Dodgers 4, Braves 1 (But We Are Still the Defending World Champions)

Really don’t mind if you sit this one out
My word’s but a whisper your deafness a SHOUT

As I indicated in comments earlier today, I was unable to watch the broadcast tonight.  Apparently I didn’t miss much.  Jethro was not sharp.  Ian gave up 2 runs in the top of the first, and as it turns out that would be all that the Dodgers would need.  He gave up two more in the 5th before giving way too McHugh (actually he gave up 1 run and McHugh allowed one inherited runner to score).  Six hits, 4 walks, and 4 runs in 4 innings is not a recipe for success.  Here’s my hot take on Anderson: he doesn’t throw enough strikes.  88 pitches tonight, 40 of them balls.  That ratio won’t cut it.

Still, the lesser lights of the league’s best bullpen held the Bums scoreless the rest of the way—3 innings from McHugh, 1 1/3 from Dylan Lee, and 2/3 from Digger O’Day.  The way the Braves hitters have raked for the month of June, giving up 4 runs on the night is usually not a problem.  But our guys only scored one run this night, on a sac fly from Matt Olson in the 6th.  The best chance to score more came in the 8th, when Ronald and Dansbo both singled to put runners on the corners with one out.  But Riley grounded into a 4-6-3 twin killing to end the threat.

Only three Braves hitters hit safely on the night: Ronald had 2 infield singles, Swanson had 2 singles, and Olson had a single, a double (still on pace for the franchise record in that category), and the aforementioned sacrifice fly RBI. 

The Braves also lost a game in the standings tonight as the Mets topped the Fish; the lead is five games.  But don’t despair—our Hammers are still 18-4 for the month.  If I told you on May 31 that they would have cut 5.5 games off the lead by June 24, you’d have been happy indeed.  So don’t worry, be happy.

I hear there was a lot of emotion surrounding a former Braves’ player who made his return to Truist Park.  I’ve got nothing new or interesting to add to that saga.

  *   *   *

Although I live in Georgia, I’ve spent this month in Los Angeles visiting family.  Last Saturday I went to a game at Dodger Stadium.  I’ll admit I’ve always enjoyed that park.  The mid-century vibe is pretty cool (Atlanta Stadium and all the other 1960’s parks were not cool).  I like the way they blast Randy Newman’s “I Love LA” at the end of the game.  I happened to be there the day they unveiled a new statue of Sandy Koufax, and we all got a replica of the statue.  That was very cool—cooler in fact than most bobbleheads I’ve received over the years.

But the stadium sits in the middle of a vast parking lot.  Although I was not a fan of the move to Cobb when they announced it, I’ve got to say that I thoroughly enjoy the Battery and the energy at Truist.  Dodger Stadium can’t match it.  And they don’t have Matthew Kaminski, the best organist in baseball.  Here is how lame the Dodgers organist is: last Saturday happened to be Paul McCartney’s 80th birthday.  So he played songs such as Hey Jude, Let it Be, and Yesterday randomly during the game.  At one point I realized he was playing While My Guitar Gently Weeps.  Our guy Kaminski would not have made that mistake.

 *   *   *

Sure the Dodgers just took game one of the series, but since last October they sure don’t intimidate me. We were speaking of Koufax. The guy who grew up in LA idolizing Koufax, Varsity Fried, takes the mound on Saturday night against his hometown team.  I like our chances behind Max against Mitch White.

Author: tfloyd

Tfloyd was born on the site of Atlanta Fulton County Stadium. Before the stadium was built, that is; it was then the site of Piedmont Hospital. It took the Braves another 11 years to arrive on what is now Hank Aaron Drive, but I‘ve always liked to arrive at the ballpark early.

71 thoughts on “Dodgers 4, Braves 1 (But We Are Still the Defending World Champions)”

  1. Great job on the recap TFloyd. You’ll never hear me complaining about someone not watching the game. You and others always bring out interesting aspects that I missed. I will say, the Freeman ceremony was surreal. The guy loves the city of Atlanta and the team. It’s really a shame that we don’t have him around. Olson at 1st/ DH and Freeman at DH/1st would be incredible. Anyway, below is my post from earlier. I’m still surprised that the Dodger’s are not hitting better as a team.

    As good as the Dodgers have been, they have some big contracts that are black holes

    Muncy .168 ba/ .626 ops – 3 yr 26 mil 31 years old
    Belinger .209 ba / .665 ops – 1 yr 17 mil 26 years old
    Justin Turner .218 ba/ .640 ops – 2 yr 34 mil 37 years old

    I’m not sure if we should be worried that they’ll turn it around or encouraged that possibly 2 of 3 are on the downside of their career.

  2. Thanks for a great recap, tfloyd. Thoroughly enjoyed JonathanF’s recap from yesterday as well. You guys rock!!
    Let’s get them tonight!

  3. In Columbus, OH for a wedding. Our family must be nuts (at least my pregnant wife who made the travel plans). We drove from the panhandle to St. Louis, stayed there for a week. We then drove to Columbus on Friday and will be driving back to St. Louis. Next week, we are driving to Colorado Springs to visit my bro-in-law and his pregnant wife for a week, then drive back to St. Louis. We will stay there for a few days then drive to Georgia then drive home.

    Pregnant wife, two girls ages 4&6, what could go wrong?

  4. I dunno, tfloyd. Sounds like you attend too many games.

    Good Ole Boys is one of the best albums ever written. But the unironic adoption of the largely ironic “I Love LA” by LA teams is slightly puzzling to me, as is the misuse of Born in the USA. But if Truist ever starts playing “Rednecks” after every game, I’d be highly amused. (Completely astonished as well, since I think the song is no longer playable in public, unfortunately)

    I was last in Dodger Stadium for this game https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/LAN/LAN199406170.shtml which occurred simultaneously with OJ Simpson’s slow speed chase down the LA freeways. One of those amusing beer vendors told us about it — we thought he was kidding. Baseball, car chases, celebrity nonsense and tragic homicides: I Love LA.

    PS: The chase was put on the screen at Didger Stadium live between innings, but I want to assure EdK I was watching the game.

  5. Didn’t share this tidbit. We got to our hotel yesterday, a hotel that came rec’d by a friend who knew the city well about a decade ago. The hotel was AWFUL. It smelled of smoke, was dirty, and had no real amenities that were advertised. The final straw was when I caught a man masterbating by the garbage can aside the hotel. We changed hotels immediately and it’s been smooth sailing since.

  6. @Ryan
    Make sure to have Jeni’s ice cream while you’re in town; there are several locations. There are also lots of good Mediterranean and pizza joints.

  7. @4 @6 Ryan, I hope that’s the worst you experience on the trip. My grown daughters are on a similar pilgrimage from central MD to Denver (for the map challenged, that’s a straight shot on I-70 that goes through both Columbus and St. Louis). Their worst experience so far is related to a campsite and a very angry trash panda (just outside of St. Louis)……

    With regards to baseball, I am holding this game as just “one of those games”. You have to lose at least 60 a year. The offense was terrible against a good lefty, but Jethro was not that bad and the bullpen was good.

    P.S. My daughters are obsessed with Meow Wolf which is why they went to Denver. I have no idea what it is but your daughters might (??) be aware.

  8. @5–agree that Good Old Boys is brilliant and also that you absolutely should not play Rednecks at the game. The irony would be lost on most.

    As to I Love LA, I listen with ironic bemusement to the un-ironic use of that ironic song. Kind of like rain on your wedding day.

    Ryan, I’m with Roger that I hope you’ve already experienced the worst on your trip. If not, God help you all.

  9. If I’ve learned nothing else from 20 years of wondering how folks can take “Born in the USA” and “I Love LA” and other like songs and assume they’re “hell yeah” anthems to the places they’re from, it’s that 1) folks are very bad at analyzing song lyrics in general; and 2) if you have to go past the chorus to get the thrust of a song (particularly a catchy chorus that, on the surface, makes the song seem like said “hell yeah” anthem), you can absolutely forget it.

    I haven’t sought out interviews or feature articles or anything to confirm this, but if I had to guess, Randy Newman probably finds the misreading of his song hilarious, while Bruce Springsteen probably finds the misreading of his somewhat less so.

  10. @11

    That was pre-game yesterday, and yeah, it’s tough to watch. As I said yesterday, I think it’s pretty clear that Freddie would rather be here than where he’s at, and I don’t know how I would feel about that if I were a Dodgers fan.

  11. @12 I just don’t know how that can be though. How the eff do you let another man tell you where you’re going to live for the next several years? That doesn’t compute in my mind. How do you tell your agent you’ll go wherever they pay you the most, and then turn around and be this bent out of shape that it ended up being in a large market and not Atlanta? It does not add up.

    I didn’t watch any of the Freddie stuff, and I only watched a few seconds of that video. This whole thing has just gotten weird.

    My favorite player, Chipper Jones, didn’t want to play anywhere but Atlanta. You know where he didn’t go? Our biggest rivals. Chipper >>>>>> Freddie

  12. @13

    Two options are plausible IMO, and it could be a combination of the two:

    1) Neither he nor his agent thought that the Braves would pull the trigger on the Olson trade (or anything else that involved a starting first baseman), so the Freddie camp thought that they would always have the last say, thereby making the plan to push the Braves as far as possible and then take the deal.

    2) Freddie didn’t quite successfully illustrate to his agent that all he cared about was staying with the Braves and that he would view this as unsuccessful if he had to leave. Or he tried to, but the agent tried to play hardball to maximize and fell victim to Scenario 1.

  13. Freddie’s comments on leadership, by the way, are exactly right. The way you lead is to be present in your teammates lives. I have another name for that: friend. You don’t have to “lead” in any conventional sense. And as ububba points out, with some teams, like the mid-70’s Yankees, you can have success even if everyone hates everyone else.

  14. JonathanF (from last thread): I too thought ‘misle’ was a word, and apparently never noticed that I only ever read it in the past tense. Glad to know I’m not the only one.

  15. Huh. It’s on Fox tonight but also not blacked out of mlb.tv. Unexpected, but I’ll take it!

  16. When we got Fried, and to a lesser extent when he came up, I remember the talk was about his curveball. They showed his pitch mix on the broadcast, and they said he had five pitches between 10% and 35% of his overall count. That’s a huge variety in repertoire.

  17. Eight pitch second inning helps make up for Freddie working the count on Varsity in the first.

  18. Well, Smoltz still knows his business. He calls for a slider off the plate on payoff pitch against Duvall, and while Duvall fouls off a fastball first, Duvall then whiffs on a slider off the plate he is never making contact with.

  19. We need a 5th starter or Soroka … Srider needs to be in bullpen .. we need a strong RH out of bullpen ..

  20. 20 — I think he learned a slider in 2019 to be a strong 3rd pitch, and that’s when he took the step to being a top of the rotation starter. And now he is throwing his changeup a bit more this season and mixing in 2 seamers as well as 4 seamers.

  21. Heredia has a grand total of 7 hits in 54 at bats. Otoh, Harris has 31 hits in 96 at bats. It is hard to imagine us holding onto Heredia after the asb.

  22. @26

    I don’t disagree but I will say (to play devil’s advocate) that the position of team mascot who doesn’t do anything worthwhile in the actual game may be more workable this year with bench players never getting on the field than it was last year when we actually needed Kung Fu Panda’s spot to give to somebody useful.

  23. @27: If Eddie Gaedel isn’t available.

    @17: OMG. I thought I was the only one. The scales fell from my eyes the first time I used it in the present tense (“Don’t you try to misle me!”) and I got very funny looks. That was in 1975 and I was 19 years old.

  24. @13 – I just can’t fault a human being for having emotions. Sometimes things in life go down in ways we end up regretting. Sometimes decisions we make, even after a lot of thought, can still be really tricky/complex emotionally. @14 and @15 both said it well, I think, re: what might be going on, and also, you wonder if the lockout could have magnified the potential for miscommunication between Freeman & AA. I dunno, of course. But the guy’s not a robot, and seeing how much being here obviously meant to him—regardless of what happened at the end—only made me respect & appreciate him more.

    And @20 – Varsity’s got way more than that curveball now, yes, but dang if it isn’t still one of the prettiest pitches in the majors.

  25. They said that Dansby is currently the longest tenured Brave with Freeman leaving. That blew me away.

  26. @28

    You know what would’ve made Eddie Gaedel way more awesome? Swords.

    @30

    Yep, and if we don’t re-sign Dansby I believe that Ozzie is next.

  27. Mike Ford is even more useless than Heredia in that he hasn’t even gotten into a game and can only play first base.

    I do think Heredia’s days are numbered, though.

  28. You don’t know how much you love someone till they’re gone, I’ve heard it said. Anyhow, I wish him well for the rest of his days and I hope both he and we are happy enough over the coming years to stop wondering what if and simply be thankful for all we’ve got.

  29. Most matchups between Freeman and Braves pitchers seem to be advantage Freeman. Freddie does not seem to enjoy facing Max Fried, however.

  30. Rosario certainly needs the rehab assignment. So far tonight at Gwinnett, 0-2 with 2 Ks. If Rosario doesn’t make it, we gotta get Benintendi.

  31. Man, Ozuna sucks. I’d sure like to see Ozuna playing Heredia’s role……..on the bench.

    Also, Acuna’s ongoing slump really hurts. He finally gets a hit and then costs us a run on the basepaths. I still think that whole “don’t go all out unless necessary” really hurts him.

  32. Acuna really struggling now .. I hope Rosario can get his MOJO back .. be a good platoon in LF with Duvall … or as a LH DH in games .. we need him to recover .

  33. @32 .. I have to think if Rosario makes it then Ford is gone .. Heredia can play defense and pinch run.. but his days could be numbed too with trade deadlines approaching …

  34. Can we please not use Hancock as the first guy in high leverage situations? Especially against RHP?

  35. We have to have a power RH arm out of bullpen …Strider has to go back to pen .. we have starters who can do his job in minors .. he needs to be in that 7th and 8th inning role right now …

  36. All of the starters in the minors suck. We’ve kind of been through this. Trading for a righty reliever is a better idea than moving Strider back.

  37. I think Strider will move back to the bullpen because of workload concerns at some point. I don’t know who replaces him, either Soroka (not counting on it) or Kyle Muller (who has been great at Gwinnett) or a trade acquisition.

  38. Evan Phillips, Braves reject, is now a high leverage reliever for the Dodgers. Such is the volatile life for relievers.

  39. Whom actually thought Smith could come in and get an out? Not anyone who knows baseball. The guy is a loser. But fortunately for the Braves he got lucky at the right time. Loser.

  40. That run Acuna cost us sure hurts. We just can’t get Fried a decision. As much as the “win” is scoffed at, it still represents a pitcher who has done his job and a bullpen that has done theirs.

  41. If we don’t have a power arm from from the right side then we gonna see this alot of Smith and Minter .. they have to face a ton of RH hitters .. come on AA. .. move Strider back or make a move . We’ve made up too much ground to go back to 7 games out ..

  42. @55 .. we need a RH reliever is what we need .. one thats not O’Day or Chavez … our weakest link for sure .. gotta move Strider back in that role … now …

  43. Muller has a 2.96 ERA, has cut his walk rate walking just walking 23 men and striking out 99 in 76 innings. He pitched 7 more strong innings tonight.

  44. It’s not a law that we can’t use Jansen in the seventh BTW. We could do that. I do not trust Kyle Muller…at all. I could see giving him a spot start or two, but giving him the fifth starter role as a long-term solution is no bueno IMO.

    Ozuna!!!!

  45. 61 — I do fully expect AA to acquire some more help, either another starter or a right handed reliever.

    We also have Kirby Yates and Jay Jackson coming back from injury, though I’m not counting on anything from them.

  46. I think this game is the kindest the plate umpire has been to us in the several dozen games I’ve watched this season.

  47. Duvall is back under .200. Maybe he needs to be the new Heredia. I’m thinking Benintendi is the guy to get. A Benintendi/Duvall and Ozuna/Rosario platoon would really lift this team. Dump Ford and Heredia. Further, replacing Gosselin with Whitfield wouldn’t be a bad idea either.

    Matzek, Soroka, and Yates will be just fine for pitching additions.

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