Anderson Flirts With No-No In 5-1 Win Over Brewers

It’s not terribly exciting, but this is how it’s supposed to look. 

The Braves caught the Milwaukee Brewers at the exact right time. Not only did they get a lucky draw missing both Corbin Burnes and Brandon Woodruff, Christian Yelich is on the IL and the Brewers were 3-8 in their last 11 before this series. 

Sometimes the schedule gives you a bad break, such as catching the Toronto Blue Jays while their entire lineup was hotter than the surface of the sun…twice. And sometimes the schedule serves up some wins on a plate, and you have to take advantage. 

Of course all of us would prefer to see the Braves actually do this against the top teams in the National League, but that’s not the situation right now. All you can do is beat who’s on the schedule, and the schedule right now is a battered Brewers ballclub. And other than the bottom of the seventh—we’ll get there—that’s exactly what it was supposed to be. An uneventful win. 

One more opportunity tomorrow, and then it’s time to get serious with the Mets in town. 

Positives: 

  • For the 250th time in his career, Freddie Freeman trotted around the bases after hitting a dinger. Not that you really need it, but nice round numbers like #250 serve as a good reminder that Freddie Freeman is one of the greatest Atlanta Braves of this generation. He is to kids today what Hank was in the 70s, Dale was in the 80s and Chipper was in the 90s. Milestones like that just put it further into that perspective. 
  • Marcell Ozuna? Back. Ozzie Albies? Back. Put those two bats together with a (soon to be) healthy Ronald Acuña Jr. and a surging Austin Riley? That’s a lineup right there, folks. And more specifically, it’s a lineup opposing pitchers really won’t want to deal with.
  • Of course the circumstances behind it were terrible with Travis d’Arnaud’s injury, but can we talk about William Conteras? That’s a dude. He just has that easy power out to right center field that makes it so hard for opposing pitchers to piece together a game plan against. He’s also oblivious to the fact that catching in the majors is supposed to be hard, stealing strikes and calling pitches like a 10-year veteran. He’s Crash Davis with a better bat, except he hasn’t told a pitcher to throw one at the mascot. Yet. Bernie Brewer might want to keep his head on a swivel tomorrow. 
  • Speaking of the pitching, Ian Anderson took a no-hitter into the seventh inning on a night where he was very clearly off. Obviously the walks dampened the outing a bit, but it’s so nice to have a pitcher capable of grinding out his bad outings. 
  • Chris Martin: The calming presence in the bullpen we all need. 
  • The NL East went 0-4 today, pulling the Braves—almost unbelievably—within two games of first place. Seriously, two games. How is that even possible?

Negatives: 

  • Alright, who else had a doomsday scenario in mind during the seventh? How many times can you get away with two barrels in an inning only allowing one run, especially when there was a bloop single and a walk sprinkled in? In fact Milwaukee only had two barrels all day, and both of them were in the seventh. That inning could’ve gone very differently, and in the bigger picture it’s just a reminder that no lead is really safe with the current bullpen. Even down 4-0 without a hit all night, the Brewers came within about 10 feet of tying the game on Lorenzo Cain’s deep flyout. 
  • I’m a big believer in viewing things fairly, and more specifically that if you apply one set of rules to one player it’s only fair to apply them to another. In 2019 when everyone was yelling and screaming about how Ender Inciarte was untenable as a big league player—and the Braves themselves decided that was true by calling up Adam Duvall and starting Matt Joyce in the playoffs—Inciarte had a wRC+ of 93. 

Dansby Swanson currently has a 77 wRC+. He’s 1-for-19 in the last five games and had four swings and misses on the 12 pitches he saw tonight. He can’t even fall back on his defense right now; he only has one defensive run saved in almost 40 games after finishing the 60-game 2020 season with nine. Yes, his BABIP is low. Yes, his exit velocity is about on par with his career numbers right now. But is Swanson a tenable big league player right now? Can you honestly say it’s not at least worth giving Ehire Adrianza a look at shortstop once Acuña re-claims his spot in right field? It’s something to at least consider at this point.

  • The Braves left seven runners on base in the first four innings, and five of them were in scoring position. That game had no business being as stressful as it was. 

Former Brave Of The Day: 

Mike Minor cooled off one of the hottest offenses in baseball, allowing just two hits in seven innings for the Royals in their 5-1 win over the White Sox in Chicago. 

Quote Of The Game: 

It’s the right guys at the right time.” 

— Chip Caray, numerous occasions 

Tomorrow’s Goal: 

Even before this series started, it looked like a good opportunity for a sweep given the circumstances. You have Huascar Ynoa on the mound with a chance to grab it tomorrow. Go for the kill.

60 thoughts on “Anderson Flirts With No-No In 5-1 Win Over Brewers”

  1. Excellent recap. Alan, your recaps are better than many folks that are actually paid to write in the media.

    Love this: “He is to kids today what Hank was in the 70s, Dale was in the 80s and Chipper was in the 90s. Milestones like that just put it further into that perspective.”

    Dansby needs a couple of games off – – take some pressure off himself a bit. Of course, it’d double the pressure when your team really needs you to play well & your scuffling. At SS, no less.

    But despite it all – – the pitching & hitting woes – – Braves sit 2 GB right now.

    On a separate note: how ’bout those ATL Hawks!

  2. Thanks Alan. RE: Dansby. I don’t know if sample DRS data is really that reliable. But I was actually wondering today if Dansby is a top third, top half, or top two thirds defensive shortstop? I still think he’s still top half, maybe top third.

    Nick, yeah, it’s because of Quick Pitch and considering dropping YouTube TV that I’m asking about a streaming highlight show. Quick Pitch, for multiple months of the year, is literally the only thing I watch on “cable” (YouTube TV). But I think I’ll just stick with YouTube TV and Quick Pitch.

    And I agree that ESPN might as well be the NFL Network at this point.

  3. Thanks, Alan. Ozzie’s bat really is clicking. His two doubles missed going out by just a foot or two each, and his one out on the night was a home run that Bradley brought back from over the wall. But I’m afraid you may be right about Dansby. His is the one bat that doesn’t seem to be coming around.

    I’m bringing this comment below from the last thread (it’s more of a question for JonathanF than a comment):

    With the Dodgers’ acquiring Pujols, the career WAR of their roster just jumped almost 100 points. Caused me to wonder where this placed them historically. Kershaw and Price combined are about 108, and Betts chips in another 47.
    But I think overall the roster is too young to rank all that high historically. Bellinger, Seager, and Buehler are great but haven’t been around long enough to accumulate big career WAR.

    They do have four MVPs and 3 Cy Young winners on the roster. I wonder if that’s ever been done?

  4. I’m not happy that individual players on the Dodgers are injured, but I’m not unhappy that they’ve been considerably slowed by injuries. They’re now without Seager, May, Bellinger, Pollock, and others. I suppose money can’t buy… everything.

  5. Re worst pitched games…

    Ground Control to Major Tom.. call in to Control

    Major Tom…What Control?

  6. I was laughed out of the room on Twitter when I said a good future comp for Albies is Francisco Lindor. Well well well.

  7. AAR from previous thread:

    I enjoyed Darkhorse very much, especially the psych stuff. I listened to another one of Rundle’s recordings that was a bit strident–and, generally speaking, I’m a big fan of dissonance–so that put me off a little. I’ll take a look at this latest collaboration. Thanks for the tip.

  8. Sunday morning post game thoughts.

    Inarguably, Contreras is now a Made Man for us. His bat needed just one month to show that. His brother was apparently not just being nice when he said our guy was the better hitter. The arm is fine, the frequency of passed balls etc which is not particularly good is not bad and becomes a relative irrelevance. The smile lights my evenings.

    Ozzie nearly had three home runs – damn. What a transformation. Question, how many were from the right side, I dunno.
    Dansby…bat and defense warped, sad, surely coop can’t be right. Suspect it might be something to do with that bright young thing from the US women’s soccer team which has been ongoing for ever. Set a date, Dans.
    Among the plethora of the discounted and overlooked that we didn’t sign what a great pair we did pick up in Herredia and our current lead off guy. The catch last night spoke volumes.
    Please ignore Riley’s 4K’s last night. An aberrant departure from an impressive recovery.

  9. @3

    The ’96 Red Sox had four MVPs and three Cy Young awards, though all of the Cy Youngs and one of the MVPs were won by the same guy. They’re the last team to have four former MVPs on the roster at once: Roger Clemens, Mo Vaughn, Jose Canseco, Kevin Mitchell.

    They also weren’t that good, going 85-77 and finishing third in the AL East (7 games back of the Yankees) and tied for third in the AL wild card race (3 back of the Orioles). Obviously, Canseco and Mitchell were kind of washed up at that point.

  10. Looking at it closer, Canseco wasn’t that washed up. He played only 96 games, but OPSed .989 when he did play.

  11. Was that the year the fly ball bounced off of Canseco’s head and went over the fence?

  12. Let me kick you a scenario. It’s June 1st. Orlando Arcia has had about 130 ABs in AAA, and his OPS is still north of 1.000. Dansbo is playing some good defense, but his OPS is still .640 in a little over 200 PAs.

    What do you do? For his career, Arcia has a .658 OPS. He does not play elite defense. But he’s crushing it in AAA and Dansby is, well, not in Atlanta.

  13. I dont think management will do it, since loyalty seems to be a big deal in tge clubhouse, but if they do start Arcia over Swanson, I imagine they will wait until june 11th-ish to gain another year of control over Arcia.

    If my recollection is right, Arcia was usually slightly better than Dansby at defense, so that should be a wash.

    I think they should do it if Swanson continues the way he has.

  14. The Dodgers have three different pitchers who’ve won the cy young (Kershaw, Price, and Bauer) and four different players who’ve been MVP (Pujols, Betts, Bellinger, and Kershaw). Clayton pulls double duty of course but I still doubt any team has had that combination.

  15. @Rob

    For his career, Arcia has been a well above average defensive SS. Where are you seeing he’s not?

  16. Where the hell has Ynoa been last couple years with this velocity and command on that fastball?

  17. @24 Agreed

    Will freddy, dansby and adrianza have been shaky out there.
    Wish the offense would wake up.

  18. Rough day in the field today.
    Can’t believe they scored that ball to Ozzie a hit.

  19. @3: I hope you’re happy, because this took me much longer than I thought it would.

    If you count people who had not yet earned their Cy Youngs/MVPs, the record is 7:
    Yankees 1960 (Berra,Ford,Howard,Mantle,Maris,Shantz,Turley)
    Yankees 1955 and 1956 (Berra,Ford,Howard,Konstanty,Mantle,Rizzuto,Turley)

    If you count only people who had already earned them, or earned them that year, LA will set the record when Pujols joins them, with 6. Those with 5:

    LA 2021 (Bauer, Bellinger, Betts, Kershaw, Price)
    Reds 1977, 1978 (Bench, Foster, Morgan, Rose, Seaver)
    Yankees 1960 (Berra, Mantle, Maris, Schantz, Turley)
    Yankees 1961-1962 (Berra, Ford, Mantle, Maris, Turley)
    Yankees 1963 (Berra, Ford, Mantle, Howard, Maris)
    Yankees 1978 (Guidry, Hunter, Jackson, Lyle, Munson)
    Braves 2001 (Caminiti, Glavine, Jones, Maddux, Glavine)
    Phillies 1983 (Carlton, Denny, Morgan, Rose, Schmidt)

  20. This is not Ynoa’s fault. The Braves look like they’re hung over on defense today.

  21. Now dansby couldve got one, then inciarte drops the HR ball. One of those days.
    Not like the offense is gonna do anything today.
    At least this will help keep Ynoa’s arbitration costs down.

  22. I am back in the position of thinking that Dansby needs to move down to 8th in the order, especially when Heredia is playing. I’ll bet that he breaks out hitting 8th instead of 5th.

    That being said, the best scenario for Arcia is a phantom injury and 10-placement on the IL for Dansby where he gets to go to AAA on a rehab assignment. That’s a win-win for Arcia getting an opportunity and Dansby getting some downtime and practice swings at Gwinnett. Not sure who would get DFA’d, though since Arcia would need a 40-man spot.

    P.S. Ender makes that catch three years ago. His leap could use an extra inch or two.

  23. Chip: It has been done again. If you took away all of Derek Jeter’s homers he’d have 3000 hits. Also: Tony Gwynn. Very close: Ichiro.

  24. And Freddie’s grand slam cements Biddle’s total failure. If we lose by a run, the loss should go to Biddle not Ynoa.

    Without Biddle’s failure and if Ender makes that catch, we’d be running away with this.

  25. This is … stunning. And Freddie hit that slam off a LHP, no less — maybe that’s the one that REALLY gets him back to normal.

  26. Imagine if they’d used literally anyone but Biddle, who can’t find the strike zone with a compass, a map and a GPS.

  27. I hope we get the better part of the bullpen now that we’re only one run down.

  28. Of course, we don’t get the better part of the bullpen. Tomlin being misused again. Snit is insistent upon giving this game away.

  29. Chip: that NBA analogy might work if the relief pitchers hadn’t been sitting on their asses all day.

  30. Roger, we don’t have the horses for this frequency of close games. Blame Liberty, not Snit.

  31. @44 If he didn’t want to pitch Martin, he could have at least tried Webb. And he could have used Newk instead of Biddle. Although Newk took a HBP, a walk, and two Grybo’s to get it right. If he had started from a clean inning it still might have been a 0-run inning.

  32. Good golly, would Luke Jackson not have been better than either Biddle or Tomlin? Luke in the 6th, Newk in the 7th. Either of them could have pitched a second inning.

  33. @49 pretty sure he will be DFA when Arcia is called up. He hit another HR today.
    Tomlin should be DFA when Greene is ready, but they will be cowards and send Webb down.

  34. Contreras wasn’t able to touch a slider all day. He has got to fix that.
    Oh well, thank liberty media, AA and the bullpen for that loss.

  35. A totally embarrassing loss. This will occur all year with this AA bullpen at best.
    These are not major league pitchers.
    A cruel joke they are.

  36. @57 10-0 if it meant nine runs get scored on a different day. Elsewise it makes no damn difference.

    For what it’s worth, I think Snit sent Ronald up there to take a walk figuring they wouldn’t pitch to him with an open base. I think Williams figured that out mid-AB and started throwing him strikes. He got a hitter’s pitch either second or third pitch and didn’t even flinch. That’s when they stopped pitching around him.

  37. BTW, Arcia hit his walk-off HR today against our old friend, Shane Carle. Gwinnett is stocked with AAAA players and their having a great run with them. Arcia is hitting great but others that we’re more familiar with are doing the same – Camargo, Demeritte, Almonte.

    How do you tell the difference between a AAAA player and a major leaguer who’s slumming?

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