Braves pull off huge comeback, win 10-8 in San Diego

What was going through your mind when Manny Machado hit that grand slam to put the Padres up 7-3? Visions of 2011? Thinking about the Phillies winning the division? Wondering what was going on with Huscar Ynoa? All of the above? 

My first thought was about the pitching match-ups in the series against the Phillies next week. I think most of us know that the three-game series at Truist Park next week is going to decide the division one way or another. I was already just assuming the Braves would head into that series up or down half a game depending on tomorrow, and setting up the pitching. 

I had no thoughts about actually coming back tonight, but I should have.

The Braves scored four runs in the 6th, one with two outs in the 9th and (gasp!) two runs in the 10th inning for their biggest win of the season. It’s difficult to overstate how big that was. The Braves went from needing to win tomorrow just to guarantee staying in first place when they head home to knowing that they will be in first place through at least Tuesday, and potentially longer. They got the extra innings money off their back. They got the Will Smith problem solved (for tonight). Jorge Soler stepped up. It was, without question, the biggest win of the season. 

So far.

Positives: 

  • The biggest swing of the night was via Jorge Soler, and the second biggest one of the night was as well. A game-tying homer in the 6th and a game-winning double in the 10th from the trade deadline acquisition. He has done a lot for this team, but nothing more vital than what he stepped up with tonight. 
  • On the topic of the trade deadline, Eddie Rosario saved this game with a two-out single in the 9th off former Brave Mark Melancon. The work Alex Anthopolous did on July 31st was arguably his finest in his entire tenure as general manager. 
  • Shoutout to the bullpen for keeping the game close. Tyler Matzek, Luke Jackson and Rich Rodriguez all gave the offense a chance to steal this game. Big-time stuff from the relief corps tonight. 
  • Speaking of Rodriguez, that 9th inning flyout on Tommy Pham with the game on the line? Tough as nails. 
  • I know we’re all focused on the 7-3 comeback, but the 3-0 comeback early in the game was good too. Pulling the game back to 3-3 was absolutely huge early in the game. 
  • Three more hits for Austin Riley tonight. Keep that MVP hype train going. 
  • Lo and behold, the Braves won a game in extra innings! I thought I would never see it again. 
  • Seven different Braves recorded hits, and four had at least two. The depth is still churning. 

Negatives: 

  • I’m giving negatives the night off today. Did you see how they won?! 

Former Brave Of The Day: 

I guess it has to be Mark Melancon for letting the Braves back in the game in the 9th, huh? 

Quote Of The Game: 

“You can sum up the game of baseball in one word: ‘I don’t know’

— Joaquin Andujar

Tomorrow’s Goal: 

If the Braves win tomorrow their magic number drops to six. That would mean they are in range where a sweep over the Phillies would clinch the division, and winning two of three against the Phillies and Mets this week would do it as well. Getting that magic number from seven to six is huge. Just win. 

102 thoughts on “Braves pull off huge comeback, win 10-8 in San Diego”

  1. Submission for the Braves Journal glossary?

    A Ralph Macchio: When the Braves win a game they never led in until the final inning.

  2. Great win, and great job as always, Alan.

    There was discussion last night about Smoltz as a broadcaster. Perhaps his most defining feature is his curmudgeonliness about all changes in the game since his glory days–shifts, fewer innings by starting pitchers, hitters swinging for the fences, video replays, etc. I agree that some changes have made the game less exciting, but his across the board rejection of all innovation gets very tiresome.

    But last night he made an argument that I find absurd. He went on for a while about the glory days when each ump had his own strike zone, and he is critical that the strike zone has become more uniform thanks to technology. He went on to insist that offense and scoring runs would go down even further if we went to computerized calling of balls and strikes. His point, as I understood him, is that formerly a hitter could learn about an individual ump’s strike zone and adjust accordingly, but that once we go to a uniform strike zone, the pitchers will have a huge advantage.

    I may be missing something, but that doesn’t make sense to me. How is it harder to hit if the batter can count on a consistent strike zone? Moreover, how fair is it when pitcher and batter must deal with an arbitrary and capricious strike zone? This is one more example of Smoltz’s nostalgia for his own glory days (including his buddy Glavine’s ability to get strike calls 3-4 inches off the outside corner). But of course that’s a double edged sword. As much as I enjoyed Glavine’s stretching of the outside corner, taking more and more of what the ump gave him, I also remember full well Eric Gregg and Livan Hernandez in 1997.

  3. Find a sport in which 30% of the broadcasters bash the game they’re broadcasting. Baseball has a real problem in the booth right now.

  4. @3 Find a sport where 90% of its fans hate the vast majority of its announcers. Baseball fans eat their own.

  5. The only announcers I don’t like that announce Braves games are Chip and Tom and their “the way it used to be” mentality. Jim, Joe, Ben, Frenchy, BJ, Byrd, Moylan and Greene are, at the least, enjoyable and positive about today’s game.

    In fact, aside from when Joe was paired with Chip (god, they were insufferable), I’ve liked everyone in the booth.

  6. How many times this year has Freddie beaten out what look like routine grounders into the shift fielded in short right? When he did it last night, I remember thinking he had done it at least once before, maybe a month ago (and that time without any poor play by the defenders).

  7. @7–despite being fairly slow, Freddie is a very good base runner. One aspect of that is that he always runs hard out of the box.

  8. Right down to the high waisted pants and the flat top-looking GI Joe haircut, Freddie is a throwback “model American” baseball player. I can’t think of another player in baseball so boringly perfect at being the best version of his game profile.

  9. @3

    Major League Soccer has this problem, too, and I would argue it’s probably worse given they’re still trying to gain entry into the mainstream sports market. Though it’s a slightly different problem, as they don’t hate modern soccer per se, just MLS soccer specifically.

    Anyway, all baseball announcers don’t need to be good, sunshine-spouting automatons, but some introspection on these topics would be useful. Think the shift is stupid? Good. How about some further inquiry into whether or not you’re right about that, which situations you’re right about that in, etc.? That would be interesting. There’s perhaps a fine line between interesting, honest inquiry into different aspects of the game and just crapping on the game that it’s your job to cover, but it’s important to stay on the right side of that line.

  10. @6 Almost every single national broadcaster has been criticized by a portion of the MLB fan base.

    Bill James isn’t going to apply to work in a booth. There’s a certain caliber of person that is interested in spending potentially 170+ weekends/late nights/holidays per year yacking about one subject for 4 hours. The job, frankly, sucks, and I don’t understand why people so routinely expect so much out of the participants.

    And I really don’t have an issue with someone who excelled at the highest level like John Smoltz spending 1/10 of the time grind that is a 4-hour game talking about things that he doesn’t like, ESPECIALLY when there are things that a 35-year old non-former player like me doesn’t like about the modern game. If he wants to spend a few moments talking about that, more power to him. Lord knows he’s got plenty of time to fill.

  11. The problem is that Smoltz spends most of the broadcast doing that, not just a few moments. It’s like the Dana Carvey SNL old man skit without the charm.

  12. @2: I wasn’t going to go into the specific things Smoltz said that really annoyed me, but you absolutely nailed one of them that made exactly zero sense. The notion that robo-umps will be harder on hitters seems…odd. The first thing they do is eliminate framing. Since everyone seems to think framing is really important, that has to favor hitters. Going the other way are the pitches which are strikes but which the catcher has to contort to catch because the pitcher has missed his spot so badly. I suspect the first effect swamps the second, but I could be wrong. But I don’t understand Smoltz’ theory at all.

    His desire to make the Wild Card at least 2 out of 3 seems to consider only the upside and ignores the downside. It is true that 2 out of 3 slightly improves the odds that the better team wins. However: (1) it screws up the winning team’s rotation even more, unless you choose to hold out your ace and pray; (2) but more importantly, the more you ensure that the better team wins the Wild Card round, the more you devalue the importance of winning the season. Why don’t you want a lot to depend on who wins a 162-game season. Even if you think that leaving out the second place team was too much (and I don’t, but I’m a fossil as well) there must be a limit to how unimportant you want it to be.

    All that said, I prefer the opinionated (even if wrong) Smoltz to the idiotic Chip. Rightly or wrongly, I feel I could sit down with Smoltz and have a genuine discussion in which Smoltz could intelligently engage…. I have no such faith with Chip.

  13. @6 If Joe is better away from Chip then Tom might be too. I like listening to Tom when he is discussing pitching. John is so darn negative I can’t listen to him talk about anything. When he first started broadcasting games he wasn’t like that. Unlike a lot of others on Twitter I really like Paul Byrd. He just seems like such a kind man, and he LOVES the game of baseball. Frenchy also seems like someone who is genuinely kind. I remember when a little girl got hurt at a game and he reacted as if one of his girls got hurt.

    I really enjoyed the Braves game that was called by the ESPN statcast crew. No nonsense. No calling Dansby the best shortstop in the NL because of his 3 errors or whatever.

    Another positive from last night. When a fly ball was hit, it was called a fly ball….no premature home run calls.

  14. Guys, they’re announcers. They’re not Rhodes scholars. They’re not the wisest amongst us. They fill time. They’re entertainers. They get an idea in their head and run with it. They spend, on average, probably 60-70 hours a week during the baseball season traveling, prepping, and talking about baseball. What I can guarantee you they don’t do is come home after that 60-70 work week and load up Fangraphs or read the brilliant baseball thinker of our time to fully tease out and test their opinions and prognostications. They most likely spend time with their families and friends, attempt to maintain some modicum of health in an otherwise unhealthy occupation, watch sports and enjoy hobbies other than baseball, and otherwise avoid baseball all together.

    You’re robbing yourself of the enjoyment of watching the greatest game on the planet if you spend so much of your focus wondering about what Chip Caray or John Smoltz thinks about such-and-such. I assure you they don’t even care about what they think.

  15. @16 Their bosses should care what we think. Caray and Smoltz should both lose their jobs.

    If you want to be the best at your job you work at it. On their flights they could be studying. They obviously don’t, especially nitwit Chip.

  16. 15 — 100%. I hated Francoeur as a player but as an announcer he tries hard to offset Chip without being obvious about it and seems like a good guy. I also like Glavine because he’s laid back and doesn’t talk too much.

  17. @15 Agree with you, CindyJ, I enjoy Paul Bird most of those guys. Frenchy is alright, too. I absolutely can’t stand Chip. He is just not good at his job.

  18. TV announcers can’t ruin a game for me. I can always mute it, or listen to the radio ‘cast. As it relates to the game, I generally don’t get wound up about what they say or what they think. (Radio announcers… another story.)

    #13
    You could probably have an intelligent conversation with Smoltz… as long as you were talking baseball.

    And last night’s game in SD had some real tragedy:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/2021/09/26/woman-son-fall-petco-park/

  19. Question for the crowd here (I could probably find the answer with some research but I figure someone here knows the answer):

    If the Braves need to play that makeup against the Rockies on Monday 10/4, they might well come out of that tied with the Phillies. If so, I assume it would be a one game playoff the next day, right? Who gets home field if they do?
    And if they lose that playoff game but are tied with the Cards for the second wild card, is that a one game playoff? (I realize that tying the Cards would take a pretty huge collapse by them in the final week, but it’s possible)

  20. If Braves and Phils are tied, then there would be a one-game playoff at the home of the team with the better head-to-head record. If loser of that game is tied with the Cardinals, then there would be another one-game playoff.

  21. @18 I think there’s a supply and demand issue here. I don’t think the pool of people able and willing to do a better job than Chip Caray is as big as you think. The Braves are probably looking at Chip saying, “He shows up every day, he’s entertaining, and he’s not as bad as Joe Simpson,” and they focus on bigger and better. And before you say, “Hell, I’d do a better job, and I’d be happy to for what he’s getting paid,” re-think that. It’s a terrible job. I wouldn’t take it, and I don’t know anyone who would.

    Every game I watch/listen to, I hear something that is wrong or something I disagree with. It just doesn’t bother me. I’m sure as heck not going to mute it since I’ll actually miss factual information about what is going on on the field that I otherwise can’t visually so, and I’m certainly not going to mute the broadcast because once an hour Chip says something stupid. Am I going to sit in a quiet room watching television? What am I, Norman Bates?

    With that said, Chip has gotten MUCH worse this year about overblowing fly ball/home run calls. That’s getting very, very annoying, and the reason I find these to be a genuine problem is because he’s inaccurately describing the factual events of the game, which I think is the main responsibility of an announcer. If he wants to fill the completely unnecessary amount of dead space within a modern-day baseball game with being wrong, be my guest, but at least get the facts at hand correct.

  22. I realize that broadcasting a game on tv or radio is difficult; I know I would not be very good at it.

    My frustration comes when any journalist whose job it is to cover baseball is too lazy or too dumb to understand some pretty basic stuff about the game. I have a demanding job, a family I love to spend time with, and many other commitments. Still, I love the game and I like to think about it and read interesting things about the game. It frustrates me when I read or hear folks whose job is covering baseball asserting factual stuff without evidence or logic to support it.

  23. From 1991-1993, I was so nervous in the playoffs that I used to turn the sound off and sit on my couch alone and play classical music while I watched the Braves play. (I didn’t meet my wife until 1994.) So, not Norman Bates, but not that far away.

    I think it was you, Rob, who once admonished me about my antipathy for Chip pointing out that a big part of his job is to appeal to the average (or even novice) fan, not the committed fan. I actually agree with you about that, but it seems to me that that gives Chip an extra responsibility, not a lower one. When Chip argues that errors are the best measure of judging a shortstop’s defense he is keeping novice fans from understanding the game. When he cites 5 head-to-head at-bats as if that data has anything but the noisiest relevance he is retarding understanding, etc., etc. And I realize those fans don’t read Braves Journal, but shouting into the near-void (to my few friends) is, to quote Kevin Hart “what I do!”

  24. @25 Tfloyd, I’ve listened to your podcast, and I actually think you’d be pretty dang good at it. Just my $0.02.

    I think there are several things that are keeping us from finding agreement with our favorite least favorite announcer:

    -Garden variety “get off my lawn”-ness. I think this gets overblown and overstated far too often, but it does exist. Hawk Harrelson.
    -The game has changed, some for the better, some for the worse. Some genuinely prefer things to be the way things were 30 years ago. I actually sympathize with this. I love stolen bases. I hate some of the rule changes (as we all do).
    -There’s a disagreement over how the game has changed. Are we fully at a point where the pursuit of the three true outcomes has taken over every front office and we’re here to stay? Who knows, so the announcers find themselves stuck between trying to explain a game more like 30 years ago because they don’t totally understand where we are today and where we’re going.
    -They have a different vantage point. Bottom line, they talk to more players, and players think differently than us, and they’re the ones actually good at this game. Chip has had more conversations with Tom Glavine than you or I will, and as an example, ole Tommy loves the pitcher win stat. He probably genuinely feels like, whether he’s right or wrong, the pitcher win stat has relevance. If only 21 humans in history exceeded me in the collection of something, I’d probably think it’s significant too. And if you have a lot of conversations with someone as good at something as Tom Glavine was at playing baseball, you might find yourself believing the fella who was pretty good at baseball.
    -Along this line, NO ONE is in agreement on what metrics we ought to use to evaluate this game. Ryan said the other day that he’s gone back and forth on WPA. I’m still pro-WPA, and tomorrow I may not be. And announcers are in this world where they’re not even debating WPA; they’re stuck on batting average and RBIs. And they might be forever. So they’re on a broadcast, and they not only have to talk to a group debating WPA, but they also have to talk to a group that thinks Adam Duvall is one of the best players in all of baseball because he has a bunch of RBIs. That ain’t easy.

    I guarantee that if you let Frenchy or Paul Byrd or Tom Glavine or Nick Green or Brian Jordan talk as much as Chip does, you’ll find out that they run out of good things to say too. There’s a reason Chip has to talk all the time, and those guys are deployed in small doses.

  25. Calling play by play isn’t easy. But I believe that the reason that many of the broadcasters aren’t particularly good at their jobs is a selection effect: the hiring process for these broadcasters is not primarily focused on a person’s broadcasting acumen. For color commentators, it has a lot more to do with their fame among the fan base. For play by play guys, it seems like it often has a lot to do with their daddy’s last name. Both of these factors reflect a belief that fans tune in more because of who’s talking than because of what they’re saying.

    You could hire a better broadcaster if you wanted to. They don’t seem to want to.

  26. I think it was you, Rob, who once admonished me about my antipathy for Chip pointing out that a big part of his job is to appeal to the average (or even novice) fan, not the committed fan. I actually agree with you about that, but it seems to me that that gives Chip an extra responsibility, not a lower one. When Chip argues that errors are the best measure of judging a shortstop’s defense he is keeping novice fans from understanding the game. When he cites 5 head-to-head at-bats as if that data has anything but the noisiest relevance he is retarding understanding, etc., etc. And I realize those fans don’t read Braves Journal, but shouting into the near-void (to my few friends) is, to quote Kevin Hart “what I do!”

    Chip is wrong a lot. You’ll get no debate there. I just said in another comment he’s wrong about once every hour, and maybe that’s generous. I guess we disagree over whether we expect him not to be. I don’t. ¯_(ツ)_/¯

    And I love you and I love Chip all the same. And that’s the thing about baseball; there are idiots (Chip), and there are some of the most brilliant thinkers I’ve experienced (you), and the game can accommodate both of you. Not every sport can do that.

    EDIT: I keep trying to put the shoulder shrug in text, but my right radius and ulna keep getting deleted. Oh well.

  27. For play by play guys, it seems like it often has a lot to do with their daddy’s last name.

    What percentage of MLB play-by-play guys are sons/daughters of former announcers? 10, 15?

  28. Something that drives the other dudes in the booth crazy in regards to Chip: He rarely studies any of his notes, rather regurgitates them without questioning and/or research (remember the Hendrix thing?). This isn’t me making this up…it comes from a legit source that has first hand knowledge.

  29. You could hire a better broadcaster if you wanted to. They don’t seem to want to.

    Their definition of a good broadcaster and your definition of a good broadcaster are probably different, FWIW. Chip sounds pretty great on all those little home run highlight videos that circulate social media as they attempt to grow their product.

    I’ve been trying to avoid saying this because I figured it would make me sound stupid, but here goes: I think the primary responsibility of a good announcers is to sound great on the impact plays. Home run calls, plays at the plate, all the big stuff. Sports is action. Just because it’s less frequent in baseball doesn’t make it any less important. So when there is action, it needs to be described with excitement and passion. The announcers across baseball that do this better than Chip can be counted on one hand. And I think MLB teams agree with this.

    There’s a reason I still listen to Skip’s Sid Bream call: it was delivered flawlessly with passion and intensity. Chip learned that very well.

    Tell me that’s not how you want your announcer to sound. Some guys just can’t do that. Jim Powell can’t do that, as good as he is. Disqualifying.

  30. The Pirates lead 5-0 after 7 1/2. My fingers are crossed.

    Don’t know if anyone is watching the pros today but Justin Tucker just kicked a 66yd FG as time expired to win it for the Ravens. It bounced off the crossbar and over. Also a new NFL record.

    Ironically, ARZ tried a 68yd FG today but it was short and turned into a Kick 6.

  31. Chip has obviously never played the game much above little league. That’s not a huge problem because there have been many good announcers with that distinction. The problem is they have been students of the game. Chip listens to what other people tell him but seems to do very little studying on his own. I’m speaking as someone who is annoyed at times by Chip but doesn’t get too worked up one way or another.

  32. In the top of the 9th, Bucs got a lead-off single. The runner advanced to 2nd on a passed ball, advanced to 3rd on a wild pitch, and scored on a balk. Bucs up 6-0 going to bottom on the 9th.

  33. Can anyone explain Atlanta’s transactions today. The transaction wire says they sent Touki to Gwinnett but I can’t find any corresponding move back to Atlanta. Are they just going with 27 today instead of the maximum 28?

  34. Agree with nearly all of the above comments about Chip, but also, it’s not Chip’s fault that I can’t listen to him without comparing him unfavorably to his dad. I wouldn’t get quite as frustrated with him if I didn’t think he ought to be better.

  35. I’m telling you right now, Skip wouldn’t love the three true outcomes game that baseball has become.

  36. I’m too lazy to find a GIF of Pirates Girl from that 18-inning cluster, but just imagine that I did that.

    Also, I agree with Rob that Chip is very, very good when what just happened on the field is a 10 on the excitement meter. This doesn’t come up very often, obviously, but the highlight Rob just posted, the Heyward Opening Day home run call, the Conrad walk-off grand slam call…all very good.

  37. I want to note that I don’t like Chip or Smoltz in the booth, whereas I quite like Frenchy and Byrd. Tommy needs help in the booth; three person booths involving Frenchy he’s quite good in. I am pretty sure I am not tracking how much I agree with them but how much they annoy me. Smoltz spends too much time on his soap boxes; even if I’m wrong about how often he starts in, he actually keeps talking abt it even when stuff is happening on the field, to the extent that the PBP guy had to interrupt him multiple times last night while he was talking about umpire strike zones, and that stuff is unforgivable.

  38. I can’t believe Tom has bought into Chip’s total nonsense about Riley for MVP. Tom thinks Harper will get it only because of “name value”. They are both bonkers. Freddie should finish ahead of Austin in the MVP race. Freddie about 5th or so and maybe Riley squeaks in the top 10.

  39. Juan Soto leads NL hitters in WAR according to ESPN.

    Free runs! Thank you Grisham.

    FWIW I think Tom is great in the booth and Chip is only slightly below average. (the corniness bugs me more than having opinions I don’t agree with)

  40. I think top 5 mvp for Riley would be perfectly reasonable and I’m not confident Freeman should do better. But even top three seems super hard to justify to me.

  41. @44 -I got it. With all the transactions that happened, basically 2 slots were opened when Touki and Santana were put on different lists. Dylan Lee was sent back, Arcia stayed up, Santana came back, and Touki went to Gwinnett. Arcia took Touki’s spot on the roster.

    On another note, people have mentioned commercials they hate on Bally. There is none I hate more than the Powerball commercial with the manic depressive wife who decries the possibility of Mulah Monday. I’ve been happily married for 26 years but if I was single it would make me think twice about getting married.

  42. MLB.tv repeatedly shows a pair of Pepsi commercials that valorize husbands for excluding their wives from nicely-cooked meals, and I still can’t really come to terms with that.

  43. Webb has turned back into a pumpkin. Why isnt anyone removing him after the obligatory 3 hitter rule.
    Edit: oh wow, didnt realize this was his second inning of work; that makes this even worse. Why wasnt he removed at the first sign of trouble. Snitkerrrr!

  44. Meh, don’t see this as all on Webb. He was great his 1st inning. This inning he was undone by bad outfield play and a lucky hit. He gets rattled too easy too.

  45. Multiple lucky hits. The single up the middle gets fielded easy if the infield is at normal depth, and I hesitate to say “check-swing triple” but that hitter was super fooled.

    The liner Dansby caught was hit way better than anything this inning.

  46. Following on gameday, so I didn’t have the luxury of seeing his defense let him down. But yeah, he does get rattled easily.

  47. @47 Freddie has a 4.3 fWAR (14th in the NL), Ronald is 4.2 (15th), Riley is 4.0 (18th). The top 3 on playoff contending teams are: Harper (6.6), Trea Turner (6.1), and Brandon Crawford (5.2). Others ahead of our guys are Goldy, Realmuto, Posey, Muncy, Tyler O’Neill, and Will Smith.

    Soto is at 6.6 for the non contending Nats. Tatis is at 6.2. I will be interested to see if he gets votes.

    Because of so many Dodgers on the list that might allow Freddie to scoot up a little higher. Austin and Freddie will both get down ballot votes. Harper will win it because he deserves it.

    I’m only using Fangraphs stats. I’m sure BRef will be a little different. Chip sites no stats whatsoever.

  48. @58, BRef has Riley at 5.5 WAR.

    For what it’s worth, Bill James’s site uses something they call Total Runs, which they say measures hitting, baserunning, fielding, and pitching. The top five in MLB this year are all in the AL (Ohtani, Semien, Mullins, Correa, & Vladito), but their NL leaders are Turner (122), Riley (118), Albies (116), and Wheeler (116). From the title & brief description, I get the impression that this may not take into account how many outs players use to generate their runs, so Riley probably benefits from that a little and Albies a lot. Still, thought it was interesting since most of us seem to agree that Riley has had a great year but isn’t close to Harper/Soto/Tatis.

  49. We may win this game but I very seriously question the wisdom of making this a bullpen game. If we are going to do that, I think we should have at least tried to get more than 1.2 innings from Chavez or Smyly.

  50. What does BRef have Harper and Tatis at (WAR)? My eyes are still blurry from surgery so research is a pain.

  51. BRef Position player WAR
    1. Soto • WSN 7.4
    2. Tatis • SDP 6.7
    3. Goldschmidt • STL 6.0
    4. Turner • 2TM 5.9
    5. O’Neill • STL 5.8
    6. Harper • PHI 5.7
    7. Reynolds • PIT 5.5
    8. Riley • ATL 5.5
    9. Crawford • SFG 5.3
    10. Muncy • LAD 5.0

  52. .@63 Thanks! Very interesting to see the difference.

    Good ole’ Smith and Snit’s undying faith in him.

  53. If the Braves lose this game, they will finish this West Coast marathon 6-5. Will Smith will have been responsible for three of the losses. And the moron in the dugout keeps using him.

  54. @65. Agreed. Other than his bullpen usage I’m ok with Snit but his blind allegiance to Smith as the ‘closer’ just beggars belief and is so bad it should have us looking for a new manager.

  55. This is what happens when your closer sucks but he’s pitching 3 days in a row because we’ve used 8 relievers today and our 4th and 5th starters suck. This is a team effort.

  56. @77 and that points to particularly poor bullpen usage. Especially with expanded rosters and the lack of any recent long extra inning games it’s just idiotic.

  57. I forgive all of you (well, I guess Nick doesn’t need it) for not appreciating Chip’s excellent strike 3 call there. Pobody’s nerfect.

  58. @77 I’m just mad at him in general…..but Newk would probably be better than a worn out terrible relief pitcher.

    Whew!!

  59. I’m not sure that ending was really so fun… but at this point, we’ll take ’em any way we can get ’em.

    Thank goodness for the off-day.

    We might just win this thing.

  60. Talk about FullPack…..

    The good news is that the magic number is 5 and winning 2 of 3 against Philly could essentially clinch it.

    7-4 on that road trip including the suspended game is not so bad. A second good road trip. They are not choking, that’s for sure.

    Both ATL and PHL are 7-3 in their last 10.

  61. Even if his results arent quite as bad, Hancock deserves to join the unholy trinity of Reitsma-Kolb-Wickman.

  62. That was heart attack inducing. Phew…

    But there really isn’t anyone obviously better on the roster. We’re just going to have to enjoy the ride the rest of the way. Great result and road trip in the end.

  63. Thank you Mr. Umpire for allowing Smith to wiggle out of that jam. Fire SnitSmith and the mlb schedule makers to the Moon.

  64. ‘When shall we three meet again?
    When the hurley burley’s done
    When the battle’s lost and won.’

    The Witches chant, Macbeth.

  65. @88 he gets a pass for at least having one really good season (outperforming FIP considerably), before having it catch up to him in year 2.

  66. Y’all don’t understand Snit’s reasoning. At least as closer, he always comes in with the bases empty and can afford to walk a batter or two (or three).

    That was facetious, but seriously, as Jon S. likes to point out, would you rather have him come in earlier in a high leverage situation with runners on?

  67. I listen to Dave O’Brien and Eric O’Flaherty’s podcast a lot. EOF says the last thing relievers need is added pressure about losing their slot in the bullpen (winning/losing the game is enough pressure)

    If Snitker shuffles guys around as much as fans would have him, he’d have a pen full of nervous wrecks who can’t get anyone out.

    Sometimes the closer you have is the closer you have. And with very few starters going more than 6 IP, you have multiple “closers” anyway.

  68. Now that I’ve recovered from that and with the Falcons also winning today (in a terrible football game, but I digress), I found myself wondering when the last time the Falcons and Braves won on the same day was. And it is waaaaaay worse than I thought (and I thought it was bad): Try Sept. 10, 2017.

    Obviously, that’s significantly more attributable to the Falcons than the Braves, but still…

  69. Just wanted to say that I’ve been reading the site since 2006/2007, and have done a recap or two over the years.

    Without question, I think the quality of the recaps this year has been the best ever. Thanks to everyone for their time and efforts. It’s been great.

  70. @91 Wild Thang?

    I think the idea of a closer in general is stupid. There are high leverage and low leverage situations. Smith has the skills of a low leverage pitcher right now and should be used as such until he quits giving up bombs.

  71. If I were Snit, I’d be tempted to see how far the team could get in the playoffs with a 3-man rotation and Ynoa as closer. His biggest problem is only having two good pitches, right? At least in the short term, that’s one more than a closer needs.

    The rotation would be Morton-Fried-Anderson, with Smyly as a 2- or 3-inning reliever piggybacked with Anderson. Give Jackson and Matzek and Minter and Chavez the rest of the high- and medium-leverage innings and have Smith, Santana, and Rodriguez pitch if down by 3+. If Snit doesn’t want to totally disrespect Smith, he could make him a one-inning opener for Morton or Anderson; that might shake things up while still giving him a role.

    Snit wouldn’t consider it, of course, unless Smith is injured or blows several more saves in horrendous fashion.

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