracker jacks or Angel Hernandez having a terrible strike zone. But the Braves lost games by scores of 14-8, 13-4, 7-0 (in an abbreviated game) and 13-5. What that says is that once things go a little bit off the rails, they go completely off the cliff. It is one of the realities of the situation with an underperforming starting rotation and a lack of bullpen depth, but there really isn’t much in the way of damage control. The offense is capable of making comebacks if the game is still in reach, but someone has to be there to keep it in reach.
  • Dansby Swanson wracked up three more strikeouts tonight, bringing his April tally to..wait for it..32. And all of that comes in just 105 plate appearances, giving him a strikeout rate of 30.4%. His wRC+ for the season now sits at a cool 70. And by cool, I mean deeply frustrating and enough to make you look at the loaded free agency shortstop class this winter. Corey Seager and Ozzie Albies turning double plays anybody? 
  • On a night where the contest was never really in doubt in the late innings, Brian SNitker opted against letting Pablo Sandoval pitch. We were all robbed of what could have been a truly beautiful moment. #LetPabloPitch, Brian. 
  • The Braves are now 0-1 all time in Dunedin, Florida, their worst winning percentage in any ballpark they’ve ever played in. They will have to face their demons the next two days.. 
  • Atlanta pitchers issued seven walks tonight, bringing the season total to 98 in 222 ⅔ innings. In other words, that’s just a shade under four walks per nine innings. Needless to say, that’s one of the big areas of concern after a month. 
  • Speaking of the end of the month, now is a good time to take some stock in where this team is. They’re 12-14 right now. The rest of the division is treading water right now, but I don’t think anybody would have really taken a 12-14 April if you offered it before the season started.The offense is coming around a little bit, but it definitely isn’t where you want it to be. The starting pitching outside of Ian Anderson and Charlie Morton has been a grease fire, and grease fire would be a generous term for the bullpen. If you were to grade the first month it would probably what, C-? Maybe a C if you give some grace because of the injuries? Here’s hoping May is better. 

Former Brave Of The Day: 

John Gant allowed just one run and three hits in five innings for the Cardinals tonight in their 7-3 win over the Pirates at PNC Park. 

Quote Of The Game: 

“It’s expensive agency, not free agency.”
— Wade Phillips 

Tomorrow’s Goal:

Be in the game in the late innings. The Braves have been down 6-1 in and 7-0 in the fifth inning the last two nights. Just give yourself an opportunity to win late and see what happens.

36 thoughts on “Blue Jays Thump Braves 13-5”

  1. The Braves need to get a new pitching coach. Kranitz has done nothing but make sure that the pitchers all regress. That’s why the Phillies dumped him.

    Somehow I don’t think Liberty Media will pony up the $$ for Corey Seager. They wouldn’t even pay for a halfway decent bullpen.

  2. I have said and maintain that Smyly needs to be long relief. That won’t happen until either Soroka comes back or one of Wright or Wilson make good. If we could have a rotation of Soroka, Fried, Morton, Anderson, and Ynoa then we can really start the season. But, certainly, demoting Smyly to 5th starter would be a good start when Fried comes back. A rotation of Fried, Morton, Anderson, Ynoa, Smyly (or bullpen game) would be not so bad.

    I also think Dansby has done some of his best work hitting 8th. Moving him down and moving Riley up might shake up the lineup to score even a bit more. I also have hope for Dansby. Last night the hit that got turned into a double play was, in my opinion, the critical turning point in the game. That was a very hard hit ball that should have been a run scoring hit and given the Braves a 1-0 lead. Now that may not have changed anything but I lost hope with that bit of BABIP bad luck. He looks really bad on his K’s but, when he connects, he hits the ball solidly. I cannot explain why he seems to have lost his batting eye – contact lenses needed maybe?

    Can’t wait to see who goes when Fried and Martin return. Jones and Biddle? Santana and Biddle?

    I think we’re going to have to expect a max of three well-pitched games out of every five until both Fried and Soroka return. That makes us exactly what Chief says we are – a .500 team.

  3. This team has no chance unless LM authorizes AA to spend money on the bullpen via trade (taking on salary). Jones, Biddle, Santana, Dayton can all go. Luke Jackson isn’t much better and I have no idea why they gave him 2M .

  4. Tommy Milone’s finally earning his Braves salary!

  5. It’s OUR turn to blast Milone. I was prepared to be really upset if we didn’t lay waste to Milone.

  6. One unnoticed aspect of our pitching woes is the wearing out of our centerfielders hamstrings.

  7. That was an insane play by Riley. Ground ball to third, he bobbles twice and still got the runner at first with a throw on the run. Wow.

  8. I know it’s early, but honestly Freddie isn’t doing a whole lot in his contract year.

  9. This roster construction is just top notch. How many more below replacement level relief pitchers can we trot out there? Love the two man bench as well

  10. Heh, I hate to say it, but the braves kinda stink.

    Missed a golden opportunity last year :/

  11. The freaking out over the two-man bench strikes me as a little asinine in a game where you’re playing with the DH. Luke Jackson showing up at this point in this game, though…yeah, we’re not winning this game.

  12. The biggest play in this game will be walking RAJ to pitch to the reigning mvp who grounds into a double play. At some point it isn’t going to be early anymore and we just aren’t any good this year

  13. Seven years since they started a rebuild built completely around pitching prospects and THIS is the pitching staff they have.

  14. Braves havent won a game that was tied going into the 7th. No extra inning wins either.
    Combo of crap bullpen and dormant offense.
    It looks like that kinda night again.

    And if Freeman doesn’t get it together, I am not going to be all that unhappy to see him go. Kinda like what happened with Andruw Jones last year with the braves.

  15. Would’ve been nice to have Sandoval batting in the 10th, but they got Snitkered with an unneccesary pinch run from Adrianza.

    Braves haven’t had a single hit all season in extra innings, that is friggin’ amazing and terrible.

    Here comes the loss in the bottom of the 10th once again….

    Oh and its Nate Jones, they really are throwing in the towel.

  16. Chip:
    “You know it’s kinda of amazing that the Braves haven’t won in extra innings when you consider their batting average is… oh, wait no that the average for the opponents. Never mind.”

    Glavine: “I’m gonna guess it’s pretty good then.”

    Good grief.

  17. It doesn’t help that we always give Smith a clean inning in the ninth of a game that’s obviously going extras, and then give the 10th with the man on second already to some schmuck.

  18. @23
    Pretty sure one of those extra innings losses was with will smith throwing 0-2 meatballs.

    The offense is the bigger problem. 4 losses without having even scored one of those gifted runners.

    We are getting a walk off walk with the bases loaded, arent we?
    Edit: not quite, but N. Jones still sucks no matter what Glavine says.

  19. Walking Biggio even with a 3-1 count was one of the most stupid moves I’ve ever seen.

  20. Hahahahaha Glavine starts defending Nate Jones’ season and is interrupted mid sentence by a walk off hit. Amazing.

  21. @24 I agree and disagree. However it’s done, 5 runs should be enough to win a game. And we’ve lost two in a row where we’ve scored 5 runs.

    Absolutely one of the most disappointing games since 2017.

    Santana and Jones are the two new Grybo kings. Which brings me to an interesting question. Is giving up a run in an extra inning with a runner beginning on second considered to be a Grybo? My opinion is “yes” since it doesn’t count against the ERA.

  22. We are going to be 8 games below .500 in July saying it’s a long season and it’s still early

  23. @28
    I meant the offense being the problem in extra innings and late game situations in particular. No clutch at all (if this was somehow measurable).
    Overall, they are scoring about a run per game less than last year.

    That doesn’t seem like much, but how many one run games have we lost already this year. Quite a few I bet.

    Only silver lining for me is that this bad start to the season isn’t hurting that much after getting my heart broken last year.

  24. @28

    That specific non-complishment would be called a “Nate” if he didn’t possess such an ordinary name.

  25. My thoughts continue to swirl around Freddie. Seems a while ago we could laugh and enjoy he and Rizzo fooling around at Truist when the game was won.

    Now he even seems to bear a grey pallor, any vestige of a real smile gone.

    And here’s the worst part , I tell myself. The Jays walking of Acuna to load the bases was not only, obviously, deliberate it was a taunt – you can’t do this Freddie. And he quickly showed he couldn’t , first pitch. They had watched his at bats and saw something they were prepared to gamble on. And won.

    I feel bad, as a mere Brit, to say this but were it to be announced this coming week that he and the Braves had agreed a long term big bucks extension my immediate reaction would be negative.

    Yours?

  26. Come on, Freddie will be fine. It’s been a few games. I would be absolutely HAPPY to see him re-signed today at the right rate. At the end of the season, he will have a 5+ WAR. same as next and the following three or so.

Leave a Reply

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