Braves 4, Dodgers 2

Win, win, win. Max Fried threw 6+ innings of 1 run ball, and the Braves took the series from the Dodgers 2 games to 1.

The Braves scored single runs in 4 different innings without the benefit of a homer. The scoring started in the bottom of the 2nd, when Abraham Almonte doubled home Dansby Swanson. In the 3rd, Freddie Freeman scored on an Ozzie Albies double, and Almonte scored in the 6th on an Ender Inciarte single. An Inciarte sacrifice fly in the 8th scored Guillermo Heredia with an insurance run. Ehire Adrianza added 2 hits for the Braves.

The Braves could solve a lot of their bullpen problems by using it less, and at 87 pitches, Fried was in position to go 7 innings before allowing back to back singles to start that inning. A.J. Minter came in and retired the Dodgers on 3 consecutive pop ups to battle out of the jam, and Chris Martin and Will Smith handled the 8th and 9th, just like we dreamed.

Fried allowed 6 hits, and struck out 4. The Braves issued 0 walks on the day, and Albert Pujols‘s solo homer off Smith was the lone hit allowed by the bullpen. Over the last 2 games, the bullpen allowed only 2 hits in 7 innings, which shows what is possible when you don’t use Jacob Webb, Sean Newcomb, Jesse Biddle, Grant Dayton, Josh Tomlin, Nate Jones, Edgar Santana, Jay Flaa, or Carl Edwards Jr.

The Braves now stand at 28 – 29. If this were 2020, the season would be 3 games away from being complete. It is not 2020, however, and the season is in fact 105 games away from being complete. The next 60 game season within a season is a chance for everyone to make 2021 look a lot more like expected. (Everyone that is, except for Travis d’Arnaud, Marcell Ozuna, and Cristian Pache, but that’s AA’s problem.)

The Braves threaten .500 again at Philadelphia Tuesday, Drew Smyly vs. Aaron Nola.

Author: Rusty S.

Rusty S. is a Braves Journal reader since 2005 and an occasional innings-eater. It was my understanding that there would be no expectations.

22 thoughts on “Braves 4, Dodgers 2”

  1. So of that long list of flotsam in the bullpen, only three are left – Santana, Newcomb, Tomlin. All three of these guys have had good moments, but are not back end reliable relievers. We have now resolved our righty reliever problem and have 3+3 good back end options in Minter, Matzek, and Smith and Greene, Martin, and Jackson. Honestly, I think that, with our starting five of Fried, Anderson, Morton, Davidson, and Smyly, our pitching staff is now in decent shape. Sure It’d be nice to have a better starter than Smyly and a better reliever than one of the three above, but you can’t have everything.

    We really need a big OF bat to replace Ozuna. I’d be OK with a platoon of Ender and Heredia in CF, if we had the real deal in LF. As there are options that should be available (including up to Trevor Story if anyone read today that he has no intention of re-signing with the Rockies), AA should pursue a trade now and not wait for the deadline.

  2. @1 – Agreed, Greene should help a lot if he’s ready, and if Matzek gets dialed back in and Luke doesn’t turn into a pumpkin, the next 105 games should be better bullpen wise.

    Heredia is a reasonable facsimile of Markakis (who Pache was to replace) plus he allows Acuna to stay in RF. Neither d’Arnaud nor Ozuna were likely to match 2020; hopefully Contreras can be close to what could reasonably have been expected from d’Arnaud. Replacing what we expected from Ozuna is the key, as you say.

    My point about the bullpen is that you’re never going to have 14 good pitchers, so why carry them? I can’t believe that the game isn’t eventually going to tilt back to starters eating more innings. Times through the order regardless, you want to use those guys listed there?

    I will say I still think there is a chance Newcomb could be useful, though.

  3. Useful for what is the question. An inning or two when the Braves are winning or losing by ten runs, would be my guess.

  4. I wonder how many more 0-fers for Acuna before the pessimists tell us that, well, Acuna’s really just not that good.

  5. Way under. One more 0-fer brings them out. On certain other websites, they’re probably already complaining about his performance yesterday.

    I mean sure, RAJ’s got talent, but Almonte has come through in the clutch the last couple of games. He’s hungry.

  6. Yeah, Ronald hasn’t been any good since he began giving interviews in English. Coincidence?

    Maybe once you speak Keith Lockhart’s language, you start hitting like him.

  7. So maybe d’Arnaud is back within the next two months. Contreras has definitely not performed well enough to Wally Pipp d’Arnaud, but I can’t say I’m that excited about the early season d’Arnaud returning. Somewhere between last year and this year where he’s a league average bat who calls a good game is all I’m hoping for from him.

  8. @11 I think Contreras’ performance Sunday gives us hope that he can improve defensively. If Contreras becomes a passable defender then d’Arnaud can be the back-up when he returns. Contreras is the future anyway (at least until Langeliers comes along or one of them is traded).

    If the DH comes back next year, having multiple good hitting catchers is not such a bad thing.

  9. Passan’s article was well written. With a little polishing, he could contribute to Braves Journal. Every team needs a last man off the bench.

  10. @13 Thanks for sharing, Ryan. Best article I have seen so far and makes me more hopeful that not only we won’t see Ozuna in a Braves jersey ever again but also that the Braves won’t be stuck with the contract, at least not with the majority of it.

  11. @13 Ok, that article was comforting for all parties (well, I guess not Ozuna), but there is a scenario in this whole situation that would absolutely suck. Ozuna’s wife, realizing she’s cost her soon-to-be-ex-husband tens of millions of dollars, starts dropping charges, changing her story, etc. etc. Therefore, MLB doesn’t put him on the restricted list, he never goes to jail, and Atlanta has no grounds to void his contract.

    All the wife has to do is change her story if there’s any financial incentive for her to do so, right? Unless there’s an iron clad prenup, even the money Ozuna would make before their divorce is finalized is partly hers, right? Alimony and child support are based on parental income, right? Admittedly, I don’t know a ton about this, but if she stands to lose millions of dollars if he gets banished from baseball, what’s stopping her from not nailing him to the wall? And then Atlanta will just have to release him since there’s no way they’re going to let Ozuna come back, even in that scenario. Nor should they. He should never play baseball again regardless of what his wife does.

  12. A big point of the story was that the cops are the witnesses bringing the actual charges, not the wife.
    (It should go without saying, but… don’t commit a felony in front of the police.)

    And due to a particular Georgia law, these charges cannot be dropped at the wife’s request.

  13. Roger, The Yankees hope the same thing everytime Sanchez has a rare good game. Guess what they both suck defensively. He requires a lot of work. Most have no desire to put in the time. Simmons on the 76ers stinks shooting free throws. How many you think he attempts in the off season?
    Correct, none. You play golf? What do most practice? Correct again, what they are best at. We will see how much he cares about his profession.

  14. Doesn’t take that long for Atlanta to get back to normal. Do they have any pitchers who can field since Maddox?

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