Rockies Clip Braves 4-3

Well, Coors Field giveth and Coors Field taketh. 

Last night the Braves won a one-run game in a ballpark where no lead ever feels safe, and tonight they were clipped in a one-run game there. The Braves took another first inning lead tonight but just couldn’t make it stand up the way they did last night in a 4-3 loss. 

It would be easy to go nuts about that one, but sometimes baseball just happens. The team with drastically better home than road splits won a tight game at home. That happens. Flush it and move on to tomorrow. 

Positives: 

  • Austin RIley, NL MVP contender? We’re hearing it more and more. 
  • Ozzie Albies quelled some concerns about him hitting in the lead-off spot with his homer to start the game tonight. Oh, also, welcome back to the lineup Ozzie!
  • Tyler Matzek got right back on the beam with a dominant 8th inning tonight. That 1-2 pitch to Trevor Story to retire the side was a thing of beauty. 
  • Huascar Ynoa didn’t completely tame the beast, but he did more than enough to give the Braves a chance to win that game. In Coors Field, that’s really all you can ask for. 

Negatives: 

  • A shutdown inning would’ve been nice tonight. The Braves gave up a run immediately after scoring twice tonight, and did so in the next inning another time. The momentum never got going. 
  • The baserunning was rough. First it was Riley getting thrown out trying to stretch a single into a double in the 6th, then it was the caught stealing in the 8th. Maybe it could’ve been a different game with one more plate appearance  in each of those innings. 
  • It’s September and the Braves are in a race, so that loss is gonna sting a little more than usual. Sorry. That’s the cost of doing business this time of year. 

Former Brave Of The Day: 

Phil Gosselin picked up an RBI single for the Angels tonight early against the Rangers.

Quote Of The Game: 

“It happens.”

— Forrest Gump

Tomorrow’s Goal: 

Bust a game open. The Braves have had plenty of double-digit outbursts on offense this year, and the bullpen could really use an easy night. Use the thin air and put up a 10 (or more) spot. 

38 thoughts on “Rockies Clip Braves 4-3”

  1. JC’d

    Thank you, Alan.

    ” It might be. It could be.”

    Former Brave voice John Sterling, 83, in the news himself Wednesday night. Driving back to his NJ home after calling the Yankee game earlier his Cadillac was brought to a stop in a desolate flooded street and he saw he could not get out without help. Called his fellow commentator who arrived shortly and pulled him out.

    Anyone remember any other of his calls? I think he was the originator of ‘Dominique is Magnifique’ which will live for ever if you heard/saw those early broadcasts.

  2. This is madness! If we as fans thought we were getting hosed, we were right.

  3. A word in the ear of Rick Kranitz.

    Never thrown a pitch myself but I think I know how Huascar’s wildness which cost us last night could be tamed to the point where it becomes occasional rather than predictable.

    Have him watch, with you, an hour of Melancon pitching. Not his stuff but what has preceded it as he gets into his meticulous preparations and adjustments to put himself and his body into the precise attitudes he wants, the same every time. Once done, and only then, he throws the pitch. Repeat ad nauseam. It’s the idea of that, from older established pitchers, that may well be turning him away from these routines. He’s young, strong, can hit 100, what’s the need.

    The need was shown last night, make him buy into this. He cannot hurry into a variety of postures and expect predictability at the other end. Imagine if.

  4. Ynoa threw 91 pitches last night and 62 were strikes. And while he gave up 4 runs, he only gave up 5 hits and 1 walk. That doesn’t scream wild to me.

  5. To me anytime a starting pitcher can get through 5.2 innings and allow only 5 hits and 4 runs at Coors field, that has got to be considered a positive. Three runs for the offense just won’t hack it, especially facing a bullpen that includes Jhoulys Chacin.

  6. Not sure I buy that the New York crew is specifically trying to hose the Braves. The problem is simple: the replay review system doesn’t work very well. It delays the hell out of the game but doesn’t prevent obviously wrong calls from being made, via the cover-your-butt mechanism of saying the “call stands.” It’s more tailored to protect the reputations of the umpires on the ground than to get the calls right, which is exactly backwards.

    But MLB never gives a thought to the way it looks from the grandstands. Never has and probably never will.

  7. Apropos of nothing, this is a rant about something completely different. I went by the Pratt Street Ale House in Baltimore last night, and they don’t have any cask ale lines any more – all their beers are on draft, none on cask, despite the fact that they are still associated with Oliver Brewing, which made its name originally with its cask-conditioned English-style ales. Sorry, the woman at the front told me – they got rid of them in 2017. This is a bar a block from Camden Yards, popular and successful.

    The decline of cask ale availability has been going on for years now, but this was the saddest reminder I’ve seen yet. We need a CAMRA in this country to revive the cask ale movement or it could disappear entirely!

    I am like a crotchety old British man in several respects, and this is one of them.

  8. @3 I wish the Braves would realize what most of us know already. Rick Kranitz is a lousy pitching coach. He was fired by the Phillies because he was a lousy pitching coach and we jumped right in to hire him. Half of our young pitchers have failed to develop. We sign good pitchers (Smith) who struggle as soon as they get here. We get rid of pitchers (Gausman) who become aces elsewhere. We send pitchers to AAA (Minter) to get straightened out because they know Kranitz can’t do squat. The Braves need to look hard for a real pitching coach this winter. Roger McDowell was a great pitching coach. He turned reclamation projects into ace relievers (EOF). Craig Kimbrel walked the world until he got to the majors and worked with McDowell. Sadly, Roger is a lousy human being. Kranitz can’t even stay awake in the dugout.

    Austin Riley is NOT an MVP candidate. It’s bad enough that Chip the homer keeps broadcasting that nonsense. I have had an ongoing conversation with Kevin McAlpin about why Riley is not an NL MVP candidate. Bryce Harper, Trea Turner and Tatis, Jr. are the class of the NL right now. My vote goes to Tatis because of the power, speed and defense combo. Tatis has 36 home runs, over 20 stolen bases, and played shortstop most of the season. He did this despite missing 30 games. His fWAR is 5.1. It’s just sad that Ronald got hurt because he would have had it wrapped up by now. His 4.3 fWAR still leads our team by a good margin and is STILL 7th best in the NL. Riley’s 3.6 fWAR is 3rd best on our team (this could have changed last night). There are 15 players with a better fWAR than Riley. 8 play on 1st place teams. All but 2 are on possible playoff teams. Riley has had a GREAT season, better than anyone expected. He has helped keep this team in playoff contention. He is one of the best players in the NL this year, but NOT MVP best. FWIW, his defense is still pretty poor. IMO, that counts too. He has an argument for team MVP but they will probably just give that to Freddie because that’s what they do. Freddie was named the Braves best player in August even though Dansby and Riley were both MUCH better than Freddie. Dansby would have gotten my vote by a nudge because of the defense.

    Have a great day. Go Braves!!!

  9. @5/6

    Was someone not hit on the head the other day, seriously hard, took his base, scored a run. We lost by one. Or did I imagine it? Wild this COBM calls that! He needs to come to a complete stop, every time, not some of the time, then go. I think his arm is a potentially huge asset for us. And more BP for this guy please!

    Cindy

    With you most of the way but not the Riley defense canard. Certainly used to be but not these days. Great arm and his hands have softened some, much improved. Enjoyed reading your piece, thanks.

  10. @5 He wasn’t wild all night just at the wrong time. Two batters in a row – a HBP and near HBP – and then he looked fine again. Don’t know what really happened for those two hitters but it was the core of the Rockies second comeback inning.

    And FWIW, I still think he did a really good job and came within one out of a quality start.

  11. Cindy, fwiw I think you’re too hard on Riley’s defense, and I think he certainly has a case for a down ballot 10th-place MVP vote, but I completely agree with you that he certainly doesn’t have a case for MVP. If Tatis is healthy, it’s gotta be him. If not, Zach Wheeler probably has a better case than Harper. But unless Austin spends September hitting like he did the month after his call up, it’s nothing but a silly bit of homerism.

    For me, the case against McDowell includes the pretty jaw-dropping number of injuries on his watch. Off the top of my head, nearly every important pitcher the Braves had during his tenure underwent a major arm injury, other than Kimbrel – Beachy, Medlen, Minor, O’Flaherty, Venters, and I’m sure there are others I’m forgetting. Several of them had multiple surgeries. Pitchers get hurt all the time, but sansho1 had a number of posts showing that the Braves were actually far above the league norm, at or near the very worst TJS rate in baseball. I think McDowell has to take some responsibility for that.

    (Update: looks like this piece is a MUCH more thorough look at McDowell’s mixed legacy, more nuanced than my comment above. https://www.talkingchop.com/2017/1/9/13308704/atlanta-braves-roger-mcdowell-success-failures)

  12. Last bit on Ynoa…

    Last night was his first start at Coors. He looked good, made mistakes (like almost every visiting pitcher), and carried a 2 to 1 strike/ball rate. He’s also walking less than 3 per 9 on the year. Put bluntly, his problem isn’t control and I’m not really sure he actually has one considering he’s carrying a 3.19 ERA as a 23 y/o starter.

  13. @14 Agreed. As I mentioned before, I was really intrigued to see how his stuff played at Coors. Certainly better than Touki’s. I also think Ynoa still has more upside. A huge unexpected bonus from the Garcia trade.

    Speaking of trades, Chris Ellis (see Simmons, Andrelton) just no-hit the Yankees for 5 innings. Wonder if he’s finally found something.

  14. The Riley for MVP nonsense is just that. My failure to recap this week meant no Chipwatch, but expect some discussion of this next week. PS: I love Riley. It is no slur on him at all to say he doesn’t even come close to being the NL MVP.

  15. Honestly, I’m happy for Ellis. Hope he actually figured something out and has a long career.

  16. @13 Interesting article. FWIW, I’m not saying bring back McDowell or anything. I just think he has been the only “real” pitching coach in recent history. Can you really blame injuries on the coach? I truly don’t know. Beachy had the Inverted “W” issue. Medlen was such a small guy. Regarding Lowe I truly think he never adjusted to pitching in the heat of Atlanta. I would really like to see us move on from Kranitz. Maroth seems to do good things at AAA.

    Riley’s defense has improved, but it’s not there yet. I am totally against pitchers getting MVP. They affect 1 of 5 games. Sadly, Harper is great again.

    @16 100% agree. Love Riley, but I’m not sure he’s the best player on the team?

  17. There is no justification Anderson being there still. Take him out. He’s already wasted all and more of a splendid opening salvo from our offense.

  18. Minter and Newcomb walk leadoff batters .. they score .. they haven’t changed .. Anderson still not right.. not a single strike out ?? Lost his stuff ??

  19. An awful thought hit me. Remember the rubberband Braves of the first half? What if they follow up their 16-3 start to August with a 3-16 run?

    Stranger things have happened…

  20. Minter has been really good overall this year. He is nothing like Newcomb. 2.67 FIP, 11.06 K/9. He walks too many.

  21. The Braves Need to pick it up a stage of they want. To wrap up the National League Eastern Division at present they have played. 135 Games out Of 162 27 games to go? They need to play and win .750.Baseball than there is the Play offs. Need momentum. What happened these past 10.Days They still must play the National League Western Division. There a hard fought and tight race there I doubt the Giants Dodgers and Rockies are going to. Relax. Braves pitcher’s need. To be on top of their game to allow less runs and quit11 making the Same Repetitive mistakes. The Offense needs to pick it up as Well Start playing like it’s The World Series. Winning isn’t Everything it’s the Only Thing.!!. Bill Edwards EDITOR OF THE PALM COAST Tribune in Boyton Beach And Lauderdale Lakes Florida.

  22. I concur about Riley. He is having a great breakout year, but he’s not the MVP (maybe of even his own team).

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