Swanson Knocks In Seven As Braves Win 8-1

In a lot of ways, it’s perfect that Dansby Swanson had the big night tonight. He has been the streakiest member of the Braves for almost his entire tenure with the club, trading off two red hot weeks for another two down in a strikeout binge since 2017. His stats often play jump rope with the league-average marks, dancing above and below the lines in a predictable pattern. When he’s struggling, it’s really tough to watch.

But when it’s working? That swing is absolutely beautiful. And for the most inconsistent team in baseball–one that has now gone 16 consecutive games without a streak–Swanson is the perfect poster child of the experience. 

Tonight was one of the good nights though Swanson homered twice and knocked in seven runs, highlighted by a foul-pole thumping grand slam off John Curtiss in the seventh inning that blew the game open. 

Like everything else with the 2021 Braves, Swanson is a case study in inconsistency. It’s fitting he was at the center of a big win that kept this team’s bizarre run of alternating wins and losses going. 

Positives: 

  • Seven RBIs for number seven. What an incredible performance, including two really good at-bats in his home runs. Both times he was down to his last strike but managed to work himself ahead or at least even, and got a pitch to drive into seats. After he flew out on the first pitch of a high-leverage at-bat last night, that was a really refreshing change of pace. 
  • Kyle Muller just might be pitching his way into the 2022 starting rotation. He has such an impressive presence on the mound for a rookie, never shying away from any opposing hitter or from trusting his own stuff. He only went five innings tonight, but you can see the wheels really starting to spin for him. 
  • Welcome to Atlanta, Richard Rodriguez! I could get used to innings like his eighth tonight. 
  • Welcome to Atlanta, Jorge Soler! The most important play of the entire game was him hustling down the line to beat out a ground ball in the seventh inning after Willy Adames made a great diving stop on his line drive. Soler forced a rush throw that resulted in a run, which kept the inning alive for Swanson’s grand slam. He also had two hits before his infield one in the seventh.
  • Don’t forget the two good innings from Jesse Chavez and Tyler Matzek while the game was still in doubt, too. They held the Brewers at bay long enough for the offense to take over. 
  • Freddie Freeman and Ozzie Albies had two hits apiece tonight and it just feels like it was standard procedure with how hot they are. That’s a great position to be in. 
  • For the second day in a row the Braves made one of the best pitchers in the league work hard. Brandon Woodruff was more effective than Corbin Burnes, but he never got into a stretch of overwhelming hitters like he has to plenty of hitters this season. 
  • He’s not the second coming of Johnny Bench, but isn’t it nice to watch Stephen Vogt at the plate knowing he’s not Kevan Smith? That bat at least feels like it’s capable of doing something, and it did with another base hit tonight. 
  • These feel like famous last words, but the Braves have an actual opportunity to break this streak tomorrow and string two wins together. They’ve got Charlie Morton on the mound and have already faced the two best pitchers the Brewers can throw at them. Now that i’ve said that they’re going to lose 4-1, but maybe tomorrow is the day? 

Negatives: 

  • It’s a minor nitpick in an 8-1 win, but the Braves had another runner thrown out on the basepaths. That’s three in the last four games, all at either third base or home. It’s a little thing, but it adds up in games tighter than tonight’s was. 

Former Brave Of The Day: 

Matt Wisler picked up five crucial outs for the Rays in what was a one-run game at the time against the Red Sox before Tampa blew it open for a 9-5 win that vaulted Kevin Cash’s team to the top spot in the AL East. 


Quote Of The Game: 

 “Baseball is a lot like life. It’s a day-to-day existence, full of ups and downs. You make the most of your opportunities in baseball as you do in life.” 

– Ernie Harwell

Tomorrow’s Goal: 

Break. This..Streak.

42 thoughts on “Swanson Knocks In Seven As Braves Win 8-1”

  1. Great write up. I’m not too optimistic that the streak will be broken today, but I think it will be in the next few days. I have been a critic of Snitker but I must admit that they’ve been playing really hard against good teams over the last few weeks even though the results have been up and down. Copied from last thread.

    After some major control issues and a massive drop in spin rate, Matzek seems to be pitching much better. He was used in low leverage situations for a while. I’m not sure what kind of a role Kranitz had, but Matzek’s documented spin rate decline was much greater than Rodriguez.

  2. BREAK THE STREAK. If (and it’s a big “if”) the Braves win today, we will be 7-5 in our post All Star gauntlet. That cannot possibly be bad. With lesser teams coming, we have entered our opportunity period.

  3. Both Almonte and Adrianza had one 3-hit game each all season. Soled already has one.

    This isn’t the best offense in the league, but it’s deeper, and now we have a deeper bench. I prefer Heredia in CF and platoons in the corner, but having Heredia on the bench is a weapon.

    Appreciate Alan mentioning Wisler. Little do the fine folks of St. Petersburg here know that Wisler’s biggest fan lives quietly amongst them.

  4. I love this lineup today. A “lefty killer” lineup. Maybe Snit just didn’t think he had the resources before but if he’s willing to rotate the lineup to get the best matchups now, it’s another improvement. I realize it’s a Sunday day game, but, still, this has potential.

  5. The only thing I’d prefer is to swap Duvall and Dansby. For some reason, I’ve had the impression that Riley following Duvall or Duvall following Riley as been a great combo – if one doesn’t kill you the next one will. Not sure if it’s statistically significant – just my impression from the last couple of years. And, of course, Dansby is much better hitting lower than 5th.

  6. Third base coach is having judgement problems. Duvall is typically of many hitters today. Low average high productivity. A plus fielder.
    So for next year all the Braves need is a third basement (Riley DHing please),
    a catcher, center fielder, better bench and relief. Newest reliever will be a disappointment. No junk on the ball allowed, his performance goes down.
    Please win two in a row. Please.

  7. Hats off to the folks that predicted we would buy at the deadline. I sure as heck didn’t think we would get an exciting reliever and two outfielders for salary and Bryse Wilson. I guess I didn’t think we would take on salary, so I was clearly wrong on that. One thing about Atlanta nowadays is that they won’t tell you what financial position they are in.

    Spoke to a local prosecuting attorney this morning. I told him that the Braves had a guy who was witnessed to have committed some battery on his wife with his own wrist cast. How could that possibly not be a felony, I asked. He had a confident and simple answer: uncooperative victim. Yikes. Iiiiiii don’t think Ozuna is going to go quietly in this situation. This is not good.

  8. Ozzie is just not a leadoff hitter. Seems like he should be but he doesn’t have the right temperament.

  9. Annoying Chipisms, #432c. No, Chip. We are not all “big Reds fans.” We don’t give two farts about the Reds, which is what a “big Reds fan” does. We would appreciate, all things equal, the Reds to win today. But the Mets are absolutely guaranteed to lose at least 20 games in the rest of the season, probably more, and the Braves’ chances of winning the division are trivially related to the outcome of today’s contest at CitiField. In the last couple of weeks in the season, you can obsess over out-of-town scores, but obsessing over out-of-town scores on August 1 is dumb, and Chip has been using the “big [insert-name-of-team-here] fans” since May.

    Last night Chip said that if the Braves are going to win the division, “they’re going to need help.” Trailing the Mets by 4 games with only 3 left head-to-head, that statement is true, but dumb with over 50 games to play. (I guess that beats false and dumb, so Chip gets some credit, I guess.)

  10. @13

    It’s pretty much Peak Chip. I guess it’s one thing when it involves the Reds or some other relatively neutral team that nobody really has much of a beef with (of course YMMV and it’s still dumb in any case, as JF said). It’s especially dumb, though, when it involves a team that the majority of Braves fans would garner a mild case of dyspepsia from actively rooting for. It’s May 13 and the Mets are facing the Dodgers, for instance. We’re definitely not all “big Dodgers fans,” you nincompoop!

    UPDATE: I would also submit that the guy hitting with one out and runner(s) on is not always “the key man in the inning.” Like when that guy is Charlie Morton maybe? Just to pull an example completely out of thin air.

  11. I think this umpire is just randomly generating ball/strike calls. The penultimate pitch of that at-bat was a ball, but it was exactly the same pitch that Anderson’s gotten called for a strike a handful of times already.

  12. Chip hasn’t got anything to offer beyond the cliches. He’s like an interstellar alien who learned English by watching Friends. He knows nothing of our species save repeating the vapid utterances of half his hoary predecessors.

  13. Rollercoaster continues .. I knew day game after night .. not gonna be good .. plus its our day to loose ..

  14. @11 Most accurate. All are aware but the below average manager.
    Looks like SOS so far.

  15. Ozzie should not be the leadoff hitter, I agree, but there really wasn’t anyone in the lineup today who would’ve been an obvious choice for it. Perhaps a downside of our “lefty-mashing” lineup…which hasn’t done a good job of mashing this particular lefty.

  16. Why is kevan smith batting in the 9th inning of a 2-1 game?
    Everything freakin’ sucks. Especially this organization.

  17. An other 2-1 lose? I write this as a reverse jinx. Has any team gone W L W L W L the while time after the All Star game.
    Come on Atlanta you can do it. I have faith in you.
    This is Chinese torture.

  18. Hey, 2021 has been a record-breaking season. Isn’t that now 17 in a row of alternating wins and losses?

  19. @27 somehow I trust Fried more than either of our catchers.

    @31 I think due to the san diego game that got suspended, we won’t even get that record, since when the game is completed, it would affect the alternating W or L streak

  20. Can I please revise my 84 win forcast?
    81 may be a stretch. The Braves do not have a clue how to play winning baseall.
    It’s thump than whimper, thump than whimper. You enjoy half the games. Fifty percent of your time is wasted by mediaocracy.

  21. It’s really become uncanny—it’s not just win followed by loss. It’s winning big followed by losing close.

    Fun with pythag: the Braves run differential—+49–is the same as the Red Sox, who are 19 games over .500. The Mets run differential is -7. If games followed the Pythagorean theorem exactly, the Braves would have a six game lead on the Mets.

  22. @33: I tried to figure out if the game counts as of the day started it the day completed, and I tentatively think you’re right… And I think the game will be completed in SD, but I’m not positive about that either.

  23. @33 it may not matter if this keeps up. Braves 6-6 alternating post-San Diego!

    On the bright side, we’re blowing out the Cardinals on Tuesday. Can’t wait for that.

  24. Proving that the only number that counts is wins. My theory is the better team wins more. It is that simple.
    And every what if is a waste of time.

  25. Now this is a what if that has substance.
    What if every team had scouting and analytics as good as Tampa, think how much better they would be. They have little interest in supper stars, but depth and health are most important. They have a better pitching staff on the I L than most teams have active.

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