Rangers 3, Braves 1

The ball didn’t leave the ballpark, therefore the Braves lost. That theme seems to be continuing from the last couple years. After hitting 3 home runs on Thursday night in a 5-1 win and another 4 (albeit only 3 left the yard) in Friday’s 6-3 win, the bats went cold on Saturday night.

Bryce Elder also once again struggled with his control and couldn’t get out of the 5th inning. He’s got good stuff, but walking 14 guys in 19.1 IP is not going to get the job done. Atlanta agreed.

So Kyle gets another recall. Kyle’s peripherals look much better in AAA: 28 K’s in 19.2 IP, 15 hits, and 7 walks. He definitely put himself in position to be in Atlanta’s plans after his strong off and on duty last year. Hopefully he’s here to stay. I’ve always thought the Big Tall Texan could be special. He gets the start today at 2:35 eastern.

Spencer Strider once again dazzled. He K’ed another 5 guys in 3.1 IP. He’s now racked up 15 strike outs in 12.2 IP, a sassy 11.4 K/9. More importantly, however, he threw more strikes: 26 strikes in 33 pitches. One walk in those 3.1 IP. THAT Spencer Strider is absolutely dangerous. I didn’t get to watch this game, but I went back and watched Strider’s innings. He looked dominant and ready for an expanded role.

The boys only mustered 3 hits, but one of them was a double by Travis Demeritte. So of his 8 hits, he’s now got 4 XBHs to show out of that. Nothing in his profile says he’s going to be a high contact and batting average guy, but he can probably hit for enough power to stay in this league.

Let’s get ’em today.

73 thoughts on “Rangers 3, Braves 1”

  1. @25 from prior thread – Bryce Elder is about as far from Josh Tomlin as you can get. Now Colin McHugh is more likely the Tomlin replacement unit. Two guys are going out tomorrow and I’d expect them to be Muller and Woods. I would also expect to see a few McHugh/Strider bullpen games or maybe Chavez/McHugh/Strider.

  2. I met you at Texas Live bar looking forward to following your blogs. Hoping to making the June 8th game to get my ring.

  3. Julian! Enjoyed meeting you. Thanks for checking in on the blog. I’m going to try really hard to get to that game as well!

  4. When is Muller going to be better than Elder?

    There’s not a lot of difference between 1-0 and 16-0. If you don’t score, you don’t win.

  5. @11 they both stink. We have like 2 1/2 starting pitchers right now. We could be in a world of hurt if things go badly in New York.

  6. Our offensive approach needs to change. This free swinging crap isn’t working with the dead ball.

  7. Can’t pitch, can’t field, can’t hit consistently. Other than that, this title defense is going great.

  8. Our outfield defense continues to stink. Demeritte has played well out there but this inning hasn’t been stellar. I know it’s early in the season but I don’t know where the answers are going to come from this year. We lack 2 starting pitchers, our defense hasn’t been good and the default mode of our offense is hibernation

  9. @18 I think it will be a 4-man rotation after this game.

    So how many times now have we won the first game of a series and lost the last two? I think maybe every three-game series.

  10. “…And last year in the Mexican League. And if you can throw strikes consistently, you can pitch in any league.” Sure. He chose the Mexican league to augment his alternate career as an Acapulco cliff diver.

    I wonder if we can get Jorge Campillo back.

  11. This team looks content …. resting on their laurels … no want too or competitive spirit …kinda expected after Freeman shunned us ….

  12. low…

    lower…

    lowest.

    to throw above the belt, aim – approximately- above the belt.

    Sad, he’s a nice guy. And he skipped off the mound like a kid at the end of the first after only one run thinking all might be behind him, the worst over.

    Cannon fodder for the Mets D/H? Kill or cure?

  13. Thanks for that double clutch, Charlie. Not gonna see too many Matt Olson infield singles.

  14. But, apparently, our top of the lineup is really good at GIDPs. Olson and Ozuna killing innings today.

    P.S. We have some great garbage time relievers, too.

  15. @27-far and away the most significant comment of the day. Muller was awful, the bats disappeared the last two days, we need Ronald to play the field—all that’s true. But it’s just May 1.

    Every Friday I keep reminding y’all that this is a very good team. That’s partly because they play very well every Friday. The last two games, however, were very hard to watch.

  16. Johan has got himself a .727 OPS with 2 home runs in 56 ABs. He’s started 9 games at 3B, 8 at SS, and a game apiece at 1B and 2B. Good for him. He was never going to get this opportunity with Snitker.

  17. It’s early, but last year wasn’t a blueprint insofar as staying under .500 into August. I’m not worried yet, but I think this Mets series will provide some clarity.

  18. Offense is down so bad that Ozuna’s .736 OPS is good for a 107 OPS+. Olson’s .857 OPS is a 144 OPS+

  19. Although it seems the Braves were right to stick with Kyle Wright and are being rewarded for their patience, I see absolutely nothing with Elder or probably even Muller that looks like long term success. They’re just AAAA guys.

    The fact that Muller is so highly ranked in our system is an indictment.

  20. Gee Chief, that is a really quick judgement. Muller is 24 and Elder is 22. Muller’s WHIP and Ks/9 in the minors at least gives me some optimism about his overall prospects. Elder has had only 1 year in the minor league system.

    I will say that expecting a lot from either of them this year may be a little too much to ask. Elder just seems like he has been rushed a little too much. I think another half year in the minors could help Muller a lot. I’m not saying they are guaranteed top of the rotation guys, but crap, I see no reason to give up on either on of them at this point. Kyle Wright is 26 and both of them look much better to me than he did at this point in his career.

  21. To anyone in the NYC area… got an extra free ticket (good seat) for tonight’s game in Flushing… first come, first served, (but you gotta sit next to me) ;)

  22. I do think Muller is a reliever long term unless he can really improve his control and command.

    I think Elder is a back of the rotation guy because his stuff is meh.

    I agree with td that both need more time at Gwinnett.

  23. @35 and 36–I wish whoever is broadcasting the game this evening could mike ububba and JonathanF. Their conversation will doubtless be more knowledgable, informative, and entertaining that anything the actual broadcasters might say.

  24. @33 and 34: To be fair, the Braves could perhaps absorb these growing pains starts from Elder and Muller if Charlie Morton hadn’t stunk the joint up in his starts. A friend of mine (Yankees fan) predicted weeks ago that before the season is over, Morton will be pitching out of the bullpen. I guffawed. So far, though, that’s not looking like such a ridiculous prediction.

  25. #38
    Believe it or not, our seats are very close to the visiting announcers booth…

    Jonathan, meet Chip…

  26. Robinson Cano DFA’d. $40 MM absorbed. I’ve invited him to come sit with us, ububba, but he can’t stand being that close to Chip.

  27. @39 Old players often don’t just hit a wall, they hit a mountain, and all of a sudden. Morton had no idea where the ball was going in his last start. He couldn’t command any of his pitches. I’d guess he probably figures it out somewhat but I do wonder if he’s past his freshness date.

    I was firmly in the do not sign Freeman camp but I do believe that some of his leadership void is probably not being filled. And although the players seemed to have resented some of his Harry High School leadership ploys, its probably also true that maybe some of them needed it.

  28. I was firmly in the do not sign Freeman camp but I do believe that some of his leadership void is probably not being filled.

    I… agree.

    That felt weird.

  29. @39 and 43 I think Chief is right. But who knows? Maybe he’ll be good. Even if he’s done, it’s the #4 and #5 spots that are in question. There’s Strider, who reminds me of Medlen coming into 2010. It should be fun to watch.

  30. Move I wish we could take back? Putting Kevin Gausman on waivers back in 2019.

    The guy’s started the season with 31 2/3 IP, 0 BB, 0 HR. The only other pitcher to do that in five consecutive outings to open a season? Cy Young.

  31. Of course…a wild pitch scores the run. This team can’t get out of its own way. At least the hitter was hitting .167

  32. At some point maybe this team will show up. Until then it’s going to be ugly and we could get buried.

  33. @46 even if gausman had stayed with the braves, he would’ve most certainly left for free agency before this season, so he still would be somewhere else this year.
    But yeah, sucks the atlanta staff could’t get him to improve.

    Oh look another solo homer…its May and they haven’t hit a 3 run homer yet…

  34. Bassit tries to walk Ozzie but he decided it was more prudent to swing at three balls. If the plate discipline doesn’t change neither will our record

  35. This umpire is horrible. The Mets thought Swanson was out on strikes because the ump keeps calling strikes that are a lot farther off the plate.

  36. @53 is it? They were a good team. Nothing I have seen this season would indicate they are good. They hardly look interested with bad plate discipline and shaky pitching,

  37. @53 I deeply agree with you. This is obviously a good team, we just need some time for things to shake out.

  38. We are 23 games into the season and are about middle of the pack in the NL right now. We have 3 starting pitchers that are showing consistency now and a 4th (Morton) who did the same thing last year at this time and will improve. Acuna is rusty, Swanson is starting to come around, and Albies and Duvall will get better. I’m concerned about Ozuna, but other than him, I think our hitting will be okay. Our bullpen has underperformed a little, but they’ve also dominated at times.

    Bad plate discipline and shaky pitching implies not being fully ready for the season. I think that has happened to several teams. I’m confident that they’ll have a better record and a better team at the All Star break than they did last year. I’m also confident that the Mets will still be the Mets by the end of the season.

  39. Bad decision – Matzek could not throw a strike to a lefty, but he was doing fine with righties even with the bad pitch to McCann.

    Wow -survival.

  40. Before the season, I was a little worried this year about Riley having an off year to follow up the breakout, but he’s looked genuinely excellent at the plate this year, that at bat notwithstanding.

  41. That’s more like it. Take 3 out of 4 here and we’ll all feel alot better about the season.

  42. A public thanks for ububba’s hospitality last night…. and for the win.

    And to tfloyd @38: Freed from the obligation to give play-by-play our conversation was indeed farly wide-ranging, including discussions about the times each of us encountered machine gun wielding Federales. Unresolved is the question of why a guy from Wyoming uses a Lynyrd Skynyrd song from my time in high school as his walkup music, though the pros and cons of Rush as your walkup music were thoroughly explored. I suspect we discussed Rob Deer considerably more than Chip did.

  43. Out of idle curiosity, JonathanF, what, ah, was the context for the machine gun wielding federales?

  44. @68 Great job, you two. We are now sending you to all Braves games if that’s what it takes.

  45. Does it really need context? Suffice it to say that each of us was on a mission and found ourselves encircled, and both of us lived to tell the tale. More explanation will have to await the next time we attend a game together.

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