Atlanta 6, Houston 2

We just won our first World Series game since October 21, 1996.

Okay, we’ll get the bad news out of the way first. Charlie Morton took a liner off his ankle, and it turned out to be a broken bone. He was looking good, and he’s now out for the rest of the series.

It’s a tough loss, as he was our horse down the stretch. But we’ll worry about tomorrow tomorrow. The rest of the game honestly went exactly according to the scripts we all wrote in the dreams we were too superstitious to voice out loud.

The Braves jumped all over Framber Valdez from the very beginning. On a 2-0 count, Jorge Soler hit the — all together now — first ever leadoff homer in the top of the 1st inning of Game 1 of the World Series.

Then after a Freddie groundout, Ozzie nubbed an infield single, stole second, and scored on a hard-hit ball by Riley. (It was scored a double but I’d have called it a single with the runner advancing on the play. UPDATE: I rewatched, and I had this wrong. Solid double.) 2-0 Braves.

The next inning, d’Arnaud singled, Joc Pederson singled, and Dansby hit a DEEP fly ball to dead center that probably would have been a home run if he’d hit it anywhere else or in most other parks; d’Arnaud advanced to third, then scored on a groundout by Soler. Pederson got hung up in a rundown but remembered to let the runner score first. Freddie walked and Ozzie got another infield single, but Riley stranded them, so it was just 3-0 Braves.

The next inning, Eddie Rosario singled, then Duvall hit a two-run homer, and Dusty went to the pen. (This made the Braves the first team in World Series history to score in each of the first 3 innings of Game 1.) It was 5-0 Braves, and the action slowed down as the bats more or less entered Hibernation Mode and both bullpens did their typical extraordinary work.

After Morton came out of the game, Snitker wasted no time going to his long relief ace: A.J. Minter, the man who turned all our heads with his brilliant work as the Opener in Game 5 of the NLCS last year, twirling three brilliant innings while needing just 42 pitches.

This wasn’t that. This was harder. This time, he came in during the middle of the third inning, facing the 2-3-4 hitters, and yielded an initial double before retiring the next two men. He went back out the following inning, as he clearly had a mandate to eat innings, and it was another uphill climb. He gave up a groundout followed by a double and a sharp single that actually reached the left fielder too quickly for the run to score.

On the next play, Dansby booted a groundball for the Braves infield’s first error of the postseason — his hand went too quick to his glove for the transfer, and while the runner would have scored anyway, the runners advanced a base. It was now 5-1, and officially dangerous territory. Then Minter got a strikeout and a popup to end the threat. He had thrown 27 pitches, but it was still only the 4th. His night wasn’t over.

He came out again in the fifth, and induced a full-count flyout from Michael Brantley, then recorded his third strikeout, and finally got the last man to fly out with his 43rd pitch of the night, his all-time career high. By the end, he looked exhausted, and he has every right to be. Snitker has used him hard.

Can’t argue with the results. The next three pitchers were exactly the men you’d expect. Luke Jackson got five huge outs in the sixth and seventh, striking out three while allowing one hit and no walks, and then he gave way to Tyler Matzek.

In the top of the eighth, our guys finally played a little smallball. Dansby had had a frustrating game at the plate, just missing a home run and then booting a ball that led to a run on the other end, but he worked a walk and then advanced to third when Jorge Soler hit a swinging bunt past the pitcher that beat the shift. Then Freddie hit a sac fly to score Dansby, who managed to evade the tag with a nifty headfirst slide — still, for any kids reading this blog, remember, you should still protect your shoulder and upper body and always slide feet first. Anyway, it was 6-1 Braves, and we would be glad to have the extra insurance…

… because Tyler Nutzack finally appeared mortal. Entering with two outs in the 7th, he gave up a single to the first man he faced before getting a strikeout to end the inning. There was no doubt he’d stay in the game to face the lefty Yordan Alvarez. But Yordan hit a triple that damn near left the ballpark and scored on a Correa groundout, and after another strikeout, Yuli Gurriel nearly left the park but was thrown out foolishly trying to stretch a loud single into a double. (The fences in Minute Maid Park are weird as heck.) So that made it 6-2.

The outfield assist, of course, was by Eddie Rosario, who also went 2-5 to lower his postseason batting average all the way from .474 to .465. We argued a bit about whether he or Soler should have led off. Anyway, Snit knew best.

Will Smith came on and pitched a pretty uneventful ninth inning. Actually, it had been a pretty uneventful game since both starting pitchers had to come out in the third. The Astros offense is like a coiled snake, and I don’t expect it to stay bottled up the whole series. So it sure feels good to bank a win in their home park.

Get some sleep, everybody, I guarantee it’s gonna be another late one!

82 thoughts on “Atlanta 6, Houston 2”

  1. “We just won our first World Series game since October 21, 1996.”
    I was at the next game, October 22, 1996. Starting that night we lost 8 straight WS games to the Yankees. Obviously it’s my fault and I’m grateful that the streak is over.

    If Dansby fields the ball cleanly instead of committing an error, I think he would have turned two and kept the run off the board.

  2. Thanks for the world-class recap, Alex.
    Good morning and wow, what a start to the series. We won’t miss Morton if we sweep.
    Such a tough break for him and us. Will be interesting to see how this plays out in game 5. Go Braves!

  3. Now we really want Fried to go 6+ tomorrow (at a minimum 5). I think the Astros were shocked they were behind so early in the game. It was good to take the crowd out of it. Be nice to do that again tomorrow.

  4. Umpire Auditor report from last night:

    #WorldSeries Game 1 Umpire Report
    Umpire: Chris Conroy
    Correct call percentage: 92.7%
    Total misses: 11
    Calls helping Astros: 10

    Worst calls: Back to back blown strike outs in the top of the 5th to Adam Duvall and Travis d’Arnaud.

  5. @5

    He was awful. In fact, I think he cost us a few runs.

    The close play at first where d’Arnaud was called safe, that wasn’t a hard call. These umpires have to improve.

  6. It was big to come away with a victory after losing Charlie and burning our best relievers. We are going to need NLDS Max to make an appearance tonight. Go Braves!

  7. The worst thing was that the home plate ump was not consistently giving us the same pitches at the edge of the zone (low and away to right-handed batters) that he was giving them. I’d have to guess that Maldonado was framing better than d’Arnaud.

  8. Filed under I’m a gigantic nerd category:

    The creator of Pursue the Pennant (considered in the industry to be the most ‘accurate’ and deep dice baseball game on the market, even ‘better’ than APBA or Strat-o-Matic) ‘played’ the game yesterday before the game occurred and the score was 6-3 Braves. Off by 1 run…

    Just stuff that I find interesting.

  9. What are you guys’ honest assessment of Duvall in center? I’ve been pretty firmly against it really up until the Dodgers series. But his range continues to impress me, he’s pretty sure handed even with the misplay last night, and who wouldn’t want that bat in center? I’m starting to think that if we only brought one of these four outfielders back, it would be Duvall the play center.

  10. I really like the fact that all starters got a hit. I also like our chances when the Astros are held to three runs or fewer.

  11. @13

    He’s played well there. I feel like he has only had 5-6 balls hit his way in the playoffs. That’s not enough action to put a better fielder there.

  12. @5 + @9: looks like the Umpire Auditor calculated that there were 61 blown calls in the LA/ATL NLCS, 41 of which benefited LA. And now, 11 misses in WS Game 1, 10 of which benefited the Astros. I seriously doubt that the umps are intentionally favoring the Braves’ opponents, but it’s also indisputable that the Braves have been fighting an uphill battle against bad calls. Does anyone have a source for the missed calls total for the MIL/ATL NLDS? Feels like that one was closer to evenly umped.

    All that said – the Braves were on the right side of a lot of close and/or fortunate plays last night (e.g., Soler’s excuse-me dribbler hit in the 8th and then Dansby sliding in just ahead of the tag at home on the sac fly, and also Rosario throwing out Gurriel at 2B after his near-HR). The Braves are playing smart and executing well… and also sometimes the ball just bounces the way you need it to. Feels like we have been blessed by the Baseball Gods a bit this postseason… and after a lifetime of Braves fandom I have to say that it’s a very novel and pleasant sensation and I’m mentally prepared for it to go away at any second.

    GO BRAVES!

  13. I’d say don’t replace Morton on the roster until after Game 3. We didn’t expect to have him in 2&3 anyway, so other than AJ being unavailable today nothing’s changed for those games. After G3 we can make a decision as to whether we need another guy who can throw bulk innings/ start a game, or whether we should just take the best arm available and plan to gut it out with the bullpen.

  14. Great recap for a great game (despite the sad loss of Morton.) We’re going to need Varsity Fried tonight and not Junior Varsity. Especially because we’re certain to throw a BP game now in game 4 (if not two.) I was wrong about Minter last night, happily so. That was huge!

    Some other highlights:
    – Soler getting going again after sitting for half the NLCS.
    – Duvall finally getting his HR after hitting so many during the season.
    – Rosario remains red hot!
    – Some amazing defensive plays by Albies.
    – This pen…I mean…who would have thunk it during the season? None of us, for sure.
    – For that matter…this team…after the start of the season and all of the adversity…we’re three wins away from a Championship. Just unbelievable!

    Go Braves!

    EDIT – Also, I think my dog Max might deserve a ring should we win this. He’s been next to me on the couch for every inning of this postseason. Even when he wants to get down and go to bed, I won’t let him so he complies. He doesn’t want to jinx anything. All he does is win, win, win.

  15. @ 13, Rob,

    First, the Braves have usually been a ;ittle weighted toward defense over offense, particularly at the 3 toughest up the middle positions, C, CF and SS. Their scouting and review says at least “Duvall isn’t bad” or he wouldn’t be playing center.

    My gut is he is a 40 to 50 percentile ML CF’er. Add that into a 55 – 60 percentile offensive player and the defensive adjustment for CF and where formerly I thought his right handed hitting platoon problem made him barely a 1.5 WAR player, now I believe 2.5 WAR (defense will carry the right side bat now) is feasible.

    Pache, Heredia, and Waters are probably all better defenders than Duvall, but he is not too bad.

  16. I thought the umps last night were bad, but the Braves did benefit from one of the worst calls, Tom Hallion ringing up Carlos Correa on the check swing. So we got that one.

    Minter is doing a pretty good Goose Gossage impression, throwing multiple innings of high leverage ball. So, I nominate that when he does it again, we start calling him Goose Minter.

  17. Without wading into the politics of the issue, Rob Manfred said one of the dumbest things that he has ever said, in his attempt to give a nonanswer to questions about the Braves team name and the Chop:

    We don’t market ourselves on a nationwide basis. Ours is an everyday game. You’ve got to sell tickets every single day to the fans in that market. And there are all sorts of differences between the regions in terms of how the teams are marketed…

    It’s important to understand that we have 30 markets around the country. They aren’t all the same.

    I think he’s trying to make a relatively narrow point, that baseball doesn’t have a national TV deal like football does, and that each team still sells tickets to its local market. But the notion that MLB doesn’t, or shouldn’t, attempt to market the game nationally (or internationally!) is ludicrous, and I think it helps to explain why baseball has done such a horrendous job of attracting younger fans.

    Said it before and I’ll say it again: Rob Manfred is terrible for the sport. He has very little credibility in the upcoming collective bargaining agreements, which nearly everyone expects will result in the first work stoppage since 1994-1995, and his failure to grow the sport will continue to do long-term damage until he is replaced by someone less aggressively incompetent at public relations and marketing.

    Rob Manfred is Fredi Gonzalez. He’s a caretaker who was groomed by a predecessor who knows how to say boring things but who is worse in every respect, both in small ways and especially in big ways, and who utterly crumples when the chips are down.

    “We don’t market ourselves on a nationwide basis” really captures his tenure in a nutshell. Unbelievable.

  18. @16 – If this were the NBA playoffs, coaches would certainly be pointing out those kind of discrepancies, to plant a seed for the future. Would be good just to let MLB know we’ve got our eye on them.

  19. If you went back to October 21, 1996 and said “the next time the Braves win a WS game, the ad run most often on the broadcast will be for a Billie Eilish-themed virtual reality app” I think people would need translations of a lot of the elements of that ad.

    They’d understand free tacos, though.

    Re: missed calls. I think you have to separate ball and strike calls from other calls because some catchers are better at framing at others, and some pitchers spend a lot more time nibbling at the corners than others.

  20. I’m not a proponent of blaming umps for losses, and I’m not saying that there may not be logical explanations for why things are the way they have been.

    I’m just saying I’m not above ginning up some outrage if I think it might help the team.

  21. @23 – Manfred is absolutely the worst having nothing to do with politics or lack thereof. He’s the worst kind of caretaker (which is sort of what the Commissioner is supposed to be) in that he tries to take both or all sides constantly and constantly getting it on the wrong foot. As much as I hated Selig, he at least knew what he was after ($ and the owners) and played it that way. That said (and I said this just last night), I have not liked any Commish outside of Giamatti. And even he wasn’t blameless (see Rose, Pete – though that could just as easily be put to Fay Vincent – and I’m not saying Rose was without fault, only in how it was released/stated/agreed at the time.)

  22. The problem is that baseball doesn’t need a “Commissioner” — it needs a CEO. The title Commissioner goes back to the National Commission, which was a group of three (two league presidents, and an owner) who were more powerful than the other owners; its very history is rooted in a person whose job was essentially to consider the interests of the owners.

    A few years back, I spent a bunch of words basically just quoting and paraphrasing Andrew Zimbalist’s argument that the job is an anachronism.

    https://tht.fangraphs.com/can-baseball-get-by-without-a-commissioner/

    Manfred should be fired and MLB should hire a professional manager, not an out-of-his depth ownership advocate.

  23. @23 Yeah, had the same thought about “We don’t market ourselves on a nationwide basis”.
    Just look at this bar. The majority is likely living in Braves country but there’s a whole lot of patrons from outside that market in the US and international. It’s just such a really dumb thing to say from Manfred.

  24. Before the postseason I would’ve ranked how much I wanted to see each the 4 acquired OF on the Braves in 2022 like this:

    Soler
    Joc
    Duvall
    Rosario

    At this point I will edit to this:

    Rosario
    Soler
    Joc
    Duvall

    I like them all, but to see people consistently prefer Duvall to Soler is baffling to me. I get that Adam is a better defender, but his approach at the plate just seems to be the type that gets eaten alive in the postseason. Soler on the other hand is someone you want at the plate. Stats back this up (albeit in a small sample) with Duvall having a .200/.260/.414 line in 77 PAs including last night and Soler with a line of .300/.426/.680 in 61 PAs. Not to mention Duvall carries a career .291 OBP.

    Rosario and Soler are pretty much a toss up for me at this point, only leaning Rosario because he is a lefty.

  25. Duvall is feast or famine at the plate, and feast or famine in the field. I don’t mind playing him out of position in CF that much, as he’s the best of bad options, though I’m not certain he’s that much better with the glove than Joc Pederson to make up for the fact that Pederson is probably a better option as a hitter, certainly against righties.

    Of course, Duvall hit a two-run homer yesterday so he’s not COMPLETELY getting eaten up at the plate. This postseason, he’s more or less putting up his usual numbers: .231/.295/.436. (His career line is .232/.291/.473.) He’s clearly our fourth-best outfielder — Soler, Pederson, and Rosario are almost certainly better hitters than him, though not necessarily by leaps and bounds, and he has the best glove of the four, though also not by leaps and bounds.

    So Snitker should keep doing exactly what he’s been doing: go with the hot hand, reward players for excellent play by pencilling them into the lineup the next day, and play individual matchups.

    @31, yep! That’s why there shouldn’t be one.

  26. As a fellow type 1 diabetic, Duvall impresses me. I can barely mow the lawn without my blood sugar crashing.

  27. 32 – To be clear, I am fine with Snit’s usage of the OF and the DH certainly helps. I do think I would consider Duvall on the bench in Atl before I would bench Soler. I am more referring to what I have perceived to be people’s preference for Duvall to be retained above the other 3 for 2022. Might be more a function of contract situation and cost, but still baffles me.

  28. @28 – That’s a really great article, Alex. I had not seen that before so thanks! Well researched and written too. I really don’t disagree with any of it other than to say that the last time a Commish acted as a CEO, we got collusion (as you rightly note in the article.) The fact remains what Smitty suggests above – every single Commissioner is an owner advocate, even if they try to say they are above all that. And that is why Manfred is feckless because he’s not even good at it. He’s a corporate failing up lackey. Whatever one wants to say about the All Star game this year, that was just bowing to corporate/public/political pressure (as much as Coca Cola, etc.) and so now he has to answer this other thing. If he had any scruples/principles he might take action again. He doesn’t (mostly because he really cannot, though he could make something up and who’s to stop him?) because the moment passed and he is sighing in relief to not have to answer. Thus the word salad you quote above. It’s an imposition, not an imperative. There is no future thought and only rearguard action. I don’t feel well about the coming need for agreement with the players union with him at the helm. Not because he doesn’t have an agenda but because he doesn’t seem to know, day in and day out, what that agenda actually may be.

    EDIT – @34 – I too would play Soler and Rosario over Duvall when we get back to Atlanta. Last night was great, but Adam has not been locked in so far this postseason.

  29. I think it’s 100% contract situation and cost. Duvall is going to be easier to keep than any of the others. (Especially if we get a universal DH, making it even easier for all 30 teams to pencil Soler in every day.)

  30. @16 Nothing on Umpire Auditor for Milwaukee series that I could find. Umpire Scorecards doesn’t give the data the same way but says the missed calls broke this way:

    Game 1 favored Mil by 0.75
    Game 2 favored Mil by 0.09
    Game 3 favored Mil by 0.40
    Game 4 favored Atl by 1.04

    Basically even for the series.

    FYI, their numbers for last night say Conroy missed 8 pitches and the total favored Houston by 1.62 runs.

  31. I am not usually one to believe in the “record that will never be broken,” but I think Charlie’s record of 16 pitches on a broken leg just might stand.

  32. I’m wondering why Bryce Elder isn’t getting much mention as a Morton replacement?
    He arguably had a better season than Strider, and went deeper into games with equally impressive K / BB numbers and splits.
    I think he’d also be a better option than Touki if we are going with a rightie starter.
    It may have been too long since any of the minor leaguers last pitched to consider them, but he would be my pick over the leftie options or Strider/Touki.
    None of the options are going to be that great, but Elder may just be the most likely to have a high risk-reward.

  33. @18 I love the idea of waiting a couple of days to replace Morton. Not sure of the rules on that but logically (I know, this is MLB) it should be allowed. Otherwise, a player with a day-to-day injury couldn’t be replaced later because his team hadn’t inactivated him right away. Surely that example has happened somewhere already.

  34. @38–I imagine you’re right. I do recall that in 1967 Bob Gibson pitched on a broken leg that he suffered from a line drive off the bat of Roberto Clemente: https://retrosimba.com/2017/07/14/bob-gibson-vs-roberto-clemente-ultimate-hardball/

    Both Gibson and Morton faced three batters after suffering the broken leg. It’s not clear to me how many pitches Gibson threw before leaving the game, but Charlie’s performance was more impressive in two respects–he retired all the batters he faced after he broke his leg (Gibson walked two of the three batters he faced), and Charlie did it in the World Series!

    No knock on Gibson; he did return to action sooner than everyone predicted that year and went on to win three games in the World Series, earning Series MVP.

  35. Whoever replaces Charlie, something will have gone badly wrong if he gets into a game. If they wanted to use him, he would have been here already.

    Snit has a hierarchy and he’s going to run through through it. We might be able to get through games 4 and 5 with some bulk innings from Smyly and Minter and the preferred bullpen guys, but we’ll see Martin before we see Lee or Wright, and we’ll see Lee or Wright before we see the new guy. Again, unless something goes badly wrong.

  36. @40 I think there are spots open on the 40 man currently if Ynoa and Morton are going on the IL, but there are other minor leaguers who could be cut at this time if we did need a spot- like Yuan Lopez.
    I guess the organisation favours Strider as the higher pick and higher velocity guy.
    Anyway it will be interesting to see what they do.

  37. 45 – Oh I think they could find the spot, but you also put Elder on the 40-man before you have to (I think he doesn’t have to go on until after the ’23 season). This could mean losing someone in the Rule 5 draft this year that you didn’t have to. Not a small concern for a team with questionable minor league depth stemming from being shut out of the international market for years.

    There’s also the question of what condition Elder is in, as I don’t think he was ever a part of the postseason plans.

  38. Given there’s every chance Morton only would’ve gone three or four innings in Game 5, especially since it’s a pitcher-bats game, I’m not really seeing this as that big a deal. It’s sub-optimal, but it shouldn’t kill us. And if it winds up looking like maybe it did, almost certainly something else is what actually killed us.

  39. Joc has looked shaky defensively to me, and I’m not convinced that he’s any better of a hitter going forward than any of the other 3, so he’s the one I’d prefer not be back. As others have said, I’m sure contract/$ considerations will factor into the decision.

    For all the complaining by Mets apologists about all their injuries, our IL is about to have four former All-Stars on it – Acuna, Morton, Ozuna, and Soroka. I wonder how unusual that is.

  40. The Dodgers could match us there, with Muncy, Kershaw, Price, and Bauer. But then, they also had about $150 million more on the field.

    (Actually, looking at it, it seems that by the end of the year Price was back, just impossible to trust. And Scherzer had a dead arm but wasn’t IL’d. So I’m probably being overly generous to them.)

  41. We were already going to be in Games 6 and 7 without Morton. He was gonna pitch Game 5. I mean, maybe he could’ve pitched a couple innings in Game 7 or something…

  42. I’m thinking more of the impact on the freshness of the bullpen, assuming he could have thrown substantial innings in Game 5.

  43. If you want to know why Charlie’s teammates love him so much, here’s why.

    https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/32483475/world-series-2021-charlie-morton-threw-16-pitches-broken-leg-apologized-more

    Also, to be honest, I don’t think we can “expect” a starter to go more than four innings. Obviously I’d love it if Max can go six tonight, and it’ll all just come down to stuff and how he’s feeling, but I don’t know that there’s a pitcher alive who I’d plan on facing the Astros lineup a third time around.

  44. Not to downplay these issues, but they will not be fixed until we institute an electronic strike zone. Period. That ball four call to lead off the ninth is completely absurd. Yes, Will missed his spot and Travis had to dive across the strike zone and couldn’t frame it and blah blah blah… It’s not acceptable for that to be called a ball, especially on a 3-2 pitch. Either umpires have to be able to tell that’s a strike or they can’t call balls and strikes anymore. End of story.

    Setting all of that aside (because again, it’s not ever gonna get better until an e-zone is introduced), where umpires have really had their heads up their posteriors in this postseason has been check swing calls from the corner-bag umpires. Which, of course, is one of the last things (outside of strike zone) not subject to video review. I would think you could create some sort of electronic way of adjudicating that, as well, but maybe not.

  45. I doubt they grabbed Wright for this series to be Smyly’s long-relief back-up. I’m thinking that Wright would have pitched game 4. But without Charlie, Kyle could slide to game 5, either as the starter or following the opener. Chavez? Doubt they would use Minter that early for multiple innings again, since he’ll be needed for late innings in Atlanta.

    I’m guessing it’s Strider for Morton’s spot. Anybody who regularly touches 100 at least has a chance to get some big outs against good hitters. Tomlin, nope. Webb, nope, etc, etc, etc. I could also see it being RichRod. He’s at least been in more big situations than the other candidates.

  46. If Richard Rodriguez gets within 60 feet, six inches of an Astros hitter, we’ve got a lot bigger problems than the Morton injury. Dude is washed.

  47. No to Rodríguez. Absolutely not. There is also only one RichRod, the sellout former head coach of the WVU Mountaineers. That term makes me cringe.

  48. I’m hearing it’s Tucker Davidson getting Morton’s spot. Does he start game 4?

    (I owe you a Coke, Nick.)

  49. I did mention Davidson as a preferred candidate when making roster predictions on Tuesday. He might be the best choice really. Between Wright, Smyly and Davidson you’ve got 3 bulk innings guys who can eat a lot of Game 4 and 5 innings and save the rest of the pen a bit.

  50. Tucker Davidson is an interesting choice, and while I’d have preferred Strider, I can’t really complain.

  51. Well, as Joaquin Andujar said, you never know.

    Namarié, Dúnadan. Nai hiruvalyë Valimar.

  52. I was under the impression that Houston mashed lefties, but the splits on bRef tell a different story.

    vs. RHP .266/.339/.442 OPS .781
    vs. LHP .270/.340/.449 OPS .788

    So that seems negligible but then you drill down deeper and see that:

    vs. RH-SP .275/.347/.459 OPS .806
    vs. LH-SP .256/.325/.421 OPS .747

    So maybe a lefty is the right play, at the least it seems, just go with the best pitcher regardless of handedness.

  53. A song for the Snitkers:

    Let the love of our land’s sacred rights
    To the love of our people succeed
    Let friendship and honour unite
    And flourish on both sides the Tweed.

  54. Did it seem like d’Arnaud was catching the ball strangely last night? That may explain some of the calls we didn’t get. I wonder if his thumb is bothering him.

  55. If I’m not mistaken, Davidson will require a 40-man move. I suppose you could move Ynoa or Morton to the 60-day right?

  56. I don’t mean to be a debbie downer but that is the last time we’ll see a lefty starter this series. Those first three innings were highly predictable as were the last six on offense. I am not expecting any Atlanta offensive outbursts the rest of the series. Our pitchers will have to be damn good and I think will need to skew right-handed. I am not sure I like the Davidson addition although, in general, I think he’s a great pitcher. What I saw last night was that Charlie and Luke were fantastic, Minter and Smith were great, and Matzek was a little shaky. One of those leftys is going to give up a big hit at the wrong time. I like Wright starting Game 4. He can go as long as he can go and then be followed by Smyly/Davidson, Chavez, and Luke.

    To me, game 1 proved nothing except the Astros don’t have sufficient lefty pitching as expected. The big game is tonight; how Max performs. We win tonight and we’ve really accomplished something.

  57. Didn’t really see Tucker coming.
    “The Braves placed Davidson on the 60-day IL in June and then brought him back to throw three innings of one-run ball for Triple-A Gwinnett during the club’s regular-season finale on Oct. 3. Davidson has since been throwing at Atlanta’s Spring Training complex in North Port, Fla.” Bowman

  58. Kind of amazing about Davidson. I’ve got to wonder how many simulated games are going on. I can imagine the evaluation is intense in choosing who goes onto the roster. I can’t complain so far about who has been chosen, although up until this point, those at the very end of the roster haven’t played much.

  59. @65 – On the ESPN postgame last night one of the broadcasters said that the biggest problem for Houston’s hitters is hitting lefties. That is one of the many reasons I enjoy this blog. I can hear factual information and wade through the media disinformation.

  60. Call me old-fashioned, but I personally think the biggest problem for Houston’s hitters is the indelible stain on their mortal souls.

  61. To me, the Davidson news is far and away the most surprising roster decision of this postseason. I had no idea he was in the picture. The folks in charge must really like what they have seen at the Florida complex.

  62. Yeah, Davidson is not who I was expecting to get the call up. I agree with Dusty, between Smyly, Wright and Davidson, they’ll be the bulk inning guys for games 4 and 5. Just got to hope our offense gets to their starters like last night. Be great to get to their bullpen early again.

  63. Random non-Braves-related question: In today’s climate, would Ron LeFlore, jailed for armed robbery and having lots of petty theft and drug issues, be given an opportunity to play in the minors? (Regardless of how the teams and fans would feel, I suppose it’s less likely now that any team would employ a person like Billy Martin who had close friends in a position to know about prisoners who could play.)

  64. The Braves are properly doubling down on LHP for this series with the addition of Davidson

    I will not be the one to second guess after the fact

    In Max we trust

    And our guys will score more than their guys, which is really all that matters

    And with that, I’m off for another restless night

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