Brooms are hard to find in the desert: Hammers 4, Snakes 6

Let’s Talk About Duvall

[The pics are above are members of the Duvall MVP Conversation, all of them holding something they could hurt you with.]

So Adam Duvall has 114 hits and 109* RBIs with a week-and-a-half to go in the season.  He has the chance to join a very small group.  There is only one player ever to have over 100 hits in a season and more RBIs than hits: Mark McGwire in 1999.  Adam will not reach either 145 hits or 147 RBIs, but let’s look at everyone else with at least 40 hits and RBIs equaling or exceeding hits.

Jason Giambi, 2006: 113 hits and 113 RBIs.  The only other guy to have over 100 hits and as many RBI as hits.  Adam is certainly within reach here.

Mark McGwire, 1995, 2000, 2001: This category is McGwire’s.  Of the 13 times this has happened with over 40 hits, McGwire has four of them.  90 RBIs with 87 hits in 1995, 73 RBIs on 72 hits in 2000 and 64 RBIs on 56 hits in 2001.

Josh Gibson, 1937 and 1939; Esteban Montalvo, 1925; and Buck Leonard 1939.  Now that the Negro Leagues are official Major Leagues, these three performances pop up on the list.  I had no idea the seasons were so short in those leagues.

Paul Sorrento, 1995: Another strike-year product. 79 RBIs on 76 hits.

Matt Olson, 2020: 42 RBIs on 41 hits, in a Covid-shortened season.

Rhys Hoskins, 2017: 48 RBIs on 44 hits.

Yasmani Grandal, 2021: This year has a chance to find two players reach this combination.  Grandal has 58 hits and 60 RBIs for the White Sox so far this year.

I just looked of BRefs comparables for Adam.  They list Joc Pederson as second most comparable and Jorge Soler as fifth most.  Interchangeable indeed.  It says something more about AA’s strategy. A certain type of player was obviously available at the deadline, and AA took all three of them. And Rosario’s most comparable batter is Yasiel Puig, who was almost a Brave last year. Only Duvall cost the Braves anything close to a MLB-ready player. The new arbitrage opportunity?

Also on the list of comparables for Duvall are Miguel Sano (3rd), and Bo Jackson (6th).  I have no idea what that means, and I’m pretty sure Duvall would never play for Auburn.  Kyle Schwarber is the highest comparable, which sounds about right to me.

A Note For The Ad Seller At MLB.TV

If I ever encounter one of the Peloton Plant Dads who are “crushing it on the leaderboard,” I will see to it that he withers on the vine and dies. No ego, amigo.  Just die.  We’re getting to that time in the season for some ads where I really can’t bear hearing (or seeing) them at all. It’s bad enough that they are repeated every game… but 15 times a game is just too much. I’m sure there’s some theory under which all that repetition helps sell the product, but please run more than one commercial for your product. I’m reduced to begging. Liberty Mutual has four or five different ads, and at least they rotate them. (Haven’t seen the wet teddy bears for a month or so.) They all suck, but I wouldn’t actively campaign to see the company go bankrupt, like I’m doing with Peloton right now.

Chipwatch

“If it weren’t for Riley, Freeman would be in the MVP conversation.”

Words fail me.

Chip: “Youngest player to have 30 homers and 100 RBI”

Glavine: “Yeah, a lot of people have played 2nd base”

Chip: “That’s the caveat… for 2nd basemen.”

That’s a pretty big caveat. First off, among second basemen 24 and younger, Ozzie leads in neither HR or RBIs. Rougned Odor hit 33 as a 22-year-old in 2016, but had only 88 RBIs. He also hit 30 as a 23-year-old in 2017, with 75 RBIs. Joe Gordon had 111 RBIs for the Yankees as a 24-year-old in 1939, but hit only 28 homers. But yes. For the combination, Ozzie stands alone.

If you relax the “caveat,” there are 188 player-season at 24 or younger with 30 or more homers, and 119 of them had over 100 RBIs. Every one of those was a great season, as is Ozzie’s. Why strive for artificial “bestness?” It just invites ripostes like: “Among second basemen from Curacao who played at least 140 games, Ozzie is the only one who hasn’t hit 32 home runs or gotten 105 RBIs.” (Jonathan Schoop hit both these marks in 2017, though as a 25-year-old. The total games caveat is to eliminate Jurickson Profar and Ralph Milliard.) Ozzie is a much better ballplayer than Schoop, but this is what happens when you’re allowed free rein with “caveats.”

Broom Vs. Bumgarner

So in the final game, the immovable rock meets the unstoppable force. A clearly superior Braves team met Madison Bumgarner, who gave up no hits when they met back in April. First time through the order, the Braves managed a hit, so the dam was beginning to break, right?

Second time through, Ozzie began his chase of the Curaçoan second baseman RBI title with a long drive that scored Freddie from first after a replay consultation for fan interference. Riley followed with a homer. (If Riley hits 50 homers, I’m just going to call Chip prescient.)

After a shaky first inning, Charlie Morton was Charlie Morton. I was not a huge fan of the Morton signing. I was wrong. He left, however, after surrendering two singles to lead off the 7th. One pitch later from Jacob Webb, the game was tied. Two doubles and a sac fly later, the Hammers trailed by 2.

But, as Chip always says, it’s the late innings when the Braves bats really get going. Three straight strikeouts in the 8th and three flyouts in the 9th suggest that Chip is wrong… probably for the first time in his life.

Adam Duvall is ruining my plans for baseball history by getting two RBI-less singles in this game. Stop it! Either just hit homers or wait until guys are in scoring position to get singles. He came up a little lame and was replaced by Rosario, but to my expert medical eye I don’t think it’s anything serious.

On to San Diego…. But the series against Philly next week is going to be really important. There’s no getting around that now no matter what happens in San Diego.

  • Yes, yes we all know it’s 110, but that’s the way it’ll look in the official records.

Author: JonathanF

Alive since 1956. Braves fan since 1966. The first ten years were pretty much wasted. Exiled to Yankees/Mets territory in 1974 --- bearable only with TBS followed by MLB.TV.

68 thoughts on “Brooms are hard to find in the desert: Hammers 4, Snakes 6”

  1. Chip may or not be prescient, but you definitely are, JonathanF. I almost posted a comment during the game wondering whether anyone with over 100 RBI’s had ever had more RBI’s than hits. I had a hunch you’d be all over that.
    By the way, in my quick google search I couldn’t find anywhere that has RBI’s per hits ratio. I knew JonathanF would be on it, though.

    By the way, we’ve known for a couple of weeks that the season would come down to next week’s series against the Phillies. It’s going to be huge.

  2. I agree with a prior post that this stinker is on Snit. I couldn’t understand letting Morton hit in the top of the 7th and pitch in the bottom of the 7th. Webb would have surely been better off starting a clean inning. I also don’t understand last night or today not giving Lee a chance with a lead.

  3. Well, sure, Chip Caray may be inaccurate in both his predictions and his statements of fact. But other than that!

  4. Phillies, once trailing 6-0, are now up 8-6. That seventh inning starting the tumbling of dominoes that has this team down by a half-game after Saturday would be so Atlanta.

  5. I was initially going to respond to this post by saying that, with its focus on almost everything other than the gut-punch that this game ultimately was, it feels like whistling past the graveyard. But then I realized that that would only be true if I had written it. JonathanF always takes a wide-view, even-keeled perspective and almost never gets caught up in the vicissitudes of the season. In that way, he’s sort of the Bobby Cox of contributors to Braves Journal.

    But man, oh man, the possibility that Atlanta will lose this division to the Phillies, when the Braves have scored more runs, have a (much) better run differential, have the superior OPS, are (much) better in team ERA, have fewer errors . . . well, y’all get the picture. Baseball, like life, just isn’t fair. JonathanF already knows and accepts that, but some of us–well, I guess I should speak only for myself–are still struggling with that harsh reality.

  6. What happens if/when Snit rolls out Hancock and he blows a couple of key games with the Phillies or Mets? Will his job be in jeopardy? It is semi hard to imagine that with the way the season played out losing RAJ and Soroka, but he has been a key figure in several losses with the way he has managed particular games. Would AA go down that road? Not saying he should or shouldn’t, just wondering…

  7. Thanks, Mark (I think). To be compared to Bobby Cox in any way is an honor. I always thought of myself as the Fredi Gonzalez of Braves Journal commenters — following a legend and underperforming.

    As to my phlegmatic attitude, I definitely wasn’t always this way. But 1995 induced a certain calm. I said once they won a World Series I could die happy, and I haven’t changed my mind about that.

  8. ‘And thus the native hue of resolution
    Is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought,
    And enterprises of great pith and moment
    With this regard their currents turn awry,
    And lose the name of action.’

  9. Here’s where the lineup sat at the halt of the Braves/Pads game.

    Joc Pederson is up, but the bench is bulging with Soler, Duvall, and Rosario. Jesse Chavez is the only active pitcher burned.

  10. And just a reminder, the 1st game is a continuation of a DH so it begins in the 5th, but ends in the 7th.

  11. Looking at the box score for the suspended game, it’s interesting that Tomlin kept them in the game with two scoreless after Wilson had given up five in the first two. If the Braves come back and win, he deserves some of the credit. And I sincerely hope it’s the last game this season that Tomlin contributes to.

  12. Game restarts at 8:10 p.m. Eastern. Game 2 is scheduled for 10:10…not sure if they’ll wait until that time if Game 1 ends early or just roll right on into Game 2 after the standard 30-40 minute break.

    And for you early-risers, Game 2 will be the final late-night Braves game of the season. (Playoff schedule pending.)

  13. So we’re getting a new dog. I suggested several names to my wife. She didn’t like Acuna, Freddie or Chipper. She did however agree to… Riley.

  14. I had forgotten that the suspended game was a doubleheader and will only go 7. I would have liked our chances a lot more in a 9 inning game. I’m assuming the 2nd game tonight is 9 innings- correct?

  15. Do we get alerted on our devices of choice when this game resumes like when a game starts (if we have it turned on, of course)?

  16. Already, Snit is screwing this up. No real reason to pinch-hit for Pederson here against a righty. Hold Soler for use later.

  17. Rooting for the Pirates this weekend is like cheering for Vanderbilt to win the SEC. Utterly hopeless.

  18. Has anyone ever seen Chris Reitsma and Will Smith in the same room?

    Snit is about to be promoted to a front office role.

  19. Snit must’ve been thinking: “Do I use the 87, 89 or 92 Octane?”

    Yesterday it was Webb. Today, another homer allowed by Smith. Who can you count on? (obviously not Will)

  20. Chip, concerned with Will Smith’s pitch count in this inning, just said the Braves might need Smith in the nightcap. Everyone else is thinking that is the last thing they will need.

  21. So, just my gut, it’s often not very good, but I think regardless of whether the Braves lose the division and thus the playoff, or they hoist the big trophy, this is Snit’s last year. Just a feeling.

  22. That’s the thing. Would I take Smith out of the closer role and try someone else? Yeah. Would I have any faith in anybody else? No.

  23. Every time someone gives up a run the response is “should’ve used Matzek.” Unless it’s Matzek giving up the run. Then it’s Snitker’s fault for overusing Matzek.

  24. Snit and Smith, two losers. They are the major reason it is even close. Their performance is an embarrassment. Both pathetic.

  25. @40 we can only hope. His blind faith in Smith has single handedly made this division close. It’s embarrassing how bad he is

  26. I don’t know, Pittsburgh has scored either 5 or 6 runs in each of their last 6 games. Seems like it’s their pitching that blows chunks. Big, hot, sour chunks.

    Braves season is gonna come down to the wire.

  27. Well, good start. We might have caught a break on that interference double BTW. They possibly had a chance on him at second without that.

  28. Wow, sweet play by Dansby to save a run. No idea how you make a strong and accurate throw there. Impressive.

    Welp, Friday night or not, I’m turning in. Looks like everyone else is already there, haha. Hoping to read about another Fried CG shutout in the morning.

  29. Remember when Fried, good as he was, could never put anyone away and therefore frequently found himself on 90 pitches through five innings? There was some of that earlier this year, even. Uh yeah…he seems to have figured that out.

  30. People are trying to sleep here, Chip, and if you’re going to wake them up, the ball had better damn well go over the fence.

  31. This game is also on ESPN if you want a break from Chip.

    Fried through 8 shutout innings on 85 pitches and has set down 15 in a row. He’ll be going for his 2nd CG shutout of the season.

  32. Don’t trust the bullpen? Easy, just make sure all of our relievers’ asses stay firmly planted to the bench for the whole game.

    Also, I think I’m about to decide that Chip is better with a three-man booth regardless of who’s in it. He works with Francoeur and Glavine, and I actually think this is working OK with Byrd and Jordan. I think with two other guys in the booth to distribute airtime to, he has less time for his goofy bullcrap…that’s my hypothesis, anyway.

  33. Didn’t seem wise to change the channel with the team up 4-0, so I consigned myself to yet another of his fly-ball misjudgments awakening my daughter in one bedroom and a hamster in the other.

    And if Maximus were to ensure minimus use of the bullpen in this game, it would exacerbate Snit’s bonehead call on Hancock.

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