The Frustration Continues: Nationals 5, Barves 3

A few weeks ago I was gloating about how the Braves’ Wednesday record was much better than the other days of the week.  But then Drew Smyly started each of the last two Wednesdays.  No more gloating from me. This Wednesday brought another miserable loss to the hated gNats, this time 5-3.

Smyly is a problem, but it wasn’t just him.  This loss is on the bullpen.  After a dramatic two run double by Ozzie in the 7th to tie the game at 3, Minter and Martin each gave up single runs in the 8th and 9th, and the Braves did not get a baserunner in either inning.

After a 1-2-3 1st, Smyly gave up a run on 3 hits in the top of the 2nd, but Swanson hit a solo shot in the bottom half to tie it at 1 apiece. The Braves went on to get runners on 2nd and 3rd, but couldn’t plate another run.  Smyly loaded the bases in the top of the 3rd, but managed to escape unscathed.  In the 3rd, our guys had runners on 2nd and 3rd with one out once again but again came up empty.  We all knew that would come back to bite us, but I didn’t stick around to see the consequences.

We’re keeping our grandkids this week, and the third inning was already past their bedtime.  I agreed to put them to bed and read their bedtime stories. I can say that Ramona the Pest and The Magic Treehouse are a lot more enjoyable than watching this team.

I returned to the television in the middle of the 5th inning, right after Smyly had faced the top of the order for the third time.  As even the grandkids might have predicted, Turner doubled, Soto homered, and it was 3-1.

It remained a 3-1 game until the bottom of the 7th.  The Nationals stayed at 3 thanks to two things I thought I’d never type:  Luke Jackson got 5 up 5 down on just 9 pitches, and Edgar Santana pitched a 1-2-3 7th.  (In a way Smyly and Jackson combined for a quality start.)

In the bottom of the 7th, Almonte had a pinch hit double, and with 2 outs Freeman walked.  When Ozzie hit one to the gap in right center plating them both, I let myself hope.

I should have known better.  This is 2021.  As so often happens, we lost another game that was tied in the 8th.  The crazy thing is that to my eye both Minter and Martin looked sharp.  Minter gave up a solo shot on an 0-2 pitch to Gomes.  And Martin hit Robles with 2 outs in the 9th, who promptly stole second and scored on a Turner seeing eye grounder up the middle.

I keep thinking the breaks will even out and we will rediscover that late inning magic.  I’m a hopeful fan by nature, but this team is driving me crazy. 

  *   *   *

Right now, I’d much rather think about Braves history than the 2021 Braves.

You probably heard that Wednesday was Lou Gehrig Day throughout MLB.  There are few greater or more inspiring players in baseball history than the Iron Horse.  June 2 was the day Gehrig broke into the Yankees lineup in 1925; June 2 was also the day that he succumbed the illness that came to bear his name, in 1941.  As famous as he is, Gehrig will always be remembered in conjunction with the Babe Ruth. 

Speaking of the Bambino, I was shopping at Home Depot over the weekend.  The guy checking us out noticed my Braves cap, and asked, “you a Braves fan?” I said of course.  He said, “Let’s see how much you know about baseball history. Who is the only player in history to spend his career for one franchise but play at home in three cities?” Without hesitation, I replied “That would be old 41, Eddie Mathews—Boston, Milwaukee, and Atlanta Braves.”  “OK, you seem to know the Braves. What three Braves hit over 500 home runs?” I had to think about this one for a few seconds.  Mathews and Aaron, of course, and then I remembered Ruth.  He had tried to stump the wrong guy about Braves history.

Actually, I suspect most of y’all would have been able to answer those questions.  You probably know that the Sultan of Swat spent his last season with the Boston Braves.  You may not remember that the Babe’s final game was June 2, 1935. Ruth’s brief time with the Braves was not a happy experience. He didn’t hit well, he didn’t feel well, and he argued with the team owner, Judge Fuchs, constantly.  On May 25, he hit 3 home runs in a game (numbers 712, 713, and 714), but over the next week he went 0-13. Ruth wanted to be named manager, and when it became obvious that wasn’t going to happen, he announced his retirement on June 2.  Ruth remained bitter about his time with the Braves and team ownership.

The Braves were terrible in 1935, finishing 38-115.  Many of the Boston years were like that—no hope from the beginning.  I suffered through many such teams like that in the first 25 years of the Atlanta Braves.

What’s worse about this year is that they ought to be better.  It’s not unreasonable to expect them to compete for the division lead all the way to the end.  As someone (was it Game, Blauser?) noted in comments in the last day or two, it’s been a while since a Braves team underperformed.  The last three seasons we exceeded expectations, and the three before that no one expected anything good. This kind of season is harder to take.

It’s not dark yet, but it’s getting there.  Still just 4.5 out of first place, but things aren’t improving and the Dodgers are coming to town.  Before that, the Braves can salvage a split of this series with a win in Thursday’s noon game behind Tucker Davidson.

Author: tfloyd

Tfloyd was born on the site of Atlanta Fulton County Stadium. Before the stadium was built, that is; it was then the site of Piedmont Hospital. It took the Braves another 11 years to arrive on what is now Hank Aaron Drive, but I‘ve always liked to arrive at the ballpark early.

22 thoughts on “The Frustration Continues: Nationals 5, Barves 3”

  1. Does Drew Smyly burn down the Magic Treehouse halfway through the book?

    Is Ramona the Pest the mother of Yan Gomes?

    Keep the grandkids away from the TV, tfloyd… I wouldn’t want them to have my nightmares.

  2. When will The Braves Wake up I’ve been saying this all season long since the First week Now team. Writer’s ? Coaching staff General Manager of all people aren’t recognizing this problem until everyone is on the same page nothing will change. Brian Snitiker says he has seen this Happen many times. It starts with the General Manager and runs Down 🏃‍♂️hill from there. Just a leak in your house faucet, automobile 🚘 Radiator and other mechanical items in your auto. So untill the small problem is analyzed and repaired this problem instead of Whinning do something about the problem 🙄 . Has anyone considered a team meeting to iron out all the problems all at the same time what an interesting concept. . First look at the starting pitching its in consistent then relief Pitching the team doesn’t have pitcher’s that can pitch More than 6 Innings ..look at all the Division leaders. Plus The starting pitching in the last 5 years. The team gained Drew Smyly What did the General Manager see in him. I’m addition When a Great starting pitcher has a Bad game. Punching a Bench breaking his hand and then placed on the injured list for 6 weeks he should seek professional counseling. If you have an auto mechanical problem does Anyone drive Their car into a Brick wall . If the Wife and husband get into a small dispute dose the Husband or wife hit the other which does happen every day . That spousal abuse a phycologist is Contacted and the problem. Is taken care of . But the Manager nor the General Manager recognize the Problem until it grows out of Control. What did the Gemeral Manager, and hitting instructor and hitting coach do with ADAM Devoe .He was sent down to the minor league . Until he showed improvement. Look what happened!! Than the general Manager got rid of him then he comes up to bat on the Marlins and he punishes the Braves. The same can.be said of Craig Kimbral.He wanted a raise in contact no team wanted to give him. More money he sat out part of the 2018.or 2019 season.the Cubs came to the rescue . Why didn’t the Atlanta Braves do this after all. He was drafted by the Braves and went through the Minor leagues under the Braves system .Who of all people knows Craig Kimbral the best . When I called out the Organization the Braves did nothing Now the organization needs him 🙄 During this time of need. His contact is at the. End with the Chicago Cubs.. now do something you idiots . And opportunity is staring you in the face. Don’t do it at the end of the season and cry about. Your troubles taken advantage by trading for him using Pitchers and other players to strengthen your team Right Now Dummies!!! . If I was the Ownership I would demand using opportunities. next The Ozuna Situation 🤪 if ozuna is allowed to remain on the Braves give him a retooling instruction by tearing apart his hitting approach by Using Chipper Jones he corrected Ronald Acuna and others . Why did the Braves Hire Chipper Jones. Or Andrew Jones ? . Hire Tommy Glaven for the Piching coach fire the existing pitching coach . Perhaps dangle a some of money in front of Smolziies face or Leo Mazonne all problems are solved I have been saying. This for the past 7 years about your inconsistent pitching.
    Bill Edwards Editor of The Palm Coast Tribune in Boyton Beach FLORIDA ⛱.

  3. This is a 500 team at best. The pitching staff make it damn near impossible to pull off winning streaks. 84 wins would be a good season.

  4. @7 Without a doubt. His xFIP is a little better (mid-4’s), so if he could stop this insane home run rate, he’ll be a little better. But he just sucks right now. I’d say the Braves could give him three or four more starts, but then you would have to cut bait.

    Chief, since you’re on a roll, let’s get a new bet going.

  5. Apologies for the lack of tunes recently – let’s put it down to workload and general malaise

  6. @8–we both did!
    In further conversation, the checkout guy made it clear that he did not follow baseball currently. He said he didn’t know anything about the current generation of players, and he didn’t want to. They are all overpaid whiners in his opinion.
    I have no such excuse. I do not share his opinion of current players, but it’s true that my memory for the last couple of decades isn’t nearly as sharp as for the details of the 20th century. I could tell you from memory all members of the 500 HR club as of about 1980, and how many home runs most of them hit, but I couldn’t come close to naming them at this point.

  7. @11, same here. 1980 is about when my knowledge peaked too. Interesting why we learn what we do. I had a set of World Series cards printed sometime in the 1970s with one for each year, so I knew which teams had won and lost each Series until around 1980. Similarly, as a kid I played a board game that had cards of well-known paintings, so 40+ years later I recognize certain paintings instantly and assume everyone knows them, while I have no clue about other, probably equally famous, works by the same artists.

  8. @9. Nah, just ready that venmo, though.

    Something I found interesting.

    Multi Year Park Factors for:
    Turner Field: Batting 98 Pitching 99
    Truist Park Batting 110 Pitching 108
    Atlanta Fulton Co Stadium Batting 105 Pitching 104

    Clearly, Truist is one of the most hitter friendly parks in the NL. Balls to RF just explode out.

  9. Apropos of nothing… remember when Jarred Kelenic whined about the Mariners keeping him down in the minors?

    He hit .111 in 80 Plate Appearances. Exactly the same as Christian Pache.

  10. Since there is a possibility the Braves make a dumb decision regarding Ozuna, I’m packing my bugout bag JUUUUST in case I need to switch team allegiances on the fly. But who to pick among 29 other teams?

    First off, team must share my eastern time zone. Games already end too late for me, don’t want to make it worse. So we start with CLE, DET, CIN, NYY, PHI, MIA, BAL, PIT, WSH, TBR, BOS, TOR, NYM.

    Second rule, no frontrunning. So no teams who have recently won WS. Goodbye, Red Sox and Nationals.

    No penny pinchers. Team must have ownership who has shown they WANT to win and will spend accordingly. So long, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Miami, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, and Tampa Bay.

    After a decade-plus of Chip and Joe, I deserve a top-notch broadcast crew. Yer outta here, Detroit, Yankees, and Philly.

    OK, so I’m down to two options: New York Mets and Toronto Blue Jays.
    Hmmmm… Billy Joel or The Tragically Hip? Floppy pizza or poutine? Rudy Giuliani or Rob Ford?

    I’m going Blue Jays. 1992 was a long-ass time ago. Their unis and hat are pretty sweet. Vladdy Jr is dope.

    Just don’t make me actually do it, Braves.

  11. @15 Were it not for the eastern time zone requirement, I would tell you to go Giants all the way. They seem to turn all our trash into gold, and you know that team is going to spend spend spend as soon as they seem some Dodger blood in the water.

    @All Never thought I would find myself in agreement with Mr. Bill Edwards. I expect more from a modern organization that is making the most of its money. The problems we are becoming plagued with are the stuff we used to laugh at other teams for. How much of this stuff could have been addressed sooner? Was that the first temper Ynoa had put on display before deciding to break his hand in front of his teammates? Did no one else on the active roster know about Ozuna’s marital issues? Some things just don’t add up on the Alex Anthopolous Braves.

    As for Ozuna money, I feel that regardless of what happens to it, Liberty Media should pony up and help this team rid itself of memories of Ozuna. Otherwise, that stench will be circling the team for the next 3 years any time the team’s budget is brought up.

  12. @16. I don’t want to veer into the political… but I wanted to follow up on some comments made in another thread about Ozuna.

    Some here… seemed to want to ‘let this play out in the courts’. But I contend that the Braves org, through that police report have heard all that they need to hear regarding this matter.

    They should cut him now. Or if not now, meaning in the next hour, i.e. not literally now, but for sure not waiting until this goes to trial or whatever. It doesn’t serve any good purpose, the facts (if the police report is accurate) won’t change between then and now. Just because Ozuna can afford F. Lee Bailey, won’t mean that he wasn’t witnessed doing what he did. Due process under the law, and the right to play a child’s game for millions of dollars aren’t remotely the same thing.

    It might even jolt the team a bit. Although that’s not really the reason to do it. Right and wrong is.

    As far as the actual on the field play, it’s past time for some event to occur to shake up the team/roster/franchise. Kranitz should go. He’s non-cromulent. He’s expendable and hell, it could help. I don’t think there’s a chance that Snitker would be let go but he is what he is. A player’s manager who at worst is bad, at best is probably like most managers, a net neutral.

    The team is sleepwalking, lethargic, and apathetic.

    Freddie’s NDE via COVID and having even more kids seems to have had some kind of psychological effect on him. Jack Nicklaus once said that when Tiger started having children that his golf game would begin declining. He was right. This is not an anti-child rant, its just reality.

    If something doesn’t happen, whatever something is, the 2021 team is dead on arrival.

  13. @17 My best guess is that he is already gone from the team (informally) and they are just going through all the league channels (with the MLBPA as well) getting a temperature check on the likelihood they can attempt to void the contract. I imagine it’s one of those things where if you cut him now, you may have much less chance of retroactively voiding the deal versus giving it a week or two while all the lawyers talk.

    FWIW, I’m much MUCH more interested in voiding the contract than mere virtue signaling. What’s done is done, and I don’t care how someone’s feelings feel about domestic violence. He will never suit up as a Brave again, I’m sure of it. Nuff said for the feely hurties. This is business, and we want our damn money back! :)

  14. Love the recap tfloyd. Maybe I misunderstand what was said regarding the discussion with the checkout guy: but Eddie Matthews didn’t spend his career with one franchise. His last 2 yrs were with Detroit and Houston.

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