Braves beat Dodgers 6-4! No, for real, they won!

You are well within your rights not to believe. If I’m being completely honest, I don’t believe either. 

First getting back to 4-4 was supposed to be the catalyst for this team, then it was dominating the Cubs for three days, then it was the miracle win over the Phillies in May, then it was the 20-1 win over the Pirates and so on. 

This team has had way too many “that’s the win that gets them going” wins for you to believe every important win is going to be that one.

But if nothing else, a night like this reminds you there is something in the tank. This lineup can still bang out hits (without home runs even) against one of the best pitchers in the sport, and the bullpen is capable of shutting down a top tier offense for a night. And while I still wouldn’t call the Braves could, I would say they’re at least capable of being good. 

That’s enough for tonight. Now it’s incumbent on them to actually make this win “the one that gets them going”

Positives:

  • The bullpen. It has to start and end there. AJ Minter, Luke Jackson, Tyler Matzek, Chris Martin and Will Smith kept the Dodgers at bay over the final four innings in a close game. And the biggest key to all of it? Only one walk to 16 batters faced. That was a refreshing change of pace the night after the Dodgers won the game in one inning with eight runs on just three hits. That was the closest thing we’ve seen to the 2020 bullpen all season. 
  • If the bullpen has been one issue for this team, the lack of non-home run production on offense has been the other. But they strung together five runs without one against Clayton Kershaw in the third inning, and did so with some impressive at-bats.Ronald Acuña Jr. battling from a 1-2 count to work a walk and Ozzie Albies driving a 1-2 slider into the left field corner really stood out. Both of those hitters have had big strikeout issues in their past, and in any season before this one probably would’ve succumbed to Kershaw there. But tonight they found a way to keep their at-bats alive, and turned the game around in the process.
  • Abraham Almonte pinch-hit home run? Anyone have that on their bingo card? No? Alright, just checking. 
  • Big shoutout to Charlie Morton for keeping the game on the beam in the first inning. After a two-strike hit-by-pitch to Mookie Betts, an error, a fielder’s choice and another error, there was a feeling of “here we go again” just four batters in. But he settled down and kept the score 1-0 after a half inning. He did give some runs back later, but that was huge.
  • After a slow start partly hampered by injuries, the 40/40 chase is on for Acuña. His total stands at 17/11 after two swipes tonight.
  • Can we just cut the baseball analysis for a second and let something out? That was fun! Winning is fun! Beating the Dodgers is fun! A sold-out ballpark on a Saturday night with a national broadcast made it feel like a playoff game! I can’t speak for anyone else, but that was the most fun I’ve had watching a game all season. Maybe it starts something big, maybe it’s just a blip on the radar of a lost season. But in a one-night vacuum, that was a blast. 

Negatives: 

  • I know the college baseball and softball tournaments are going on right now, but you’re still allowed to play defense like professional players. Four errors in a game against anyone is asking for a disaster; against the Dodgers it feels like a miracle the Braves got away with it. The errant pick-off throw was an especially frustrating way to gift away an early run.
  • Charlie Morton battled tonight, but he still has one inning that keeps him from going deep in games. Tonight it was the fourth inning, where he allowed four consecutive hits to lead it off right after his offense gave him five runs. In fairness to him, the double play he induced from Zach McKinstry was the biggest pitch of the game. But he still seems to find one landmine to step in every five days seemingly no matter what.
  • It could have been a much less stressful game; the Braves had a baserunner in every inning except the second and sixth but only scored in two of those frames. On another night, the missed opportunities might’ve mattered.
  • This sounds weird for a negative, but are games like this a little but frustrating to anyone else? It’s all there. It’s right there. Get production from the lineup, get at least a decent start, use your high leverage relievers in the appropriate spots, and you can win games like this. If this team could find just a little bit of consistency… 

Former Brave of The Day: 

All Kevin Gausman does is churn out incredible starts these days. His latest masterpiece was seven innings of two-hit baseball against the Chicago Cubs for his seventh win of the season. His ERA is 1.27, and he’s probably the NL Cy Young favorite if not for Jacob deGrom. 

Quote Of The Game: 

“You cut them. You beat them. You see, they’re not invincible, they’re a baseball team.”

— Duke, paraphrased from Rocky IV 

48 thoughts on “Braves beat Dodgers 6-4! No, for real, they won!”

  1. It won’t happen, of course, but this season should be filed away under the myth of “the game that got them going.” Whenever anyone writes of a season in retrospect, they have free rein to select the event that “got them going.” Did it actually? Completely impossible to tell, since you can’t redo the season without “the thing that got them going” and see them not go.

    But when you try and do it prospectively the fact is that you call ten turning points for every actual turning point, which ought to tell you that turning points are made-up human rationalizations. It never seems to do so, though.

  2. Will Edwin Jackson’s record of having played for 14 teams ever be broken?

  3. Shane Greene time!

  4. I have a feeling Adrianza will be getting all the days off he wants pretty soon.

  5. This is a wide group of folks, and I’m in need of opinions.

    I own a portfolio of vacation rentals in Tampa Bay. It’s called Vacation Rentals of Tampa Bay (creative, I know). I’m building my direct booking site, and need a URL that will also work as my email domain. I wanted vrtb.com, but apparently four-letter URLs with a .com extension are gold, and that would cost $30-35K.

    If I really want VRTB.something, what should I do? VRTB.io? VRTB.travel? What is a domain extension that is maybe a little uncommon now but won’t be in a couple years to where I can actually get it and not pay an absurd amount of money? Any thoughts? rob@vrtb.travel is super easy to tell someone over the phone, and easy for someone to remember, but .travel is not at all popular, and I fear it may confuse people.

  6. Does it have to be vtrb? .org or .us could work, I guess. At least from an international view. And there are plenty Europeans looking for vacation rentals on the Gulf Coast.

  7. The alternative is something like vr-tb.com. It’s available, and will cost you all of $12/year.

  8. That’s a really good idea, Jonathan. I’m been told to stay away from hyphens, but to your point, if I get out of four letter URLs with a .com address, the world is my oyster. I appreciate you taking some time to think about it.

  9. @11 – Do you have anything in South Hillsborough, like around Ruskin? I’m down that way 2 or 3 times a year.

  10. Timo, I’m trying to stay away from .org, .net, and .us. Beggars can’t be choosers, however, so I may need to go .us. Thanks for taking the time to brainstorm.

  11. @16 I’m only near the Pinellas beaches right now. I don’t have anything in Ruskin, sorry.

  12. Hmm…MLB threatens suspensions to pitchers using foreign substances and know complainer of cheaters, Trevor Bauer, sees his spin rate drop 15% overnight. Coincidence?

  13. Contreras is catching in a standard crouch today, rather than the one knee. Already made a couple of nice stops.

  14. Terrible AB by Ender. That 3-2 pitch was nowhere near. The Dodgers, OTOH, seem never to chase.

  15. Fried just swung at the SAME PITCH 3-1 that Ender struck out on…. and then took ball 4 to bring RAJ to the plate. Wow wow wow.

    Acuna couldn’t convert, but so nice to see Bauer hand the Braves an opportunity on a silver platter!

  16. Fried has substantially outpitched Bauer through 4. Shame it’s only a 2-1 lead.

  17. @11 How about something like vrtbflorida. com? People going on vacation may search on “florida” a lot.

  18. @20 I was just about to comment on that. He’s done a much better job behind the plate today.

  19. Bunting with Inciarte and the pitcher’s spot on deck? Are they high?

    (Wow, shut my mouth.)

  20. Asking Contreras to bunt makes sense in a world in which there is a chance he could actually get it down. But according to Chip just now, that was his first bunt attempt in five years as a pro. Even before I learned that factoid, I assumed there was no chance he could sacrifice successfully.
    I was also going to comment that sacrificing in front of Ender makes no sense. But then he got the big rbi hit!!

  21. What a job by AJ Minter. That’s the Minter we’ve been wanting all along. Do we dare to dream that, with Shane Greene in tow, the bullpen will be an asset going forward?

    Contreras back to one knee for Minter. I guess Minter is less likely to throw it in the dirt???

  22. Chipism of the day: “The big number of the day for me with Fried is: Attack this Dodger offense.” Is that bigger or less than 8, Chip?

  23. David Price is being paid $16 million by the Dodgers to do what Luke Jackson is doing for less than $2 million. (That doesn’t even count the fact that the Red Sox are paying him $16 million as well.) It’s really, really easy to complain about penny-pinching Liberty Media and all of those complaints are well-taken. But it’s almost easier to waste money than not spend it at all.

  24. @34, I think he was referring back to Fried’s 0 walks and saying that was the big (most important, not largest) number for him.

    @2, I expect someone will play for 15 teams at some point in the next 20 years. With more and more relievers being used and being shuttled back and forth to AAA, I imagine it’ll be a hard-throwing LH reliever who mixes good and bad years because of control trouble and SSS so is dropped by teams fairly often but can always get opportunities with other teams because of the Ks. The problem is that you might go to the same team multiple times – the Braves had Kelly Johnson 3 times, and I think Rickey Henderson had four separate stints with Oakland. Don’t know who is close to 14 now, but I was always impressed with Kenny Lofton – 10 years with Cleveland and 1 or parts of 1 with 10 other teams. I wonder if anyone has played for all the teams in a division.

  25. Nate Jones becomes the latest to show how you get better from Rick Kranitz by leaving him.

  26. Congratulations to the Atlanta Braves.
    Great series win, especially after the first game.
    Smith is not a closer. One run in one inning AGAIN. He gets a save for that ineptitude? By major league (?) standards he does. Fortunately Atlanta scored a fourth run. Smith is good with a two run lead, one run nooooo.

  27. Domain is mostly irrelevant, IMO, so long as it’s not crazy. The key is doing good SEO so you’re found in Google searches.

  28. @42, are you sure? Looks to me like Maybin is only at 10 teams, unless you count Florida and Miami as two teams, or you count his two Detroit stints twice. He’s only 34, but since he batted .036 for the Mets and .103 for the Cubs AAA affiliate this year, he may not get any more chances. Too bad – I liked him when he was a Brave.

    If I did the BRef queries correctly, there have only been five players, none of whom are active, who played for all the teams in one of the current divisions when they were in their current divisions. Infielder Cesar Izturis played for all 5 NL Central teams, OF Steve Finley and P Matt Herges played for all 5 NL West teams (and Finley also played for Houston when it was in the original NL West), and our own Kelly Johnson and OF/INF Steve Pearce played for all 5 AL East teams.

    There were two others who sort of did this – Mark McLemore (Senior) played for all 5 current AL West teams, but he only played for California when it was in the original AL West and only played for Houston when it was in the NL West. 1962-71 OF Ted Savage played for all the current NL Central teams, but mostly before there were any divisions and for Milwaukee before it joined the NL.

    Several players have played for at least one team in each division.

  29. Trivia: Edwin Jackson and Octavio Dotel (MLB record and number 2) both played on the 2011 WS champion Cardinals.

    And they both also played for the Braves.

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