Braves flushed, 6-4

So as we enter what will clearly be the most important five game series of the season, I decided to do a little exploration of how teams do in a five game series.  It turned out to be surprisingly hard.  The problem is that a lot of times a five game series for one team isn’t a five game series for the other; there might be a home-and-home with a makeup game in the middle… or maybe some rainouts.  So there’s some judgment involved about what to count, and my judgment is well… I’m retired.  Let’s just leave it at that.

Anyway, here’s my best guess as to how teams do in a five game series:

Sweeps happen about 10 percent of the time, about a third of the time it goes 4-1, and the remaining 57 percent of the time one team wins 3-2.  So what this tells you is that the team needing to close ground is in a lot of trouble if they need to pick up three games, but if they’re happy to pick up one game, their odds are pretty good.

The Braves have done pretty well in five game series, sweeping 4 of the 21 they’ve been in: Against Houston in both 1966 and 1967 and against Cincinnati in both 1983 and 1984.  And they’ve never been swept.  Their record against the Mets is not quite so stellar: They went 2-3 in 2004 and 2013 and 3-2 last year in late July.

With that in mind, it’s fairly easy to say it isn’t crucial who won tonight, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t important.  Giving up four homers, for example, suggests a certain worrying development best not repeated.  And the fact that three of the four homers came from guys who weren’t Mets last week suggests only that Mets futility has yet to permeate into them… they haven’t marinated long enough in Flushing yet.   

The use of Edwin Diaz, who’s been great this year to get a six out save was questioned in the Mets booth.  It’s one of those things that managers get paid for.  It worked tonight.  Will it be Pyrrhic?  Wait and see.

There are four more to play.  There are no prizes for naysaying too early, and I would have thought most of you had gotten chased away last year.  But just as hope springs eternal, so does DOOM. Nothing I saw tonight suggests we can’t catch these guys; now or in the next two months.

Chipwatch

Chipwatch is on MLB.TV Blackout hiatus.

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.

61 thoughts on “Braves flushed, 6-4”

  1. I can report that Chip was a fountain spewing comeback cliches and platitudes all night. He must’ve said “lotta baseball left” at least five times in the first half of the game, then settled into his standard “Braves always give you a finish” thing once it got closer. It sometimes seemed like he thought his chief job was to blow smoke up everyone’s ass instead of calling the game. All that to say, he was pretty annoying tonight…even by his standards. I’d have rather been stuck listening to the Mets broadcast, too.

  2. At least 2 of the homeruns Wright allowed were hangers right down the middle of the plate. He definitely just had an off game. I think he’ll be alright next game. Hopefully Acuna is also breaking out of his funk.

    We’ve been winning the 1st game in a series and then losing the last game. Hopefully we’ll just reverse that pattern

  3. Unlike tonight, Wright pitched really well the last time he pitched here; but, like tonight, he lost to Carrasco.

    Hopefully, we even it up tomorrow, but… there’s a chance of rain.

  4. Yea ..we see what the high dollar guys on this team do …. this is where they earn the money .. Riley, Olsen , Acuna , Ozuna … guys have to step up … wish we had waited till end of season to extend Riley ..seems like since new contract he has taken a step back in comcentration … Olsen misses alot of balls right down the middle , Acuna looks like in 1 at bat he is figuring it out ..then ??? I noticed it did look like he has moved off the plate a bit so he can hit that inside pitch and drive all else to center and right .. Swanson in a little lull … gotta get him going again too … if he hit just a little we are in these games but if their pitching gets us to strikeout 10 times a game we are in trouble

  5. Good fight to get back in it and make it interesting. The 5-0 hole is always tough to climb out of but we need to get some runs early tonight to set the tone.

  6. You win them when you can. Six out saves being part if it. Something foreign to the Braves manager, Mr. Robot.
    If it doesn’t work out so be it. Sometimes the manager has to make a contribution.
    For Atlanta last year in the playoffs all moves worked. The same moves made during the regular season had disappointing results. The PLAYERS made every move look great. Those same players never did that before or after.
    One game at a time. Play to win that one.
    Now the Braves will play to win tonight.
    Not tomorrow or the next day. Tonight.

  7. Playing all out to win every game makes no sense, and every manager knows it. And the success of a strategy can’t be judged in the short run: indeed, it’s even hard to judge after the fact because you have to separate doing the right thing and being unlucky from doing the wrong thing and being lucky. Do you play to win? Sure. Do you play every minute of every game to maximize the chance of winning that game? Obviously not. The interesting part (at least to me) is the vast area in between.

  8. I feel like the manager has very little impact on outcomes, assuming semi-competent strategy is the norm. Kyle has been our best pitcher, but he wasn’t last night. Hitters that have been hitting, and have been (or will be) paid handsomely to hit, haven’t really done much against the Mets. In the end it’s the Jimmies and Joes, not the X’s and O’s.

    Next couple of weeks might decide the division, or it might just be a wash and the rest will be up to how both teams play against everyone else. It does seem like we’ve played the Nats about 37 times already this summer, so our schedule probably is harder than theirs overall.

  9. We haven’t had that many discussions around managerial strategy as we used to. I think there are a few reasons for that. First, I agree with you that we’ve all come to the conclusion that managerial strategy decisions are pretty marginal. Second, Snitker has made better decisions than Fredi used to. Third, a WS Championship shuts a lot of people up. Fourth, we used to talk about Bobby’s strategies a lot because they were so clearly focused on the long term and not on the short-term of winning today’s game: varying lineups to get playing time for poorer players, resting people at odd times, sticking with guys when they ought to be pinch hit for, etc. etc.

    What’s interesting about Buck’s decision to use Diaz for two innings last night is that it’s kind of the opposite of what he did last week when he let Nido hit instead of pinch-hitting O’Neil.

  10. @10 – Hell yeah. Lee is an incredibly rad & kind dude, and they put on a killer live show. Definitely worth seeing them if folks here ever have the opportunity.

  11. I’ve seen ’em a few times here in DC, though it’s been a few years (obviously). Really awesome energy. Lee seems like one of those old-school rock ‘n roll believers — he lets it all hang out and pours everything he has into the show, hoarse and sweating by the end. And “Company Man” just kills. Love it.

  12. Looks like a rain and storm out tonight .. do we skip Anderson in rotation and go with Fried on normal rest tommorrow then Strider in the nightcap … leaving Orodozzi for Sunday since they havent seen him … ???? thoughts ?????

  13. @ 14 – Yep, for sure re: the awesome energy. I opened for them once years ago, in a small room in an even smaller town, playing for a weeknight crowd, and you’d’ve thought they were headlining Lollapalooza (sp?) or something. They still just went for it. And they were also just sweet and gracious as hell. Was so totally impressed & charmed.

  14. #10/14/16
    Funny, I ordered the CD this morning.

    Yup, for my money, Lee Bains & The Gloryfires were one of the very best live bands going. Great, great shows.

    BTW, Lee & the band parted ways after making this record. So, his most recent tour was solo. Saw him a couple months ago at this newish club in Queens called TV Eye, and he was still great, just sitting on a chair, taking requests.

    However, in between the shouted requests, I had to haze him for wearing an Auburn camo hat onstage. Couldn’t help it.

    I think he’s playing w/ new guys on this tour — he’s playing here next weekend. Will probably check it out. His songs are just so good.

  15. I don’t think we should underappreciate the effect Buck Showalter has had on the Mets. If the Mets aren’t “mets-ing” then Buck has to have a role in that. This is not Buck’s first rodeo and he has been successful everywhere he’s gone. His track record says a lot. The Mets are favored every year based upon paper talent but this year they are actually winning and Buck should get some credit for that.

    I’m not sure how to measure a manger’s impact statistically, but Snit has done well with the assets given to him too. Maybe a good manager can’t turn bad players into good ones but a bad manager can sure turn good players into bad ones.

  16. Come on Swanson and Riley … make the guy work … over aggressive and got in a hole … lay off the off speed..

  17. Pre-break Ian is back, in which he’s all over the place yet somehow seems to make it work. The trick will be taking him out at the right time, though clearly the 7-run lead is very helpful here.

  18. Methinks Tijuan Walker was tipping his pitches and the Braves knew what was coming.

    28 — Should be after two times TTO. I think an opener would help Ian.

  19. Swanson ….take a flippin pitch .. please …. u getting as bad as Albies and Ozuna …need to see Grossman get at bats tonight .. before tommorrow …and Adrianza too ..

  20. not that it’s really news, but i readily admit that Alonso is the hitter in the Mets lineup that reliably scares me.

  21. i feel like this is the second time recently Chip has misused ‘cut the lead in half’

    Jeez. has the umpire been this bad all game?

  22. @35

    At least this time we were legitimately ahead 8-0, so they would be cutting the lead in half over several innings. Although it wouldn’t be proper to say that McNeil himself would be cutting the lead in half.

    And yeah, he kinda has.

  23. Leaving Anderson in the game for the third time is criminal. As much as I am not a fan of Anderson this is again a Snit problem

  24. You’d think they’d realize this about Anderson by now. But this organization keeps Chip gainfully employed. Sometimes reality takes a little while to get through in this club.

  25. Nobody is going to pull a starter after 4 innings with an 8 – 1 lead, in a 5 game series with a doubleheader tomorrow.

  26. Tigers pitchers walk 13 Ray’s in 8 innings. This is not MLB by any stretch of the imagination. Absolutely pathetic. Sad.
    Unwatchable.

  27. I think Matt just hits so few singles it’s a lot less significant to get second with him up.

  28. @49 could be. I would have liked the aggressiveness to manufacture a run instead of playing for extra bases

  29. If Yates comes back in good order, we’ll have turned from a very lefty bullpen to a very righty bullpen in about a week.

  30. Referring to Atlanta pitchers: “I wonder who will get the win.”

    Just shut up, Chip.

  31. Games have various implications. Attempting to do everything to win some is critical. Good managers know that.
    Today is one of them, especially with tomorrow off. Those who played the game and managed know this.
    Interesting starting pitchers today. Both gifted but only one know how to pitch.
    The one who does not will learn, just as fans will eventually learn the game. Most of them, but never all.

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