You expect me to believe this team is buying? I’m supposed to believe the team with Jesse Chavez pitching in extra innings and Abraham Almonte batting lead-off is going to contend for anything? That the lineup Matt Wisler carved up is going to go on a tear in the second half and sneak into the postseason?
No. The answer to all of them is a resounding no.
The Braves lost another game they should have won tonight, coughing up a 6-4 lead in the 8th inning on the way to a 7-6 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays. It probably should have been worse than that; Tampa stranded 14 runners and Atlanta pitchers walked six batters.
Really, I don’t need to say a whole lot more than that. This team is what it is, you’ve known what it is for a while, and it’s not very good. But you’re here for a game recap, so let’s figure something out.
- It doesn’t matter how cold and dead inside I am about this team, Freddie Freeman going 4-for-5 will always make me smile. Every single time.
- Austin Riley and Dansby Swanson both went deep. If this offense is going to do anything in its current beat up state, the left side of the infield getting (and staying) hot will probably be the key.
- Joc Pederson is a Brave! Buying still doesn’t make any sense to me, but at least it’s something new to look at in the middle of the drudgery.
- Charlie Morton found it pretty well. He got better as the night went on after a shaky start, really a microcosm of his whole season. That trade value keeps climbing!
- Luke Jackson is genuinely the only saving grace this bullpen has. Once again he bailed out someone else (AJ Minter in this case) by wiggling out of a bases loaded jam in the seventh.
- The bullpen. Just the bullpen. You know what I’m talking about.
- Pablo Sandoval has one hit since May 26th. The panda hugs are fun, but are we about done here? Can we *please* be about done here?
- Speaking of Panda, was there any reason for him to pinch hit instead of Pederson in the eighth with the game tied against a right-handed pitcher? What is Pederson here for if not to mash righties in big spots?
- I recognize that there weren’t many better options, but having Jesse Chavez face the top of Tampa’s order in the 10th inning is a pretty damning indictment on the state of this bullpen.
- Chris Martin seems really broken. He was the most reliable arm in the bullpen for the first two months of the season, He has a 6.54 ERA over his last dozen outings and a 1.90 WHIP in that span. This bullpen barely functioned with a good Martin. With this version of Martin, it’s toast.
- Matt Wisler walked back into Atlanta and completely shut the Braves down in the highest leverage at-bats of the game. Two innings, three strikeouts, one hit allowed. Woof.
Former Brave Of The Day:
I suppose it has to be Wisler, huh? Sigh.
Quote Of The Game:
“He wants the righty…the wild thing.”
— that fan in Major League, presumably talking about Chris Martin
Don’t let a former Brave dominate with the game on the line.