Braves 6, Cardinals 1

A day may come when the streak fails, when we forsake our one-game streaks and break all inability to win or lose two games in a row.

But it is not this day!

This offense is as streaky as we’ve had in quite some time, and even so, I can’t remember a more extreme example of Hibernation Mode all year. Cardinals starter Jon Lester couldn’t get any of the first seven men out, yielding two walks, four singles, and a homer. It was 5-0 after the first and 6-0 after a Freddie Freeman solo shot in the second.

Naturally, the Braves only managed three hits the rest of the night: an infield nubber by Joc Pederson, a clean single by Freddie, and another hit by Max Fried, who’s hitting .294 and looked pretty comfortable, if not his dominating best. He was throwing too many pitches early, so it was nice to see him complete six solid innings. Still, even in Max’s good starts this year, he’s been closer to battling than cruising. It may be a matter of feel.

The offense we saw in the first couple of innings tonight really did look pretty good. Jorge Soler hit his first homer in a Braves uniform! Austin Riley and Joc Pederson both got two hits — one legit, one crappy doink apiece — even though the pitcher was a southpaw!

Notwithstanding everything else we all rationally know about these bums, who run hot and cold like Atlanta in March, there’s no doubting that this team’s a lot better on paper than it was two weeks ago, and the division is right there for the taking. The 2021 Braves will spend August and September proving whether they deserve to be just inside, or just outside, the playoff bubble.

You could squint at this team and start to get a vibe along the lines of Kinky Friedman’s classic gubernatorial campaign slogan:

“Why the hell not?”

20 thoughts on “Braves 6, Cardinals 1”

  1. The Braves deadline deals are looking better than ever compared to the Cardinals. I don’t think the version we saw of Jon Lester or a hapless JA Happ is going to help them make up 10 games.

  2. Only 2.5 games back. Got decent reinforcements at the deadline, pitching has been a lot better lately. Time to break the streak today. Go Braves!

  3. Lord of the Rings reference! Nice! Speaking of LOTR, the new Amazon series that takes place in the 2nd Age will begin 9/2! I’m so excited.

  4. What the Cardinals did at the deadline is exactly what we were all afraid of: a couple of very minor additions – two lefties in their late 30s with near to nothing in the tank. There’s your reinforcements, now go get ‘em.

    The Braves’ additions weren’t exactly Scherzer and Turner, but overall they improve the 25-man pretty appreciably. The Cardinals just didn’t do that at all, and for a team that’s been treading water at .500, that’s awfully frustrating.

    So, who plays Maeglin? Or Niniel?

  5. Should Heredia start against LHP? He has a .783 OPS in small sample and plays better defense than Pederson. Pederson has a .758 OPS against LHP but also in small sample.

  6. I still want to sit Joc against LHP for the most part; I’d rather have Duvall and Soler in there.

  7. The starting pitcher has definitely been better. Since July 1st, Atlanta is 9th in starting pitching fWAR, 9th in ERA, and probably more importantly, 7th in IP. If you can believe it, in the same time period, Atlanta relievers are 8th in fWAR and 4th (!!!) in ERA. Fortunately, they are 16th in innings pitched.

  8. @10 I thought it was going to be Duvall/Pederson/Soler from left to right against RHP and Duvall/Heredia/Soler from left to right against LHP. I guess I understand wanting to keep Pederson in the lineup, but dang, that is a big drop off in defense.

  9. And I forgot about Rosario, who has a .800 OPS against RHP for his career. So I would guess they would go Duvall/Pederson/Rosario against RHP. Considering being without Ozuna and Acuna, I really like the lineup they would have against RHP:

    Pederson
    Albies
    Freddie
    Riley
    Duvall
    Rosario
    d’Arnaud
    Dansby

    That lineup and our pitching can probably win this crappy division.

  10. Last post on roster construction:

    When Rosario is ready to be activated, what happens? If you designate Almonte for assignment, the bench would be Vogt, Adrianza, Heredia, and Soler/Rosario depending on who’s starting. For a 4-man bench, not bad. But if you DFA’ed Tomlin, you would have a really good bench with switch-hitting Almonte and Adriana, Heredia, and potentially a handedness advantage with whichever of Soler/Rosario are on the bench. It’s weird to have 3/5 of your bench be outfielders, but that’s where we are. And the bullpen wouldn’t miss Tomlin:

    Smith
    Rodriguez
    Matzek
    Martin
    Jackson
    Greene
    Santana
    Chavez

    I seriously don’t understand why they wouldn’t want an extra PHer instead of Tomlin when you already have a 8-man pen and your AAA team is 40 minutes away. This is dumb.

  11. For Blazon:
    Austin Riley
    hits more like Drew Smiley
    when the game is on the line
    he quietly resigns

  12. @15 Who’s gonna go out now when Ynoa returns? Anderson? My guess is Touki and Santana or Touki and Greene. If Touki pitches a whizz bang wonderful game in his next appearance, I’d almost start thinking that Ynoa would go to AAA.

  13. My guess is that Ynoa goes to the bullpen if Muller continues pitching the way he has. Simply can’t take him out of the rotation. Anderson replaces Touki, who goes to the bullpen. Tomlin gets DFA’ed. Shane Greene is also on thin ice.

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