Braves 2, Fish 0

A true nailbiter and worth every penny. If you’re a fan of an old-fashioned pitcher’s duel, that was pretty nearly game of the year. And if you got up to the fridge for a beer in the third inning, by the time you got back to the couch, it would’ve been the fifth. That game just flew by — 122 pitches for the Marlins, 119 for the Braves, time of game a crisp two hours and 33 minutes.

Lots of great things happened. In his first game back from the DL, Huascar Ynoa matched goose eggs with our nemesis Sandy Alcantara for the first five frames. He also got an infield hit on a little nubber, one of the only five hits Alcantara yielded.

Ynoa was the first to flag. After having beaten out an infield single and legged his way to third after a fielder’s choice and a single, a possibly-winded Huascar gave up two singles sandwiched around a bunt.

Brian Snitker was up from the railing in a heartbeat, and brought in Tyler Matzek — say what you want about player’s manager Brian Snitker, he went with the hot hand to bail out the rookie, and it wound up working out — Matzek yielded a sharp single but Joc Pederson held the runner from scoring, and with the bases loaded, Tyler induced a popup and a strikeout. Crisis averted.

Sandy Alcantara is a good pitcher. But when he faces us, he turns into Jacob DeGrom. For his career, he’s got an ERA of 3.60. Against us, it’s 2.20. Through seven innings, we were still knotted zero-zero, thanks to a remarkable perfect inning by Chris Martin, but it was possible to feel somewhat concerned.

But you can’t keep a good man down for long, and the team that only hit homers scratched across some ABC baseball. After Stephen Vogt struck out, pinch-hitter Abraham Almonte worked Alcantara’s first walk of the night. Ozzie struck out, but Almonte stole second and took third on Alcantara’s second wild pitch of the season. With only 98 pitches under his belt, Donnie Baseball left his ace in to face Jorge Soler, who was 0-3 and 5 for his last 31.

Snake eyes. On the 103rd pitch of the evening, Soler took a slider to right and singled in the go-ahead run.

The next inning, a grateful Austin Riley greeted reliever Anthony Bender with an insurance bomb to right-center. That was enough for Hancock, who notched his first one-two-three inning in his last eight appearances.

Win, win, win. Cheers to the best bar anywhere.

106 thoughts on “Braves 2, Fish 0”

  1. Great recap for a great win. If Anderson gets back and is pitching like Ynoa we may be on to something.

  2. On another note, it will be a miracle if we gain ground on the Phillies in the next 3 days. I had forgotten just how bad the Diamondbacks were. It is amazing that they are still 1/2 game worse than the Orioles, even after Baltimore has endured a 14 and now a 13 game losing streak.

  3. I don’t have a link, but one hundred percent a fan just reached over the railing to catch a ball so that the Phillies outfielder couldn’t do it.

  4. Phillies also lost to the worst team in baseball. Our lead is now 2.5 and 4.5. Not a bad days work.

  5. Huascar,the origin of it all.

    Empirical ancestry
    in barracks, Palace, vestry
    Inca-n-descent attribution
    suggests unlikely diminution
    BOW!

  6. Thank you Mr. Remington. Good work as always.

    The return of Huascar exceeded my expectations. I thought we would still see some rust. And that high 90’s fastball when added to “the Death Pitch” makes him a real rotation mainstay with a chance for long term excellence.

    Amazing how different this team seems in the past 3 weeks or so.

  7. Just win today’s game and the season’s last. That is all I ask daily of you, Hammers. That will do.

  8. It’s wild. We traded wins and losses — the definition of mediocrity — for weeks. And really, for the entire year, completely mediocre. And then we’ve just…. stopped losing. Don’t get me wrong; the deadline additions were helpful, but it’s not like we added a bunch of All-Stars to our roster. And yet, here we are, and everything is going right for us. This is weird.

    Kinda feels like the 2019 Washington Nationals.

  9. Duvall, Soler, and Pederson are all flawed hitters, each of whom we will cuss more than once before season’s end. But they give you a chance to get lucky, which is all I’ve ever asked, and we’ve cashed in big time so far. If just one of them is on, that’s one more than we had.

    The starting pitching has been good, and d’Arnaud should help. This is no sustainable pace, and Doom will inevitably resurface, but I’m all in.

  10. The starting pitching has been good, and d’Arnaud should help.

    This is another thing that’s wild: knock on wood, but it’s mid-August, and everyone we thought was coming back from injury has. That also doesn’t happen too often. Everything from a realistic roster construction standpoint has gone right for Atlanta…. at the perfect time. This never happens.

  11. Those 1964 Cardinals were the beneficiary of the epic Phillies collapse. With 12 games remaining, the Phils led the Cards (and the Reds) by 6.5 games. They promptly lost 10 straight, including 3 to the Cardinals.
    We shouldn’t need that kind of help, but such a collapse by Philadelphia would be delightful.

  12. @27: yes, but chance favors the well-prepared. The Phillies collapse made the Cardinals pennant possible, but as you point out the Cardinals were in a much bigger hole than we have been. That said, the Cardinals were 48-48 on July 25th and went 45-21 the rest of the season. As late as August 23rd they were only 7 over .500. That’s when they really turned it on.

  13. @26 “I love human owners!” Except when they meddle and undermine their own efforts, which happens more often than it should.

  14. For anyone that cares, Anderson’s line was 4.1 inn, 0 runs, 4 hits, 1 W, 6 Ks, 76 pitches. As soon as he’s up to 6 innings/85-90 pitches, he should be ready to rock and roll. But already seems pretty good for live ball AAA.

  15. @30 Do you think they’ll give him another start? 76 pitches is pretty dang close to letting him make that 85- or 90-pitch start at the big league level.

  16. In general I hate it when the owners trash the product, but in this particular instance, it’s hard to disagree with the guy.

  17. First time we’re seeing Marlins LHP Luzardo tonight, he’s put up terrible numbers this season. If it was four weeks ago, he would have dominated the Braves… But it’s not four weeks ago anymore. Go Braves!

  18. Cohen now bashing his own players! When he bought the team, I thought for sure that his $ would straighten out the franchise. Boy…was I wrong. It’s time, Steven. Rename your team to the New York Mess.

  19. @19 The Giants won a couple of World Series a few years ago just because they got hot at the right time.

    @26 There are good and bad aspects of having a billionaire owner vs a corporate owner. Private owners owners spend big but also have a tendency to meddle in areas outside of their expertise. I really wonder if the Mets GM wanted to give up a top prospect for Baez. I think it was the former owner of the Tigers who meddled in trades. Corporate owners don’t meddle but they also won’t go a penny above the budget. Of course, not all owners are like that.

  20. @20

    The Nats had a woeful bullpen the entire year, including their playoff run. Dave Martinez just basically stopped using them. He used Daniel Hudson, the closer, and otherwise, just went with starters on throw-on-the-side days as relievers. I was sure that gambit was doomed to fail, but it somehow worked through three playoff series. I’m still confused as to how they made it work, to be honest.

  21. Do you really think all these super smart financial nerds for these huge billion dollar companies are analyzing gobs and gobs of data across all the major sports for all these owners that are super involved and spend more on their teams and are coming to a conclusion any different than to keep doing what they’re doing?

    Ted Turner was an anomaly, was he not?

  22. @37

    Well, he wasn’t an anomaly the first couple years after he purchased the team. Remember when he decided that since he was the owner he would be a better manager than anyone else? And how sure are you that his fingerprints weren’t all over Brett Butler and Brook Jacoby for Len Barker? He did finally learn his lesson once Schuerholz came to town I will grant you, but 70s and 80s Terrible Ted was no prize in the owners department.

  23. I’ve never been a fan of Ted Turner as an owner. I know they turned it around at the end of his ownership tenure, but I remember his one game as manager and I don’t think he was ever much of a baseball guy, but he thought he was. Ted Turner/Turner Broadcasting owned the Braves for 20 years and my feeling was when they got good in the 90’s, Ted was busy with Captain Planet and international endeavors. The more he lost interest in the Braves the better they did. I don’t think it was based on a strategic plan.

  24. Cohen’s got a little Steinbrenner in him. Doesn’t break my heart to see it on display.

    #36
    In some crucial spots in the post-season, the Nats relievers did deliver, very often from 2 places that were not contributing in the first part of the year.

    Hudson was a deadline acquisition & he pitched great August thru October. Then, Sean Doolittle pitched much better in the post-season than he did the regular season. He got some really big outs in several close post-season wins.

    They used Corbin & Strasburg (in the WC game) out of the pen, but (outside of Hudson & Doolittle) the rest of the pen wasn’t trusted much in the close October games the Nats were leading. In the 5 October games the Nats lost, they mostly got pounded & the wack guys in the pen took the brunt of it — they came in when the Nats were behind & just made it worse.

    But yeah… with 2 relievers he felt he could trust, plus a couple of starters in the pen, Martinez saved the few good guys to fight another day & somehow it worked. Lightning in a bottle.

  25. 1) In general, the ideal owner is someone who likes the team and will open the wallet whenever the baseball ops people ask. Basically doesn’t exist (though Mike Illitch, rest his soul, did pretty much just that).

    2) Not that good, but a lot better than the worst, would be an owner who basically just gets out of the way. They don’t want you to spend too much but they generally won’t nix your deals. Frankly, Liberty Media falls in this category.

    The worst version of 2) is a skinflint. You can do anything you want as long as you don’t spend their money — Charlie O. Finley and the owners in Tampa Bay and Oakland have all done this.

    3) Worst of all is an owner who meddles. Peter Angelos, Arte Moreno, Fred Wilpon.

  26. I like that categorization, Alex, but doesn’t that mean that the Yankees should have done worse under Steinbrenner (cat 3) than under CBS (cat 2, and not, I think all that tight with a buck) ownership? And what about, say, John Henry? How is he defined between “checkbook” and “meddling?” I think you’re missing a few covariates….

  27. I completely agree with you! Nevertheless…

    I think Steinbrenner oscillated between 1) and 3), and Henry’s careered between 1), 2), and 3). (After spending a bit of time at 3), Steinbrenner’s sons have more or less settled in at number 2.) Jeffrey Loria, of course, managed to be both 2) and 3) simultaneously.

  28. I like it too, but another way to look at 3) is an owner who thinks they’re smarter than they are. In Wilpon’s case, that led to meddling, but it also led to losing lots of his money to a con man and becoming a skinflint – an unfortunate (for Mets fans) combination of 3) and 2).

  29. Fred Wilpon just seemed to spend big money on the wrong guys — Mo Vaughn, Jason Bay, etc. — and those experiences seemed to turn him into Fred Coupon.

    BTW, I’m listening to NYM @ SF. The Mets are only down 1-0 & the Mets announcers have already defaulted to gallows humor. The downward spiral continues…

  30. Well, Steinbrenner started out as a 1 — part of the agreement to let him buy the team as a felon was a stipulation by Bowie Kuhn that he was to have no operational authority in the team. This only disappeared when Gussie Busch and Steinbrenner successfully conspired to fire Kuhn. We got 5 iterations of Billy Martin shortly thereafter. They only got good again when the Winfield Affair caused the temporary ban on Steinbrenner and Gene Michaels got a free hand to build the farm.

  31. @41- where does Turner fall on your taxonomy? Despite his bad meddling early on, by the 1990’s wasn’t he close to a 1? Team payroll was consistently in the top 3 then IIRC

  32. I’m pretty sure Steinbrenner already owned the club when he was convicted of his political malfeasance.

    A Memory: I was at Yankee Stadium the night the news broke that he was suspended for the Howie Spira Affair. Yes, the fans cheered.

  33. Curious to know where you’re getting this… I don’t recall reading this in Bill Madden’s book on Steinbrenner.

    Steinbrenner bought the club on 1/4/73.

    He was indicted on 4/5/74 & he became a felon only after pleading guilty to 2 counts on 8/23/74.

    https://www.nytimes.com/1973/01/04/archives/cbs-sells-the-yankees-for-10million-cb-s-sells-the-yankees-to.html

    http://www.nytimes.com/1974/04/06/archives/an-owner-of-yankees-indicted-in-ship-concerns-election-gifts-an.html

    https://www.nytimes.com/1974/08/24/archives/steinbrenner-pleads-guilty-to-two-counts-steinbrenner-is-guilty-in.html

  34. My goodness, ANOTHER bases-loaded walk for our boys. What’s the record, I wonder?

    And back to back… goodness gracious.

  35. Morton looks like a living god. What the hell happened to this team? I’ve been following and watching all year and this is not the same thing I was doing a month ago.

  36. Muller on the mound for Gwinnett tonight – one hit, one run (unearned). Rosario with a GS to win it.

    We have a major league rotation in AAA. And the bullpen ain’t bad.

  37. Three cycles is the record: John Riley, Bob Meusel, Babe Herman, Adrian Beltre and Trea Turner.

    Do it, Freddie!

  38. Chip just said that no other first baseman has hit for the cycle? The graphic properly limited to the National League. Lou Gehrig did it twice, Chip. So did George Sisler. Bob Watson did it once in the NL and once in the AL.

  39. Awesome for Freddie. To think the dude had a sub-.250 BA in May to now hitting above .300 in August.

    Also, Alex Jackson might be non-tendered after this year. He just can’t hit. Sub-600 OPS with Miami even with those 3 bombs.

  40. Jackson will be 26 in December and he’s got about 850 AA and AAA at-bats that say he’ll be lucky to ever hit .220. If he could do that, play defense, and hit a few bombs he could stick around as a backup, as a ceiling.

  41. @70 I thought the claim was that no other 1bman had hit for the cycle twice? I appreciate you’ve given an excellent counterexample in Gehrig (how did they miss that one??) but not quite that bad.

  42. @74: The graphic on screen said no other NL first baseman. Chip read it wrong. and even said “no other human” which is even dumber. And of course one of Watson’s 2 was in the NL, as was one of Olerud’s, so you’ve got to be pretty specific about the claim.

  43. Tomlin is so bad he can’t get these AAAA hitters out without giving up runs. Why did we send Webb down again?

  44. Josh Tomlin can’t protect an 11-3 lead. Please fire him into the sun.

  45. “And Chisholm comes home to score the 3th and 4th run of the inning for Miami” Nice trick, Chip.

  46. Just like they drew it up.

    Alex Anthopoulos needs to kick Josh Tomlin off the roster. (I can’t help pointing out that I argued this vociferously a few days ago.)

  47. “Alex Anthopoulos needs to kick Josh Tomlin off the roster. (I can’t help pointing out that I argued this vociferously a few days ago.)”

    … in a post titled (and arguing vociferously) “No Joshing.” The people defending Tomlin for his willingness to pitch low leverage innings have ignored his ability to turn low leverage innings into high leverage ones.

  48. Whew. That was ridiculous and is totally on AA, not Snit. Tomlin has no business being on the team anymore. But since he is, Snitker was totally right to close out the last inning with an 8 run lead with Tomlin. If you can’t use him then when could you? He hasn’t pitched in awhile.
    As he showed us though, you can’t even use him then.

  49. Just to be precise about it…the problem isn’t that Tomlin is terrible per se, it’s that he didn’t do his actual job, which is to spare the rest of the bullpen.

    If he can’t even do that, then even I think he needs to go. I’ll miss him, though!

  50. Yeah, I’m not sure where Fun Police is, but I think that argument is over.

  51. There is only one positive I take from all that. At least Snit got Tomlin out while there was still sufficient Smith Space.

  52. If we can get Anderson back and DFA Tomlin, I’m thinking either a six-man rotation or a piggyback 5th starter (or Touki as long man).

  53. Unfortunately AA lets Snit have a voice in the roster construction. He shouldn’t. DFA Tomlin and call up someone else….sadly Webb can’t be called up yet. He didn’t deserve to be sent down this week.

  54. The people defending Tomlin for his willingness to pitch low leverage innings have ignored his ability to turn low leverage innings into high leverage ones.

    The thing is, before tonight, he was actually perfectly average at this.

    LOL, you know, maybe tonight was just a bad game! Everyone has them from time to time, even Josh Tomlin.

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