Braves 5, Dodgers 3 (by Braves14)

In front of another lively sellout crowd, the Braves rallied in the bottom of the 8th after blowing a 3-0 lead to secure a 5-3 win.

The Braves got on the board first. In the bottom of the 3rd, after Michael Harris singled, Dansby Swanson continued his hot streak by hitting his 13th home run off Mitch White, giving the Braves a 2-0 lead. They added another in the 5th as Austin Riley doubled in Ronald Acuna to make it 3-0. It could have been 4-0, but Acuna had gotten picked off, causing a rundown which ended up with both Acuna and Dansby standing on 2nd base. Acuna was the lead runner, so by rule Dansby was called out and credited with a caught stealing even though it was Acuna’s screwup. Dansby would have likely scored from first on the double.

The score remained 3-0 until the top of the 7th. After pitching 6 shutout innings in another superb start, Max Fried tired in the 7th, walking the leadoff hitter Chris Taylor, then Justin Turner singled putting runners on the corners with nobody out. Snitker went to the mound for a conference with Fried, but Max said he had something left. He did reach back for some extra and struck out the next 2 hitters, Trayce Thompson and Hanser Alberto. But Braves nemesis Cody Bellinger, who only seems to get hits against the Braves these days and nobody else, singled up the middle after narrowly missing a 3 run homer on a foul ball to score Taylor and cut it to 3-1.

With Fried over 100 pitches, Snitker went to the bullpen…Will Smith has been his frequent option to go to in high leverage situations in the 7th inning. Smith has been decent lately, but on the season he has been the worst reliever in the bullpen with a 4.85 FIP. Also, he was coming on to face a right handed batter in Austin Barnes. 2 of the right handed relievers may have been unavailable, as Collin McHugh pitched 3 innings yesterday, and O’Day also worked yesterday. Jesse Chavez and Jackson Stephens were other right handed options Snitker could have gone to, however. (More on this topic later.)

Smith gave up an opposite field single to Barnes, scoring Turner to make it 3-2. He then walked another right handed batter, Trea Turner, to load the bases. But Smith managed to strike out the left handed Freddie Freeman to escape with the lead.

However, in the 8th, AJ Minter (in a little bit of a slump lately after his hot start) gave up a leadoff homer to the other Will Smith as the Dodgers tied the game. He pitched around another hit to get out of the inning with the score tied at 3.

In the bottom of the 8th, Travis D’Arnaud led off with a double off the left center field wall off Dodgers flame thrower Brusdar Graterol. Marcell Ozuna followed with a 2 run homer (his 14th) to right center on a hanging breaking ball to put the Braves on top 5-3. That was decisive, as Kenley Jansen struck out all 3 batters to collect his 20th save in the 9th.

____________________________________________________

This game highlighted the Braves weakness of a trusted late inning RHP outside of closer Kenley Jansen. After Spencer Strider moved to the rotation to fix the weakness of the 5th starter position, there isn’t a hard throwing right hander that Snitker trusts to work in high leverage (other than Jansen). Jackson Stephens and Darren O’Day have struggled recently, while Collin McHugh and Jesse Chavez are soft tossers and it’s obvious that Snitker only wants to use them in middle and long relief. The Braves also have Kirby Yates and Jay Jackson under contract and they are expected to make rehab appearances and come back in the 2nd half of the season. Kirby Yates is coming back from a 2nd Tommy John surgery, though, and Jay Jackson is old and mediocre.

I think that Strider will eventually move back to the bullpen as he has never thrown more than 94 innings, and he is only in his 2nd professional season. (It may already be showing, as his velocity was down a couple of ticks in his last start.) My guess is that the Braves may also acquire more right handed relief help in trade as well.

Of course, this would open up the 5th spot in the rotation. I’m sure the Braves are hoping Mike Soroka can come back and fill this rotation spot in the 2nd half, but given that coming back from 2 different Achilles tears is unprecedented, they may not be able to count on that. Kyle Muller has been excellent at Gwinnett. He has cut his walk rate, only walking 23 men in 76 innings, while striking out 99 men with a 2.96 ERA. (This includes another strong 7 inning start tonight.) With 30 career starts at Gwinnett, one may wonder how much more he has to prove there. Or perhaps the Braves want him to spend a full season there like Kyle Wright did last season, and would rather acquire another starter from outside the organization. (Probably not a big name, as this would be just a 5th starter.)

It will be interesting to see what the Braves do.

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.

88 thoughts on “Braves 5, Dodgers 3 (by Braves14)”

  1. Brusdar Graterol grates on me, brusquely. His little post-inning pantomine was absent tonight.

    Freddie Freeman at the plate trailing by 1 with the bases loaded and two outs was written by a hack screenwriter; the strikeout was a pretty novel interpretation of a hackneyed moment, though.

  2. Typo in the first line, obviously blowing a 3-0 lead, not some deathly high blood alcohol number.

    [JF: I’m a poster, not an editor. Fixed.]

  3. Graterol’s post-inning pantomime wasn’t totally absent tonight, as I mockingly did it in my living room as the broadcast showed him glumly walking off the field.

  4. Bryce Harper broke his thumb being hit with a Blake Snell fastball. Huge blow for the Phillies.

  5. Fried was great on the mound and I’m sure Jansen loved getting the save against his former team. And Swanson continues to play well and had a good offensive game. These 2 teams could meet in the post-season.

  6. JonathanF, well done. Thank you.

    Great game. Fried pretty much defines both ace and stopper. Please sign this young man to a long term contract soon.

    I was wrong, Dansby. I apologize. You are a big league shortstop. Keep it up, please.

  7. In case you are wondering what is going on with our old friend Pablo Sandoval, here you go. I would not want to collide with him. I didn’t think he could run that fast.

  8. In the last 30 days, Dansby is 1st and Harris is 5th in the league in fWAR. Really incredible what this team is doing. Don’t blink.

    So happy for Dansby, but this is his last year in Atlanta. 😕 Dansby is on a 8 WAR pace, some team is gonna pay him as if he’s a 6 WAR player, and I would probably pay him as if he’s a 4 WAR player.

  9. He’s entered the 9-figure arena and I just can’t see AA writing that check.

    And Max Fried is pitching like a $200MM+ pitcher…

    :/

  10. That’s quite a hug from the Panda. Without commenting on the wisdom of this particular play, I’m amazed that a player on the (to be extremely charitable) back end of his career would do what he did. Surely this isn’t some sort of attempt to show he’s worthy of a return to MLB… is it? Maybe it’s just that he only knows “one way to play.” I’d actually be interested in EdK’s opinion here.

  11. Man has zero class. Absolutely no pride. If I ever look like him please shot me.
    I fear the worse today. But 4-3 would get you 93 wins on the season. Against the Giants and Dodgers even at home is good.
    Going to the Lighting game tonight.
    Lumineers coming up.
    Would all you knuckleheads please enjoy your day?

  12. I’m sure I’m not alone in thinking that Strider could be our post-season middle reliever of doom.

    That poor catcher… he got knocked into the middle of next week.

    From a previous thread: Hard to have a conversation about Randy Newman’s great Good Old Boys album without also mentioning this song: https://tinyurl.com/Louisiana1927

    Also, from a previous thread: After the song’s misappropriation in the ’84 presidential race, Springsteen pretty much quit playing “Born in the USA” with the E Street Band after his ’84 tour. He’d only do it in an acoustic version.

    In the fall of that year, I was on the University Union at UGA working a Hank Williams, Jr., show at the UGA Coliseum (Why? Long story)… and I distinctly remember after the opening act finished, the soundman playing “Born in the USA” and seeing the whole crowd (mostly non-students) getting off on it a little too hard, and I thought: “Y’know, this song is certainly ripe for misinterpretation, but… is anyone actually listening to the verses?”

    Headed to the cauldron of baseball evil today: Astros @ Yankees. Let’s see if the Pinstripes can get a hit.

  13. I was always more of a football player than a baseball player. I remember once in Little League I ran over the catcher similar to the way Sandoval did, but fortunately the catcher wasn’t hurt too bad. I honestly had no idea that there was a problem with it. I didn’t break any rules so I didn’t get any kind of foul, but the umpire spent about a minute talking to me before the start of the next inning telling me that that wasn’t a great idea. I never did it quite like that again. Seems like Pablo should have gotten a similar talk a long time ago.

  14. @14 – As I get older, I’m definitely a lot less judgmental about weight even though I’m only about 15 pounds heavier than when I graduated high school. However, it’s hard for me to understand how a professional athlete can’t hire a trainer and dietitian to get in some sort of shape. I mean if the guy really came back to baseball in the best shape of his life, I would think he would at least be given a shot at MLB again. The dude is 35 years old. Why even play anywhere if you can’t get into some semblance of shape?

  15. The forearm shiver to the head was never a good look, even back when this play was deemed acceptable or “just part of the game” or whatever. I don’t think there’s really been any time when what he did there was acceptable.

  16. The best offense in baseball is currently on a 15-inning hitless streak…at their absurdly hitter-friendly home ballpark.

    (Note: Or if that’s hyperbole, it’s indisputably one of the best five offenses in baseball.)

  17. Wait. So the Yankees have been no-hit through 5 today so far?! Ububba, what’s the atmosphere like at Yankee Stadium?
    JonathanF, what is the longest hitless streak by a team in the modern era?

  18. 17 innings…truly crazy.

    Elias is counting this as 16 consecutive innings. They last got a hit with nobody out in the eighth on Friday, so you could count it as 17 straight if you count by outs or 16 if you count by whole innings without a hit. Anyway, they’re saying it’s tied for the longest such streak in the expansion era. I imagine they’re still researching before that.

  19. Stanton homers to finally end it at 17.1 innings (or 16 if you count the other way).

  20. @24: So on the 25th of September, 1981, the Dodgers were playing in Houston and Ken Landreaux hit a single with nobody out. They got no hits in the 9th inning, and the next day they were no-hit by Nolan Ryan. On the next day, facing Don Sutton, they got no hits until the first batter at the top of the 7th, when Ken Landreaux came through with another single. (Sutton then picked him off first, but I guess that doesn’t matter.) So that’s 16 whole innings, or 17 if you count by outs.
    Cleveland had a similar streak last year with a Bobby Bradley hit with nobody out in the eight, a hitless ninth, a no-hitter the next day from Corbin Burnes and Josh Hader and then a one out hit in the fifth by former Brave and Yale Bulldog Ryan Lavarnway. 15 whole innings or 16 1/3 if you count by outs.
    Other 15 inning (by whole inning) streaks are Colorado in 2013, Houston in 2008, Minnesota in 2012, the Braves in 1959 which ended when Harvey Haddix’ no hitter was broken up in the 13th inning, Oakland in 1973, San Diego in 1995 and Seattle in 2019.

  21. Haven’t heard the ESPN broadcast mention Acuna’s absence yet.

    But that’s not surprising.

    Any word?

  22. @29

    They did during Baseball Tonight (or whatever it’s called now). He fouled a ball off his foot last night. X-rays were negative. However, he can’t put much weight on it today and they’re talking about a 10-day IL stint not being out of the question. So I’d expect your standard two-week minor Acuna injury.

  23. Watching Max Fried being interviewed on the broadcast makes me think of our long lost poster who wanted to have his baby. Where are you Bethany?

  24. Thanks Nick @31

    As Acuna was untapping his foot last night in the dugout – after getting pulled – he looked like he was in good pain. I was hoping tonight would just be precautionary – – but sounds like its a little more involved.

  25. To reference last night’s conversation, I just don’t think you can take this and put it back in the bullpen. Maybe if Soroka makes it back…and Strider’s obviously gonna be in the pen during the playoffs (knock on wood), but right now, he’s worth much more right where he is.

  26. Duvall has gotten down to the Uecker Line and doesn’t seem to be turning it around. With Acuña hurt, I guess we’re stuck with Duvall and Ozuna sucking wind in the middle of the order.

  27. Looks like Spencer had three digits again tonight, which is a good thing. How did he look his first start back from his first bad start?

  28. I have actually seen most of this one. 2 times Dodgers got it going a little, but Strider was NEAR ace dominant.

  29. So it seems like Strider must have heard some of the talk here about sending him back to the bullpen and wanted to let us know he had other plans. I’ll take 6 innings of 5 hit, 7 k baseball with 0 walks any day of the week.

  30. I’m “watching” on the MLB app, and based on Chavez’s pitch location, it looks like TDA must be crouched in the left-hand batter’s box

  31. Chavez somehow got through that. It would not have been good if he’d had to face Freeman.

  32. @45 I hear you but he wanted his middle reliever to have the platoon advantage against Trea Turner, which seems reasonable to me.

  33. Let’s get that game back, Kenley.

    #24
    The atmosphere was pretty hot (it was 90 degrees today) and, as it related to the game, kinda edgy. Everybody knew what happened yesterday.

    But this game was a bit like last Thursday night’s game — a contest that the Yanks could’ve/should’ve lost, but Aaron Judge saved their ass. The Yanks could’ve easily gotten swept in a 4-game series, but they got a split.

    And it seems that I’ll be an Astros groupie this week. Gonna be rooting for them in a big way Tuesday night in Flushing.

  34. I know that was a tough play for Olson but damn…aside from the play the other night when he slipped it seems like he hasn’t made very many above average defensive plays

  35. And now Freddie Freeman can be the hero in Manfredball.

    Will Smith? For crying out loud, Snit.

  36. @53 – I don’t think many of the highest jumping NBA stars could have caught the ball that went over Olson’s glove. I’ve been disappointed with his defense also, but I can’t fault him on that one.

    Whether we win or lose tonight, I don’t think the Dodgers are as good as they were last year. I think we have the better team.

  37. Glad it was Smith to come in and take the loss. The love affair with this dude needs to end

  38. He had no chance to catch it where he was, but I agree with Braves14 that he was playing really shallow for no apparent reason. One assumes that decision came from the dugout, but you never know.

  39. Unless Riley homers or hits the slowest-developing triple of all-time, we’re about to get a Mike Ford sighting.

  40. I would guess Gosselin would have to come in to play left field with Duvall going back to right if this goes to the 11th.

  41. @65

    I was trying to figure that out myself, but you’re right…that’s the play.

    I think I’d have rather pinch-run for Olson and let Ford play first.

  42. Wouldn’t the better call have Gosselin run for Olson and Ford stays in to play first?

    Or: What Nick said.

  43. Yes, since the runner on first means nothing except for a force play.

    Well, at least Olson’s bat is still in the lineup if it gets to him again.

  44. Ugh…

    Well, my recap will almost certainly be a tomorrow morning thing at this point.

    And yes, since no situation requiring speed at second developed, I’m now glad that Olson is still in and Ford is out.

    It is absurd that Harris got to that ball at all, let alone as easily as he did.

  45. The Dodgers ARE a better team. Deeper rotation. Deeper bullpen.

    Using Will Smith and Darren O’Day in extra innings is a cry for help.

  46. O day needs to be DFA . He’s terrible .. cost us the Giants game Tue and tonight .. get him on a bus out of town

  47. O’Day just doesn’t have enough stuff to miss bats anymore. I agree with Bravey here, he needs to be DFA and Jesus Cruz should come back when he is eligible.

  48. 1 flippin strike away from win .. and we blow it .. I gotta take a sleeping pill to get to sleep I’m so upset

  49. Are the Dodgers a slightly better team? Debatable. Is our inferiority complex gone when it comes to them? Yes.

    Oh good, this MFer again. I thought they said he wasn’t available tonight.

  50. Horrible loss. Jansen is paid to close games not to blow them, and this bullpen is thin. I feel confident AA sees the same thing.

  51. We are back to where we started in extra inning games.

    These teams are very evenly matched this year. Dodgers win tonight by the tip of two gloves and a slightly short Contreras fly.

  52. Too many of our RH relievers are mop up guys and don’t have strikeout stuff. O’Day, McHugh, Chavez…dudes that do not have high leverage stuff. I like Chavez but the other two need to go. Moving Strider to the rotation was good but hurt us at the same time. We need some RH power arms. If we had one or two of those we may have gone 6-1 this week instead of 4-3

  53. @80

    Possibly 5-2. If Muller or Touki or whoever starts this game instead of Strider, we lose by like six runs.

  54. Anyway, yeah, I’m definitely not gonna relive that crap until well after midnight tonight. I’ll have a recap tomorrow morning.

  55. @80 – I’m on the fence about McHugh, but O’Day seems incredibly hittable to me. The movement on his pitches seems much predictable than it did a few years ago. Unless something changes, I just don’t see him sticking around much longer.

  56. I’m with Roger @79. Extra inning games are tossups and we got really unlucky. We had good chances to win in the 9th, a good chance in the 10th, and an excellent chance in the 11th if Riley had caught his ball and stepped on third to end the inning. None of them worked… that happens sometimes. We shouldn’t have lost last night and we shouldn’t have wonon Wednesday against the Giants.

  57. Being correct in this case does not please me. Couple players batting averages going where they belong. Credit Strider with a great comeback. Harris still doing an incredible job. Those three ahead of him are an embarrassment right now.
    Can’t save all of them. Of course the Dodgers are better. They were better last year. But the Braves beat them in seven, not 162.

  58. @84 is on the money for me, as far as I can tell. (I was blacked out, so was listening to the late innings on MLB.com audio.)

    The Dodgers are a really, really, really good team. We’re a really good team and we didn’t have Acuña or Albies. Definitely would love to see AA make some moves to bolster our depth. But last night doesn’t seriously affect my feelings about this team one way or another. I think our bullpen is very good — as opposed to excellent. It’s not the 2021 playoffs pen or the 2002 Braves bullpen.

  59. This team is better than the Dodgers right now, and it’s getting some key additions soon.

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