A Very Efficient Recap of Game 1: Braves 3, Dodgers 2

As most of you know, I was once an economist.  Economics teaches the efficient use of resources, and last night the Braves were about as efficient as you can be.  They got two guys into scoring position all night: one in the first inning and one in the ninth inning.  They both scored.  Then in the middle they hit a home run that traveled less than 400 feet: very efficient.  They used four pitchers, which isn’t super efficient by baseball history standards but downright stingy by current standards.  Finally, they got exactly as many runs as they needed to win the game.

The Dodgers, on the other hand were profligately inefficient. They put five guys in scoring position and only one of them scored.  They wasted 50 or 60 feet on their homer.  They used eight pitchers, and they were very inefficient with Blake Treinen, using him for only one out.  Finally, and most inefficiently, they lost despite paying their team a lot more than anyone else pays their team.  Tsk, tsk.  Very wasteful.

The most efficient team doesn’t always win.  This sort of high wire act, as I said last night, got a lot of Wallendas killed.  But they won last night.  My heart wouldn’t object if we won some more games really inefficiently: y’know, 10-2 or something.  I’m a retired economist, and the dirty secret is that efficiency isn’t everything.

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.

246 thoughts on “A Very Efficient Recap of Game 1: Braves 3, Dodgers 2”

  1. Of course Riley was the hero, but I wanted to comment on some of the unsung heroes of this game.

    Albies saved a run in the 6th with his glove, and being perfectly positioned. Runner on 3rd, if you’re not in the right spot to field that or you don’t have Albies’ athletic ability to make the jump and snag, then that’s a base hit, and suddenly we’re behind.

    Albies also created the winning run by stealing 2nd in the 9th. Man, he’s fast!

    Matzek, of course he was great. Fried wasn’t as sharp as we all wanted him to be (although still awesome even without his best stuff). But the hero there was actually D’Arnaud. To hear both pitchers in the press conference credit his pitch calling, and to look back at the big pitches they made to yield weak hits or Ks, it is clear how critically important D’Arnaud’s pitch calling was in this game.

    Pedersen in the 9th with the hustle and quick throw to nail Turner in no-man’s-land. With Will Smith on the mound, who even knows what that would’ve turned into if we didn’t get that out. Clutch those pearls.

    Do we know who on the coaching staff is responsible for defensive positioning? Is it Ron Washington? Who makes the calls to send baserunners? Steals in the 1st and 9th were huge. The team staff really shined tonight. Real brilliance. A metrics-focused moneyball team most likely loses this game due to reluctance to steal bases. A team run by Fredi definitely loses this game due to idiocy (yes, my Fredi scars are deep). But hooray for Snitker, Washington, and the rest of the coaching staff who put us in a position to win, instead of being in the way.

  2. Great work, JonathanF.

    It’s true Riley’s HR was credited as only 381 feet, but he crushed it at 110 mph. If the left field bleacher hadn’t been there, it might still be going.

    @3–Agree completely about d’Arnaud. On Smith’s homer it appeared that Fried shook off his sigh for another curve in order to throw the heater. Bet he doesn’t shake him off again.

    As to the defensive positioning, it’s pretty clear the analytics folks upstairs took that over last May to great results: https://www.mlb.com/news/the-secret-to-atlantas-defensive-turnaround

  3. Based on the postgame interview, it sounded like Albies made the decision to run.

    He’s not a perfect ballplayer — his plate approach often leaves somewhat to be desired — but he’s one hell of a player. He’s got defense, speed, power, and incredible makeup. And just from the way he carries himself in the postgame interviews you can tell that he sees himself as a leader on the team, that the other players acknowledge him as a leader on the team, and he wears that mantle with lightness and grace.

    Just like Andruw Jones, he hit for a lot more average in the minors, and he sells out for a lot more power in the big leagues, and that’s okay, because of everything else he does. I’d love it if they could find a way to calm his approach and get him to be a bit more selective, but at the end of the day, he is who he is, a 3-4 win player who does stuff like he did last night on a pretty regular basis. I love him so much.

  4. @3 “moneyball” teams aren’t against stealing bases. Why would you think that? They are against giving away outs like the Dodgers did last night by bunting. Btw, the Braves are a very Metrics focused team. This includes things like defensive positioning.

  5. Great recap of a great win. I wouldn’t call tonight a must win for either team, but if we win, game 3 will be a must win for the Dodgers. We badly need Freeman to get himself straightened out and step up tonight against Scherzer.

  6. I kind of agree with the TBS broadcast crew last night (I think it was mainly Ron Darling, specifically) when they said that last night was a super-important game for us to win. The Dodgers were kind of out over their skis with their second crazy bullpen game in three days with the day in-between being a jetlag-inducing cross-country flight. If we hadn’t won that game and then had to face Max Scherzer tonight to avoid going down 0-2, we could’ve been in real trouble.

  7. @6 Maybe I’m mistaken or have outdated info. At some point, I thought the metrics-focused teams decided that stealing bases was bad strategy. No? It certainly worked for us last night.

    @5 Oh wow, great article. I knew something changed. I didn’t realize how sudden and complete the change was.

  8. @9 I agree. It’s kind of weird to think of game 1 as a “must win”, but if you don’t win the matchup with your best pitcher against a bullpen game at home, it gets really hard to envision coming away with a series victory.

  9. @11 Good point. I had forgotten about that. Players like Ozzie, Ronald and Dansby pretty much should get the green light to steal whenever they think they can make it because they are good at it. Someone like Pache does not because he is not good at it.

    @12 I was thinking that this morning. I want to win so badly, and I so detest the Dodgers and their arrogant fans.

  10. There are so many reasons why game 1 was the most important to win. First and foremost is that we really ARE underdogs to a better team. Even as evidenced from last night, the Braves had to be near perfect with the Dodgers making stupid mistakes for us to win. Second is momentum. Add momentum to a superior team and it just goes downhill from there. Third is homefield advantage. That goes away with any loss at home. And also that the Dodgers did not use any of their best starters

    I can’t forget being up 3-1 and losing the series last year. No lead is safe, but it’s better to be 3-1 than 1-3.

    I am really not as much concerned about Scherzer. We’ve seen him before and beat him before. Buehler and Urias are kryptonite. And I’ll bet dollars to donuts that we never see Treinen in the 9th again.

    I think there was a little arrogance and overconfidence in that bullpen game last night. The thinking being “if we win, we can sweep and, if we lose, we’ll still win the series”

  11. @6–I’m with Alex regarding Ozzie. He’s a phenomenal talent and an absolute joy. I do wish he’d learn just a little more plate discipline. The Athletic did a terrific interview with Ron Washington last month. He had great things to say about all the infielders, but as to Albies he said: “If he wasn’t so quick to try to hit every goddamn thing he sees, just think how special he’d be offensively.” https://theathletic.com/2864928/2021/10/03/ron-washington-on-the-braves-2021-division-winning-season-once-we-got-got-where-we-belonged-it-was-over/

  12. @15. Yes, I agree. There was arrogance on their part by throwing out all their bullpen guys thinking they were going to win this series eventually. It almost worked too…. We looked really bad striking out so much. I hope the familiarity with Scherzer is a good sign. We’ve beat him before, we can again.

  13. Ron Washington is wonderful. I’m not eager to see him go since he’s been a big part of our success, but I hope he gets his dream job.

  14. This Plaschke guy is one bitter man.
    @17 Agree with Rob, Ingram is excellent. As many wrote before, even Joe is good on the radio – and I really, really disliked him with Chip.
    Ian against Scherzer – on paper we are losing this game. Go Braves!

  15. @10, @11 – The “stolen bases are bad in general” thinking is that steal attempts increase the number of times you’ll score in an inning but decrease the number of times you’ll score more than one run in an inning. The balance in terms of total expected runs is usually negative at typical rates of success. However, teams aren’t trying to maximize their total expected runs, but their total expected wins. In the extreme situation, tie game in the bottom of the 9th or of an extra inning, if you score one run you win the game, so all you care about is increasing the number of times you’ll score in the inning. So the breakeven success rate for Ozzie’s attempt to be a good idea was a lot lower than that for Rosario’s attempt in the first inning, when maximizing total expected runs is closer to maximizing total expected wins.

  16. Plaschke is an absolute buffoon. I don’t think he speaks for all or even the majority of Dodgers fans but I do agree that fans of the California teams have an arrogance about them that is amplified by Plaschke. Let’s put them away in 4!

  17. @23 I thought that was regarding bunts, not steals. Metrics don’t say that much about stealing other than, “if you aren’t very good at it, don’t do it”.

    @24 He is out at least 10 days and then must be approved by the committee to return. However, he was left off of the Braves NLCS roster so he can’t even return unless someone gets hurt AND he passes the protocols.

  18. Problem with Snit not separating lefties. If he wants Rosario 1, then Ozzie 2, freeman 4, Duvall 5, pederson 6.

  19. There was definitely a period where the general attitude of statheads was mostly anti-steal because traditionalists stole waaaay too much, so I get where the general thought of statheads disliking steals comes from. But the context is pretty different now, and as a result the attitude is different.

  20. @28
    I thought the anti-steal sentiment was amplified by the steroid induced run-totals of 90’s and early aughts. You don’t want to run into an out when it was so easy to hit a home-run. Whereas the run-environment of the 80’s leant itself to more steals. Given how easy it is to hit a home-run these days, stealing is not the best idea unless you’re really good.

  21. They’ve actually gone ahead and announced start times for the rest of the series, I noticed. And there’s no 9 p.m. games! (Hooray!)

    Game 3: Tuesday, 5:08
    Game 4: Wednesday, 8:08
    Game 5: Thursday, 8:08
    Game 6: Saturday, 5:08 (could probably be moved later if no ALCS Game 7)
    Game 7: Sunday, 7:38

    All times Eastern BTW

  22. @26 I don’t think that’s exactly true. I think Soler is out at least 5 days and then needs to test negative and get approval. And he can come back in the NLCS as long as he replaces the player that replaced him (i.e. Pache).

  23. @31

    I believe that is correct. He can tag in for Pache at any time after he’s cleared by the MLB coronavirus panel.

  24. @31 Sorry, I am correct on this one. I don’t want to argue about it but I did read the rules.

  25. It depends on his vaccination status. A vaccinated player (which the team has said he is) must sit out a minimum of 5 days and have 2+ negative tests in that span. Then the committee must clear him. Under this schedule Soler might rejoin the roster as soon as game 3. He would replace Pache on the roster and Pache would be ineligible to play until the world series, even if someone gets injured.

    An unvaccinated play must sit out a minimum of 10 days and it is unclear whether they can rejoin the roster before the world series.

  26. Soler can come in for Pache after the 10 days has passed and he tests negative plus gets the approval of the MLB committee. I was wrong about that last part. He is out at least until game 6. Soler was not vaccinated.

  27. Pache would be ineligible to play until the world series, even if someone gets injured.

    So Pache is burned for the entire series because a most likely vaccinated, most likely asymptomatic elite athlete got a virus.

    And we complain about how dumb the replay rules are…

  28. @36

    It seems pretty clear that he wasn’t vaccinated, given the timeline the Braves keep saying. DOB has basically said he wasn’t vaccinated, as well, if that does anything for you.

  29. Falling behind multiple runs before I even have a chance to turn on the game. A Braves postseason tradition unlike any other.

  30. Ian’s command is off, but he’s also getting squeezed a little by the home plate ump. The gopher ball to Seager was a bad hanger.

  31. Man, I can’t stand this team. I wanted the Braves to score quickly, not these media darling weasels.

  32. For what it’s worth, DOB explicitly said he was vaccinated in a comment I linked a couple days ago.

  33. @43

    He pretty implied the opposite in a tweet this afternoon, though looking at it again, it’s somewhat difficult to figure out exactly what he’s talking about. I’m just going to stop trying to extrapolate Soler’s vaccination status and move on.

  34. Ian has had a couple of nice change ups down in the zone, but he hung the same pitch in the same location to both Turner and Smith. This is not just 1st-inning jitters, I’m afraid. He’s still fighting it. Let’s see what he’s made of.

    Also, correction to the above – the assertion that Soler is vaccinated came from the AP, published in ESPN, not DOB:

    https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/32401365/atlanta-braves-plan-jorge-soler-nlcs-positive-covid-19-diagnosis

    What a strikeout!!

  35. Sorry, I should stop and will.

    Camera showing Snit sternly talking to Ian in the dugout. Is his night over?

  36. I’m not sure of that’s a mistake or not. How bad does Ian have to be to be worse than our middle relievers?

  37. Man, looking at that salt and pepper in Mark Prior’s beard is making this youngster feel pretty old.

    For you guys a couple-few decades my senior, it’s really got to be incredible when you see just how long you’ve been watching baseball. “Vlad Guerrero, Jr.?! I remember when Vlad Guerrero was a rookie!”

  38. Really like how aggressively Snit et al is managing. Ian doesn’t have it, so cut your losses.

  39. Fair point, Rob. Wonder whether Ian’s now a short-rest candidate for Game 4 or 5.

    Clearly obviously safe. Even the New York crew couldn’t screw us.

  40. Max Scherzer is one of those co-workers you think twice about approaching because of how prickly they are, and yet are so good at the job that you can’t help but talk to them.

  41. I haven’t seen Freddie this bad since he was having eye problems. 6 straight Ks.

    @53 I agree.

  42. Fair point, Rob. Wonder whether Ian’s now a short-rest candidate for Game 4 or 5.

    I think they’re employing this strategy. If a guy doesn’t quite have it, get him out of there so you can bring him back on “short” rest, which now might be a malleable term. Is it “short” rest if he only threw 50 pitches 3 days before? He might be good to go.

    I brought up the jab talk because it’s silly that you’re forced to burn Pache for the entire series, that’s all. If you’re going to hold out Soler on a technicality, then why not make the rule where it’s free substitution with the replacement player only if it’s Covid? If you’re vaxxed, everybody’s vaxxed, and you get the ‘vid, then just do your time but don’t mess up the roster any more than you have to.

  43. @59 That’s awesome. It must be really cool to have followed someone like Dusty Baker from player to coach to manager for 50+ years, especially a guy like him who has had such a noteworthy baseball career in so many different ways. He’s got to be in a very rare club once he wins 17 more regular season games: he’ll have had 250 home runs and 1,000 RBIs as a player along with 2,000 wins as a manager.

  44. As I think cliff said the other day, I don’t know who this guy claiming to be Jesse Chavez really is, but I’ll take him.

  45. @61 Very cool.

    Isn’t there a family who’s had 3 generations of baseball players? Some of you have seen all 3 players.

  46. Oh my God. This is legitimate “the bards will sing of thee after we all have gone” territory.

  47. @51, there’s a 31-year-old Giant whose grandfather (Yaz) many of us saw play for many years. I also remember Tony LaRussa and Hoyt Wilhelm as Braves players, saw Aaron and Mays play, and I became a baseball fan the year after Bobby Cox’s second and last season playing for the Yankees. I’m sure others can top those.

    Edit – @64, pretty sure the Boones are another 3-generation family – Ray, Bob, and Aaron/Bret.

  48. The Boones are one three-generation family – Gus, Bob, then Bret and Aaron – and it kills me that I can’t remember the other. Ububba, help me out here?

    UPDATE: Whoops, missed that you got it, Cindy! And I guess Gus was a Bell. Bob Boone had a dad who played and clearly I’m just a little over-refreshed to remember these things. Ray! That’s it. Thanks, bb-ref.

  49. My wife has been super busy and hasn’t been able to watch baseball the last couple months, so I had to explain who the entire starting outfield was.

    “Left field, that guy’s new. Center field, that guy’s new but he was here last year. Right field, yep, that guy’s new. Oh, and the normal starting RF has Covid. And he’s new too.”

  50. I don’t really remember Gus Bell, although he did finish his career in 1964, the year I first started following baseball closely. Of course I remember Buddy and David very well.
    And Ray Boone retired in 1960, so I just missed him, but I do remember Bob, Bret, and Aaron–and never liked any of them.

  51. Coop, if you’re lurking on this thread, could you chime in? Your memory goes quite a ways back too!

  52. My Dad was a big Reds fan so I’ve often heard him talk about Gus Bell.

    @77 I was shocked Chavez came out too.

  53. @62–Dusty will join Joe Torre as the second member of that club. And Joe Torre’s first game as an Atlanta Brave is one of my favorite memories.
    Man, I’m older than I realized!

  54. My earliest baseball memory is Hank Aaron breaking Ruth’s record so that’s a pretty good one. I might still have the newspaper clipping.

  55. That’s awesome! Lou Piniella is another guy near that territory though he frankly was just short of their class as both a player and as a manager. (Same with Cito Gaston, Dusty’s old teammate. Amazing how many of these folks played with Henry Aaron, though I’d suggest that’s not a total coincidence and I suspect they’d agree.)

  56. Swansby!

    Orlando Arcia is such a crappy hitter. I’m not convinced Huascar is worse.

  57. To be clear, I was referring to Torre’s first game as a player for the ATL Braves, which was the first ever game for the Atlanta Braves. His first games as the manager of the Braves were pretty memorable as well, since he won the first 13.

  58. My earliest Braves memory is Toronto beating us in the World Series, so I’m a baby compared to a lot of you guys.

  59. Arcia is a waste of a roster spot. If you wanted to fail to lay down a bunt and then strike out, we could have used one of those many pitchers that we aren’t going to use on the mound.

  60. If we are going to bat Rosario leadoff, we have to put Ozzie or Dansby between him and Freeman.

  61. So we didn’t get beat by the great Max Scherzer. So there.

    I hope Freddie can get a walk at least so Ozzie can come up RH with one out and bases loaded.

  62. My earliest isn’t too much earlier, honestly. It was a random game in 1990, with a young Dave Justice and an old Dale Murphy.

    Eddie!

  63. I saw Hank Aaron play an exhibition game in Birmingham in Spring 1969 and his last at bat in Shea Stadium. He got a standing O from the Mets fans which was something. They were a rough crowd back then.

  64. ¹Wow, it feels like the HR against Hader was like a blind squirrel finding a nut. What the hell is his excuse gonna be this time? Lasik? Swinging wet newspaper? Twins keeping him up?

    I have loved the guy, don’t get me wrong, but what the hell?

  65. @78: but I don’t even know what day, month or year it is.

    The DiMaggios were three brothers who played. The Alous also. Hank and Tommy. Lots of siblings.

    Generations? You youngsters picked the low hanging fruit. The Bells and Boones are the only ones who come to mind.

  66. Nerts. That was a good opportunity. Ozzie has got to read more Juan Soto interviews and stop swinging at the high hard stuff.

  67. I’m liking the pitching moves Snitker has made so far. I think if he pitches anyone more than 1 inning, he may be a little concerned about hitters figuring them out and they may be less than fresh, even with a day off.

    The only thing I’ll say on Soler’s Vax status is for some reason Atlanta seems to be intentionally keeping it unclear. I assume this is for privacy purposes, but who knows. I think any speculation will just lead to frustration and arguments.

  68. Freddie with 7 K’s in a row is odd enough. I wonder the last time that has happened at any point in his career.

    But more disturbing has been some of the recent ABs, where Freddie’s shaking his head at times. Like he’s not seeing the ball – – or can’t swing like he wants to.

    Strange.

  69. Yep here comes the momentum change after blowing it.

    Hmm here comes Matzek…even if he blows it, can’t blame him after being overused.

  70. Oh, what a tangled webb we weave, when we first try to get through the 6th.

  71. That was pretty nifty by Snitker. Got Roberts to burn Pujols against possibly our best reliever with a big reverse split. And burn another pinch-hitter while he was at it.

  72. Great move again by Snitker to bring in Matzek at a very high leverage situation in the 6th. I have been critical of his moves at times like others here, but I have absolutely nothing to complain about so far today.

  73. I don’t care if this makes me any more of a tool than I already am, but I like Max Scherzer and Joe Kelly. Really appreciate what their personalities add to the game.

  74. Christian Bethancourt could control the running game. d’Arnaud can hit.

  75. I think D’Arnaud is doing great. He is just getting ball after ball fouled off and hitting him. He’s also had to adjust to several pitchers and has blocked several pitches in the dirt.

  76. Over managed and it bit us in the ass. Matzek destroys righties so we take him out because that’s what the book says to go righty on righty.

  77. @122 – if you want to go to bed we’ll be happy to let you know how the next 3 innings go. It may not be easy, but no way would I give up on them now.

  78. @125 think I will, actually. For all the good things I’ve heard of the crew broadcasting the game, I have found them constantly misinformed and insufferable.

    I never actually watched nlcs games 6 and 7 last year either. When, you know, you know.

    Would a different CF have made a difference? Duvall, or even Pache? Those dumbasses are saying Heredia is our best CF, which is obvious BS.
    Dropped Mookie foul tip killed us.

  79. Freddie in one of those 0 – 20 funks with 15 SO’s …he has struck out 7 straight … if it gets in his head he is done ..

  80. @123/124 – it wasn’t like Jackson gave up a 110 mph double off the wall. He made a good pitch and it was dinked just barely out of Heredia’s reach.

  81. The swords can go with the Panda hugs. Hopefully we keep enough of the new guys and Pache can be the no hit/fielding outfielder on the roster so we don’t need to bring back Heredia

  82. I can’t object to any of Snit’s moves other than pulling Chavez early. Thing is, this is what you’d think the score would be on Scherzer v. Anderson. Ain’t over yet. We could still steal one and let’s do it.

  83. Coop, you ‘n me are gonna have to start garnisheeing our wages to pay Austin what we owe him.

  84. @128 That dropped foul was not good but it was the HBP against an injured PH that killed us.

    Gotta love Rosario and Riley. Every time Rosario makes a MVP case Riley one ups him. And Ozzie’s always in the middle. Opposite of “doomed” ……. destiny.

  85. I hope Snit is planning for a 10th inning. With the bottom of the order up in the 9th, I don’t think we’ll walk it off in the 9th.

    And Hancock almost blows it on the first pitch.

  86. Smith pitched great except for that 1st pitch. That first pitch came within a few feet of costing us the game though. I’m still wiping the sweat from that 1st pitch. Let’s end it now Atlanta!

  87. “Brusdar Graterol” is an INCREDIBLE name. But he can’t stop a sawed off leadoff single!

    Swansby, that ain’t how you get the job done.

  88. Terrance Gore would be nice right about now.

    Edit: If Dansby was gonna bunt, could’ve waited to see if darnaud actually got to second before running for him.

  89. The bunt isn’t indefensible right there, but it was going to be really tough bunting off 102 with movement.

  90. WHAAAAAT?????!

    @163 is right. And they probably should’ve yanked Urias before Riley came up. Roberts stuck with his guys and didn’t “overmanage.” And we won in the last at-bat in the ninth inning for the second night in a row.

  91. Got a notification. Did this really happen?
    This team is resilient, but would it kill them to get a lead first and keep it?

  92. Los Angeles really was the better team all game. They were, and felt, dominant. Yet they couldn’t put it away and instead they let us come back multiple times, and now they’re down 2-0.

    Said it before, but I’ll take our guys. We’ve got a pretty good ballclub here.

  93. My semi-serious theory on the base running is that Duvall’s blunders have freed the team from any fear of consequences for being overly aggressive. No matter what they do, Duvall’s done (barely) worse before.

  94. Best of all, worst case is we’re coming back to Truist! That makes it very different from last year.

  95. HAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!

    I guess you know when you know, right Carl?

    Also, I would encourage Dave Roberts to keep overmanaging.

  96. And Alex, Riley can play third base on my team. What a wonderful Season! What an entertaining team! They do not quit! Great reflection on their manager, don’t you think?

  97. I watched the whole game and I had no idea Rosario was 4/5 – pretty under the radar great performance. And, yes, I realize he scored a run and had the walk-off hit. And with his clutch catch in LF, that’s one helluva game played.

  98. I love that Rosario is learning English, but he may want to keep using the translator. Asking about the hit “Did you know it fell?”

    “Yes, i feel good…”

  99. @182 I might just skip the rest of the series if that is what it takes!

    Ronald better not injure his knee partying with the guys!

    Truly has been a game of inches. And how did Trea turners blast in the 9th not go out of the park? The baseball gods seem to be on our side, but they hate Freddie Freeman.

    Oh, and the broadcasters are crapping on the braves win there at the end. Anyone else notice or am I too sensitive?

  100. @186 I thought it was odd that he had an interpreter. After all, Puerto Rico is an American territory. I’ve never met anyone from PR that couldn’t speak creditable English even if Spanish was their primary. But I looked up Rosario’s hometown (Guayama) and it’s in a pretty remote rural part of the country. An area I’ve never been to. I suppose it’s possible English is less prominent there.

    Still, I thought it was a great interview and I loved Rosario’s responses.

    The first time I went to PR many years ago, I went to a local restaurant near my hotel in San Juan and they had the walls plastered with baseball players, the most prominent being Pudge Rodriguez and Javy Lopez. I approved…. :))

  101. @187

    I heard what you’re talking about, but I think you are probably being too sensitive. First, I’m guessing you don’t think this series is over, so why should they? Second, they have the broadcast for the rest of this series and the next game is not in primetime, so they probably just want to make sure everybody tunes back in on Tuesday.

  102. Scherzer just said on the postgame that he had a “dead arm” and couldn’t go any further in the game.

  103. Wow. Scherzer just straight up said to the press that his arm was dead today and that sometimes it will loosen up after 45 or 50 pitches but today it tightened up, and Vesia was straight up gonna be better than him at that point in the game. He said as much to his manager in fact.

    That is some serious self awareness from a professional baseball player. Makes me like him more.

  104. @189 – thanks for the explanation. I was wondering about his English being from Puerto Rico. It’s hard not to love the guy. The interview was great and I would feel good too after a 4 for 5 night and a walk off single!

  105. @187, Ron Darling was just being real. The series isn’t over, re: 2020. They’re down 2-0, but they were 58-23 at home this season.

  106. So Scherzer has/had a dead arm and Urias threw an inning tonight. So Buehler will go game 3, and then…we’ll see, I guess.

    On our side, we gotta give Matzek and Jackson a game off in LA, before their arms fall off.

  107. I listened to the first few innings on the radio. Early in the 2nd inning the Braves radio announcers were pointing out that Scherzer’s slider was not as impressive as it typically was but he was working around it. Pretty cool that he did as well as he did for as long as he did.

  108. @195

    After tomorrow, they’ll have pitched on two of the last six days with only one travel day in there. Seems pretty reasonable to me. I wouldn’t go out of the way to use them in a game with a sizable lead either way, I guess, as three in a row and five of six would probably be a lot, but people seem to be forgetting the three days off in exclaiming about how our relievers’ arms are gonna fall off at this point. They should be fine right now.

  109. @190, @194 You guys are probably correct, and ratings has to be at the forefront of those comments. I just wish they would have let Dansby actually reach home and let us enjoy life for a couple of minutes before the 3-1 comments began.

    @197 agreed on the relief corps arms. I feel everyone should be okay for now. More concerned about Smyly not pitching since forever, but hopefully he won’t even need to pitch? Hopefully?

  110. @197 Yeah I agree they’re fine right now. I really just meant not pitching 5 games in 6 days. Of course, the simplest solution would just be to sweep.

  111. Caught the end. Very exciting finish. (and Will Smith is once again the winner)

    Enjoy the ride guys! 4-12 games of bonus baseball remaining!!!

    Ya think the Braves won the Sandoval/Rosario trade???

  112. Dodger Stadium has been something of a house of horrors for us, but a) we can’t lose the series out there now, and if we take just one we’ll only need to win one back at home; and b) Game 3 will be at 2 p.m. local time in LA, so that’s a weird time for a must-win game…not sure it’ll help us, but I don’t think it can hurt.

  113. The Braves are very due to correct their poor record at Dodgers stadium. Statistically speaking – right JonathanF?!

  114. I do like that 2pm LA start time for us. Maybe we can overcome our hoodoo there. 4-20 in the last 24 games, I think. But as Nick says, we really only need 1 win, but I’ll take two :)

  115. I can’t decide the MVP: Wash or Dave Roberts?

    Snit didn’t panic. Dave has all series. We have now seen all of their bullpen and those guys look gassed.

  116. I have some qualms with Snit here. Hard to complain about the result, but he has got to realize that Pache is better with the glove and put him in over Heredia. It’s not like Heredia is giving you anything with the bat . Pache actually played a lot in 2020 NLCS when Duvall went down. Wasn’t great with the bat (4-22 with 3 BBs) but had some timely hits (4 RBI).

    They worst offense was the whole pinch run for d’Arnaud, then ask Dansby to bunt 101 mph. The pinch runner is actually my main qualm. At this point the bench is Pache and Contreras, by using Pache there, you have burned the entire bench as Contreras would have to enter to replace d’Arnaud in a potential 10th. I am glad Rosario made it all a moot point, but I wouldn’t have loved our odds in extras with no bench and only Smyly and Ynoa (and possible Morton). The move was to stick with d’Arnaud, or pinch run Fried.

  117. They worst offense was the whole pinch run for d’Arnaud, then ask Dansby to bunt 101 mph. The pinch runner is actually my main qualm. At this point the bench is Pache and Contreras, by using Pache there, you have burned the entire bench as Contreras would have to enter to replace d’Arnaud in a potential 10th. I am glad Rosario made it all a moot point, but I wouldn’t have loved our odds in extras with no bench and only Smyly and Ynoa (and possible Morton). The move was to stick with d’Arnaud, or pinch run Fried.

    I think Snit was definitely managing to win it in the 9th understanding that he was basically out of pitchers anyway. Smyly probably starts the 10th, and you’re just throwing him until the game is decided.

    Bottom line: Braves threw everything they had at this game, and they still got lucky to win it. I mean, Chris Martin — Chris Martin! — threw a scoreless inning.

  118. @211: I can’t see sending your best starter out to run the bases in the NLCS in a pinch. So many things could go wrong.

  119. I do agree with Dusty that I’m not sure what they gained by having Heredia’s bat over Pache’s defense. Pache catches that ball in the air. The misplay was unfortunate, but it didn’t cost us anything. The sin was not catching the ball.

  120. Yeah, there were a couple things Snit did that I didn’t like all that much last night. Chief among them was the sequence in the seventh. I probably would’ve let Matzek face Evil Will Smith, given his reverse platoon splits. I liked walking Smith in the fifth when Minter was on the mound, but I did not like it in the seventh. If you tell me too bad, we’re walking him anyway, I’d still let Matzek face Justin Turner. Again, he’s better against righties and he’s pitching well. That also would’ve obviated the need for the whole double-switch thing.

    On the double switch, he’s used Heredia as our defensive outfielder all year and Pache is only here until Soler gets cleared, so I’m guessing in his mind, Pache is his pinch-runner and Heredia is his defensive outfielder. Is Pache a better defensive outfielder? Probably. But Snit compartmentalizes these things and slots players into fairly rigid roles. It’s what he does. It took Joc single-handedly beating the Brewers in Game 3 and Soler catching the coronavirus to get Joc out of his appointed role of lefty pinch-hitter. You can certainly argue it’s sub-optimal, but I don’t think it’s gonna change at this point. Maybe the misplay will give Snit something to think about on today’s five-hour flight, but I wouldn’t bet on him promoting Pache above the pinch-runner role.

    On the Dansby bunt, it’s not surprising that a failed bunt brings out all the wailing and gnashing of teeth. That this happens way less often reminds me that nobody really tries to sacrifice bunt anymore. I actually like the play in that situation save for one problem: Dansby’s facing Graterol, and I’m not sure it’s even worth it to try bunting against a pitcher averaging 101 mph. He actually did a pretty good job of getting the bunt down, but it’s just impossible to deaden the ball against that. I do agree with pinch running for d’Arnaud, though. We’re probably screwed if the game goes to extra innings, anyway, and we have a leadoff hitter aboard who can’t run. You definitely pinch-run there, like, without a doubt.

    On bunts, I thought we should’ve used Arcia to sacrifice Dansby to second and put him in scoring position for Rosario and Freeman in the fifth. And Rosario singled in that at-bat, though whether or not Dansby would’ve scored on it is an open question (he did not get to third as it was, so he very well might’ve been held or thrown out at the plate had he started on second).

    On the plus side for Snitker, I thought taking Ian out after three was a good call (yes, I’m advocating for taking a starter out early…mark the tape on this one) and I thought his best move of the day was forcing Roberts to burn that lefty pinch-hitter against Webb, then bringing Matzek in the game knowing that Roberts would counter with Pujols even though that matchup greatly favored Matzek. So he forced Roberts to waste Pujols essentially (he had no chance against Matzek) and burn a pinch-hitter in one fell swoop. Nice!

  121. I thought Snitker out managed Roberts last year and so far he is doing it again. I do agree with using Pache instead of Heredia in the double switch. We know his defense is better……and I’m not so sure his offense is much worse. I didn’t like the bunt off of Graterol from a guy who never bunts. Those are kind of minor things though.

    Dodger fans are losing their minds about Roberts using Urias.

  122. I still don’t understand how you pitch to Rosario in the 9th. It sort of takes “Don’t let Freddie Freeman beat you” to a new level, since what Roberts did was let fear of Freddie Freeman beat him. Sure, there’s a chance, maybe even a reasonable chance, that Freddie had figured out his swing again. But Roberts knew that Rosario had his swing figured out. Do you really not trust throwing to a guy who had struck out 7 of his last 8 at bats? Even a really great guy? I recognize 8 bats is not a real sample size or anything, but hitters do lose their timing for a game or two, right?

  123. @219

    For the record, I don’t think Snitker sucks. And he’s outmanaging Roberts, though I don’t think that’s as great a feat as a lot of people do. I was merely talking about specific moves I liked and didn’t.

  124. I think Snit is doing great.

    The Dodger writers are all making fun of rube Braves fans for liking Waffle House.

    Think I’ll go get a patty melt plate.

  125. @220, damned if you do, damned if you don’t for Roberts. If the reigning NL MVP had walked them off, the question would have been, “Why didn’t you pitch to Rosario?”

  126. @223: I agree with you completely. But we’ll never know, will we? And of course the answer he should give in that spot is the one I gave above, plus some mumbling about “a play at any base….”

  127. #222
    Was in Athens all weekend & I ate at the downtown Waffle House three nights/mornings in a row.

    Hey, it’s consistent.

    FWIW, was in downtown LA the previous weekend & got caught in the middle of a SWAT-team action, so… I’ll take Waffle House.

  128. 220-Yeah, I texted my bro to say they should walk Rosario so I’m with you there.

    To be fair to Snit, (and I still think I’m right about Pache in the 6th and the pinch runner in the 9th), it’s fun to play armchair manager and second guess decisions especially looking back with the benefit of hindsight. There are other quibbles (Chavez could’ve faced Betts, I also would’ve stuck with Matzek against Turner, but those were 60/40 calls) but he had to make a ton of decisions and most of them weren’t overmanaging as I think Counsell and Roberts have been guilty of, and frankly most of them turned out to be right.

    I think this whole board would’ve demoted Smith from the closer’s role and look how that has turned out. Where would ATL be without this Will Smith? And he is succeeding because his manager’s faith in him never waivered (at least not publicly).

    So I don’t think anyone here is saying Snit sucks, I would take him over all 29 other managers in MLB. Still fun to second guess and strategize along with him and point out areas of disagreement.

  129. The walking Rosario to get to Freeman thing is interesting, and I thought about it as well. I just kind of think that’s something that would be very difficult to pull the trigger on. I could certainly see an argument that it’s the optimal thing to do in that situation, but it would almost take a manager that’s all out of give-a-crap to actually do it, because if you do it and it goes poorly, you are going to get absolutely filleted…like, beyond the degree to which Roberts is already getting filleted over pitching Urias and all that.

    Also, Freeman had broken his string of seven straight strikeouts by putting a pretty good (or at least decent) swing on a ball in the eighth (the play where Rosario tagged up and moved to second on the medium-deepish flyout). So that would also give me some pause.

  130. 227 – I do think Freddie was snapping out of it. His at bats all night were better, He worked deep counts and just got beat.

  131. @219 – back in 2013 there was a dude who called in to talk radio to complain about then-mgr John Farrell – the day after the Sox won the WS. It’s just what MLB fans do.

  132. With 2 outs, it never occurred to me that they would walk Rosario.

    I figured they might be careful pitching him — the AB lasted just one pitch — but IBB? No.

    And they had him played perfectly, he just scorched it hard enough to make Seager miss.

  133. I’m sure Roberts never considered IBB of Rosario in the ninth—nor should he have. OTOH, he could have pitched him more carefully. Eddie is a notorious first pitch swinger. I was suppressed that pitch got so much of the plate.

  134. I wonder if Jansen’s reaction to the ball, he seemed to try and stab at it as it went by, might have obscured Seager’s view a bit?

  135. @ 233,

    I agree that Seager could have been partially screened. Looked like it went right under Jansen’s glove.

  136. “It is indeed marvelous– an irony-free zone where everything is beautiful and nothing hurts; where everybody regardless of race, creed, color or degree of inebriation is welcomed.”

    -Anthony Bourdain on Waffle House

  137. Seager was definitely screened. That’s the only reason the ball got through. Which makes you wonder why they shaded the second baseman almost directly behind the bag. If you get what you want — perfect positioning and the ball gets hit right at you — you can’t see anything. And that’s literally the only place in the infield where you can have an obstructed view of the bat off the ball. Dumb.

  138. Rosario’s single and Riley’s double are now 2nd-3rd in this year’s pivotal plays. Bellinger’s single off Doval is still slightly higher, but that was in an elimination game.

  139. On pinch-running for TdA in the 9th, one option would’ve been to pinch-run Contreras. He’s somewhat faster than TdA (about league-average), though of course not as fast as Pache, and that doesn’t burn your last hitter on the bench. I wouldn’t want to use Fried, mostly b/c of injury risk, but also b/c he might be needed to pinch-hit. I doubt many of the other remaining pitchers were any faster than TdA. Maybe Ynoa as a PR and planned 10th inning pitcher if you think he’s faster/a better baserunner than Contreras, but Contreras would’ve had to replace TdA in the 10th anyway.

  140. Given all the discussion about Snitker’s managing, I think if Cox would have managed this aggressively in the playoffs, we may be looking at 1 or 2 more World Series titles. To be fair, the reliance on advanced analytics wasn’t there at the time, but as noted last night, Snitker definitely didn’t manage like it was the regular season.

  141. Cox would’ve left Anderson in the game until either he settled in and got to 100 pitches or the Dodgers had put up another crooked number on him. Either was possible, so while the possibility of him figuring it out and settling in was still there, he wouldn’t have lifted him. That’s the move that struck me as something Bobby never would’ve done, and it worked.

    Now what’ll be interesting is whether we bring Anderson back for Game 4 and push the bullpen game back or just leave the rotation the way it is. All kinds of possibilities open up. Bring him back for Game 4 and push the bullpen game to Game 6. Give Fried an extra two days, push him to Game 6 and use the bullpen in Game 5. Still do the bullpen game in Game 4, but then pitch Anderson in Game 5 and push Fried back that way. Lots of options, especially given we’re in the position that we’re currently in.

  142. I thought for sure that Pache PR for TdA would mean that Contreras would bat for Heredia. Then Pache would go in to play CF and Contreras to catch. It was all moot but I thought that sequence was inevitable rather than letting Heredia hit. Probably a good thing since Heredia’s weak grounder got Dansby to 2nd.

    With regards to Dansby bunting, why not leave TdA in and let Dansby bunt him into an out to get Dansby on first? LOL That’s more speed than Pache anyway. If Heredia hadn’t gotten him to second then he should have tried to steal. That way, either Rosario can single him in or Rosario is the first batter in the 10th.

    Oh, and has anyone noticed that no one wants to run the Mets? What a metss they are.

  143. On the Mets manager side, I’m rooting for a Buck Showalter hire, just because I love hearing him get interviewed. (He was a fave when he was in The Bronx.) But I’d be surprised if they went in that direction.

    Of course, I’m also rooting for a continuing big-spend/revolving-door situation over there — ’80s Yankees-style.

  144. That might have been the best Braves post-season win in 25 years. Wow. It’s baseball-fan human-nature to second guess managers in close games, but I only really had a problem with replacing Chavez after he worked such a quick inning – a minor gripe in the grand scheme of things. I love the fact that he pulled Ian early, they were squaring him up and that game could’ve easily gotten out of hand.

    We aren’t firing on all cylinders, and we’ve been pretty lucky on the basepaths and with LA’s abject failures to get guys in from 3rd with less than 2 out. Overall it’s a minor miracle that we’re up 2-0. How many years were we the best team, only to get bounced before the WS? Maybe the random crapshoot is evening out some…

    I still can’t believe Trea Turner’s ball stayed in the park. Holy white-knuckle moment.

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