#192: HALFWAY HOME

Vox O’Reason

What do we know?Today as I sit here tapping these keys, the Braves have are on a scheduled off day right after they hit the halfway point of this 2020 pseudo-season, a truncated 60 game sample-sized version not to be confused with the real thing.

Or can it? It’s real enough that at some point a champion will still be crowned. It’s real enough that players are still going out and displaying some might impressive performances on any given night. The question has been raised by Chris, “Can this team really pull this off and win the east?” In a typical season we’d look at 30 games as a still somewhat small sample size. But this season is anything but typical, so we can only draw our conclusions on what we’ve seen already. And based on what I’ve seen, I absolutely believe the Braves can pull this off and win the East.

First, they currently sit (at the time of this writing) at 18-12 and firmly in 1st place in the NL East, 2 games ahead of the Marlins (or a reasonable facsimile of the Marlins) who haven’t actually played a half season yet. The 3rd place Phillies have a bullpen with more leaks than the White House. The 4th place Mets are… well, the Mets, and the last place Nats have yet to find a groove and have lost Steven Strasburg for the season to an office malady.

Let’s look at how we’ve arrived at this point. We lost 2 of our veteran starting pitchers before the season even started when Felix Hernandez opted out due to COVID and Cole Hamels couldn’t get his arm to cooperate. Then our ace Mike Soroka ruptured his Achilles tendon in his 3rd start of the year. The mercurial Mike Foltynewicz couldn’t throw the ball through a wet paper bag and was DFA’d, passed over by the other 29 teams, and assigned to Gwinnett. Young hopeful Kyle Wright couldn’t find the strike zone, and his replacement Touki Toussaint couldn’t find it either. We were left with Max Fried and little else. Did anyone have Robbie Erlin on their dance card this season? Until Ian Anderson tossed 6 innings in his ML debut just yesterday, no other Braves starter had even qualified for a decision. It’s been that scarce.

On the position side of things, Freddie Freeman got a late start as he battled with the new “C-word” during camp, and Nick Markakis was so freaked out over it he opted out of playing altogether. Of course, Nick did return to the team midway through the first half only to be ironically quarantined away from his peers again after being exposed to a C-19 positive person.

Both of our starting catchers were quarantined for the first week or so of the season forcing Snit to go with 2 completely unproven battery mates for his young and ever changing staff. Spark plug Ozzie Albies dealt with wrist soreness late in camp that carried over into the start of the season and had to go on the IL after just 11 games because of it. There is word that he’s still out there somewhere, trying to get back home… like ET, just different. But we’ve not seen hide nor tightly bunned hair of him in quite a while. There is recent word that he’s improving and will be back soon. That’s a good word.

Speaking of balky wrists, our local superstar Ronald Acuña, Jr. has just returned from missing 10 games himself. All in all, if not for Dansby Swanson and Marcell Ozuna, this team might have had very little offensive firepower. But those guys have more than stepped up along with newcomer Travis d’Arnaud, a resurgent Adam Duvall, and the rest of the team to propel us to the point where we now stand.We’re getting very close to having our projected everyday lineup healthy again.

So what’s ahead? Our 2 longest road trips are already over. Of our 30 remaining games, we go to Philadelphia and Boston for a short 6 gamer before coming home for 7. Then we hit the road for 4 in DC, then 3 each in Baltimore and Flushing before coming home for the final 7 game stretch run. Also, we’ve already played our games against the beasts of the AL East, the Yankees and Rays, and we’ve split both series. That’s a big positive because we won’t see the likes of them again unless it’s in the World Series. We also won the Jays series 2-1. The ones left are the sliding Orioles (14-16) and the abysmal Red Sox (10-21). Within our own division, only the young and unknown Marlins have a winning record (14-12) and their schedule is still incomplete. The Phils (12-14) are also short on finishes. The Mets (13-16) and Nats (11-17) complete the list of our 2nd half combatants.

There are still a handful of questions that have to be answered by our own home team. When will Ozzie be back? Will Austin Riley ever hit the ball consistently enough for his power to make a difference? Can Ian Anderson give us a few more starts that are anything close to his debut? Will Cole Hamels be back in time to make a difference? Can our stellar bullpen continue to stymie the opposition or will they be worn down by all the short outings from our rotation? And will Thoppy be able to bring in another pitcher to help provide a few more innings from the starting group? Those are all valid questions that will have to unfold before we can answer them.

But to be honest, I don’t think I need to know that to know this: I absolutely believe the Braves can pull this off and win the East.

403 Responses to “#192: HALFWAY HOME”


  1. 1 Carolina Lady September 7, 2020 at 3:57 pm

    Thanks much, V! Your comments, as always, are right on target.

    Like

  2. 2 Vox O'Reasoñ September 7, 2020 at 8:47 pm

    Thanks Boss. I appreciate the kind words. Obviously a lot has happened since these words were typed… the trade deadline, player movement, injuries, recoveries. Funny thing, this game. Much can change in a short time. That said, the expectations expressed are still the same. Ian Anderson has given us hope. Our offense seems to have found even another gear. But the same problem remains… who toes the rubber other than Max and Ian?

    As of this look moment, Robbie Erlin west the best in a relief appearance and Kyle Wright is penciled in to make a return engagement tomorrow. What, if anything he has learned in his hiatus can have a major ripple effect.

    Pitching is the foundation the rest it a bully in. We have to hope ours doesn’t crumble before this weird 2020 campaign is over.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. 4 Carolina Lady September 8, 2020 at 11:13 am

    Welcome to AllAboutML who now follows Braves & Stuff! Join in anytime, AAM. We’d love to see your thoughts, too.

    Like

  4. 5 Vox O'Reasoñ September 8, 2020 at 11:47 am

    Did I just say alot can happen in a short time? As of this morning, here is what has changed since yesterday:

    Max Fried has been placed on the IL with a “left-side muscle spasm in his lumbar spine”. This is less an injury and more just something that requires rest. The placement date is retroactive to 9/6. AA says he could conceivably be back to the rotation as early as the Baltimore series on the earliest eligible date being 9/16, but more likely he’ll return for the Mets series which begins 9/18.

    Kyle Wright was activated to make today’s start vs the Marlins. Robbie Erlin came in to relieve Ian Anderson in the 3rd inning yesterday necessitating Wright’s return for today.

    Because of Fried’s absence, the team has opted to carry an extra arm in the bullpen. So to that end, Jacob Webb was returned from the 45-day IL and activated. To open the necessary 40-man roster spot, Charlie Culberson was DFA’d. Both the Braves and Charlie hope he passes through waivers unclaimed so that he can go to Gwinnett and stay ready to make a possible return.

    Robbie Erlin is likely to make Fried’s next turn in the rotation. Yowser.

    AA says Ozzie Albies is near being ready to return. He could be activated some time this week.

    Similarly, Cole Hamels could also return soon. AA reiterated that they could very well build Cole’s innings at the ML level, thus he could make a start and throw 2-3 innings vs. the Orioles a week from now.

    One more nugget from AA: “[Mike Foltynewicz is] throwing again today. I can tell you he’s doing everything he can. His work ethic has been off the charts.”

    And lastly, a nugget from me. When you return Hamels from the 45-day IL, he also will require a 40-man roster spot as well as active roster spot. So consider who will lose those respective spots. If you wonder why they might not take a look at Tucker Davidson or Kyle Muller to make a spot start, neither of them are on the 40-man roster, complicating that process even further. Same with Folty if he completes his comeback effort. There are going to be some really hard decisions to make in the next week or two, not that Charlie’s DFA was an easy one.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. 6 Gil in Mechanicsville September 8, 2020 at 12:28 pm

    I don’t know how many more hits the Braves pitching rotation can withstand before they collapse this season. If it were a normal 162 game season I would just pack it in and prepare for next year but as it is, they might just make the play-offs but it will be difficult holding off the Phillies much longer.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. 7 berigan2electricboogaloo September 8, 2020 at 2:23 pm

    first things first, CL sorry you have been feeling so poorly, glad you are feeling at least some better! Pray that continues!

    Liked by 1 person

    • 8 Carolina Lady September 8, 2020 at 2:43 pm

      Thanks, Ber! It started back when my thyroid nearly shut down, then it became like the Perils of Pauline around here afterward – terrible med reaction, trying to find med that would work -some did, some just made it worse, several bad falls, bruised hip bone. Couldn’t eat – maybe 1 scrambled egg a day, something like that. So weak I couldn’t get myself into bed. Nausea -don’t know from what. Mind just shut down, zero energy to do anything at all, could barely walk to bathroom even with mother’s walker. Just yesterday I began feeling a small spark of energy and feel a bit stronger today. Managed to get my car up to the corner to Advanced Auto for a new battery (just put a new starter in it) this morning. Actually was able to get in and out of the car by myself! Major step forward. New battery + tax = $172.00. faint Anyhow, for the first time in quite a few months, I’m beginning to feel better, a little stronger, and actually have some interest in what’s going on in my world!

      Thank you for your prayers! The power of prayer cannot be surpassed. Yep,I was down pretty bad, but no weapon formed against me shall prosper – not even this one! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  7. 9 berigan2electricboogaloo September 8, 2020 at 2:36 pm

    very fine lead as usual V!
    yeah, amazing how quickly things can change! I do believe I mentioned what if Max had any health issues, recently.
    The Yankees are an excellent example of what happens if you lose enough of your team. 1st time we played them, they were downright scary. Next time? A 2nd division team. They have lost 14 of their last 19 games, after starting 16-6. no team can withstand losing half your team….

    Liked by 3 people

  8. 10 berigan2electricboogaloo September 9, 2020 at 9:34 am

    the rotation…well…..Marlins have one right now. Sixto Sánchez seems pretty darned legit. Remember when the Marlins got him as part of the J.T. Realmuto, and almost to an “expert” he was too risky a guy to be a big part of the deal….well…
    Hopefully Cole Hamels can come back and give us.3, 4 innings of decent starting? good grief! I mean, you just can’t have a rotation where no one goes even 5 innings! You just can’t.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. 11 Gil in Mechanicsville September 9, 2020 at 11:28 am

    Last night, even one of the Big Three would not have won. Sixto is legit. Braves are in a bad downward spiral right now. Tough to watch guys getting stranded at third with less than two out. Methinks the team may be a bit “homer happy” right now.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. 12 Vox O'Reasoñ September 9, 2020 at 1:48 pm

    Ozzie’s back; Johan is visiting old friends in Gwinnett. Is that fair? I personally would send Ender Inciarte packing. But fair or not, Johan has minor league options. So there’s that.

    Like

  11. 13 Vox O'Reasoñ September 9, 2020 at 1:53 pm

    Now… Kyle Wright. I’ll give him credit for this much. Whence last we saw him, he got spooked away from his fastball and was trying to nibble with his secondary pitches too much. That strategy earned him bus fare to Gwinnett. Last night he stuck with the fastball, which for the most part was pretty good. But those centercut ones were scorched.

    In a nutshell, Kyle is making some progress but still has some work to do… just not up here where it counts.

    NEXT!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. 14 Vox O'Reasoñ September 9, 2020 at 2:45 pm

    On February 21, just a couple of days before the first game of the first spring training of 2020, I made these predictions here on the ol’ B&S regarding our 2020 starting rotation:

    Mike Soroka will go north as the clear #1, but Max Fried will only be a step behind him. Those homegrown hurlers will be a young 1-2 punch that will have all of baseball buzzing all summer.

    Folty will be more consistent, and not only seize the #3 slot, but will fill alot of the regular season innings that Julio left behind. I’m predicting a solid 190+ inning season from him.

    Sean Newcomb will make the rotation out of spring, but he’s going to be the guy on the bubble when Cole Hamels is healthy because…

    Kyle Wright is going to show in spring that he’s ready for The Show.

    Bryse Wilson will be traded before spring ends.

    Felix [Hernandez] is a great guy and a great story, but the wear on his arm and shoulder are real and inescapable… thus the rotation will be: Soroka, Fried, Folty, Newk and Wright.

    Dang. I might be hitting even lighter than Ender with those. Do I get anything for the first one? Maybe partial credit?

    Liked by 3 people

  13. 16 Gil in Mechanicsville September 9, 2020 at 7:28 pm

    To be fair, you were right about Soroka and Fried, who could have predicted Soroka’s misstep? Uh, too soon?

    Liked by 2 people

  14. 17 Vox O'Reasoñ September 9, 2020 at 11:03 pm

    Just… wow.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. 19 berigan2electricboogaloo September 10, 2020 at 6:58 am

    Crazy, crazy, crazy game! Just a Reader’s Digest recap (and I might have some facts wrong 😉
    Marlins lead 2-0. Braves had the bases loaded and nobody out…Ozzie grounded weakly to 2nd. slow enough no double play, run scores. Then Ender his a SF. I thought, well, better than bases loaded , nobody out and no runs. Well, I forget the lead they got to but, then it was 13-8 and I really didn’t want to watch them lose, so we put Tucker on.. It records every night, and IF you leave whatever channel you are on (Sports south) you can then play the recording and stay on the old channel. so, during a break I saw it was like I don’t know, 19 to 8? And Mattingly is making moves like its a 2-2 playoff game! Then Acuna hit a 3 run homer, to make it 22-8, then Duvall hit a 3 run homer….25 to 8, and then there was Chip saying, could he have his 2nd 3 homer game, in a week? If he hits a grand slam here…after Chip said those words, he did!!!! I was hoping for a nice round number, 30…but alas, it was not to be, oh well 😉

    best thing about the game? Bryce Wilson pitched 4 innings, and gave up only 1 run!

    Liked by 2 people

  16. 21 Vox O'Reasoñ September 10, 2020 at 7:55 am

    Liked by 2 people

  17. 22 Gil in Mechanicsville September 10, 2020 at 8:31 am

    I was watching last night’s game and suddenly I had flashbacks to my softball playing days. Well, it was a heck of a lot more fun than the 8-0 drubbing of the night before. Only goes to reinforcing the adage that you are only as good as your next day starting pitcher.

    Still, a win is a win is a win.

    On to Washington where the weather is predicted to be sketchy the rest of the week.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. 23 Vox O'Reasoñ September 10, 2020 at 10:48 am

    Liked by 2 people

  19. 24 Vox O'Reasoñ September 10, 2020 at 11:33 am

    Notable takeaways from last night’s record setting 29-9 stomping:

    ~According to Elias Sport, it’s the first game in MLB history to end by that score.
    ~29 runs scored is a Braves franchise record.
    ~29 runs scored is a NL record.
    ~18 of their 29 runs came on HRs, which ties the most runs via HRs in a game in MLB history.
    ~All 9 Braves starters had at least 1 hit, and all 9 scored at least 1 run; 8 of the 9 notched an RBI.
    ~Adam Duvall became the first player in franchise history with two 3-HR games.
    ~Bryse Wilson earned a save despite the team winning by 20 runs.
    ~Their starting pitcher Tommy Milone gave up 8 runs in just 3.1 innings, yet they still won by 20.
    ~Milone became the first starting pitcher in MLB history to have his team support him with a 10 run inning twice in one season and not earn the W in either game.
    ~All of last night’s record setting offensive production came in just 8 home innings.

    And lost in the mix was the great Freddie Freebird earning his 1500th career hit.

    On the flip side, Milone now has an ERA of 14.90 with a ghastly 2.488 WHIP, yet the team has won all 3 games he has started. In fact, the Braves have hit 12 HRs and scored 48 runs in his 3 starts.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. 25 Carolina Lady September 10, 2020 at 11:43 am

    2020 will have to go down as the weirdest year ever. That game was simply unreal! Afterwards, it was like “what did I just see?”

    Liked by 2 people

  21. 26 Vox O'Reasoñ September 10, 2020 at 12:04 pm

    I don’t know about y’all, but despite the slugging surge that seemingly follows Milone around, I’d just as soon see him go the way of Folty and Chacin. In fact, I’d just about rather see Folty or Chacin return over Milone starting again. At least give Newcomb another chance. Newk made 4 starts before being banished to Gwinnett. In those 4 starts, he averaged 3.3 IP, and gained a 11.20 ERA and 1.902 WHIP. Compare that to Milone’s 3.1 IP per start and his 14.90 ERA and 2.488 WHIP and Newk doesn’t look quite as bad. He can’t be much worse, can he? At least I’ve seen better out of him. Milone looks like he takes the mound with PTSD.

    And more seriously, the Braves probably need to make a move for a long reliever before the series starts tonight since Wilson pitched 4 innings last night. And with Robbie Erlin slated to make the start tonight, they’re gonna need some long relief. This would be the guy who is averaging just 4.0 IP per start in 4 starts. Huascar Ynoa is a candidate to return, but his 7.71 ERA and 1.883 WHIP doesn’t exactly inspire confidence. I hope they don’t return Wilson to Gwinnett to open the needed roster spot. He earned more work with his performance last night. But he has options and won’t be available for a few days after slinging 82 pitches in relief of Milone.

    Just go ahead and can Milone. He’s shown nothing here, and God help us if the team has to rely on him in October.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 27 Vox O'Reasoñ September 10, 2020 at 12:09 pm

      I failed to complete the thought I had there. I hit the “post” button too soon.

      What I intended to add was that I wouldn’t mind seeing Bryse Wilson take Milone’s next turn in the rotation. He’s obviously lined up to do so and I believe he earned that opportunity with his good work last night.

      Like

  22. 28 Vox O'Reasoñ September 10, 2020 at 12:26 pm

    Last item to note before I return to my paying job, and this is a good one to end on…

    The Braves (25-18) lead the NL East by 2 games over the 2nd place Phillies (21-18) and 3.5 games over the 3rd place Marlins (19-19), both teams of whom have had to postpone games due to COVID which must still be made up over the last 3 weeks of the season. In fact, these 2 teams face each other in 7 straight games over the next 5 days. Why is this significant? They’ll be beating up on each other while the Braves face the last place Nats and the sub-.500 Orioles. One of those two teams will hang an L each night, creating space between them and the top spot. The Braves magic number sits at 18. There’s a very good chance that will be whittled down a favorable bit over the next week unless the Braves wet the bed vs a couple of less than stellar opponents.

    Like

  23. 29 Vox O'Reasoñ September 10, 2020 at 2:44 pm

    There ya go…

    Liked by 1 person

  24. 30 Vox O'Reasoñ September 10, 2020 at 4:04 pm

    On to Washington where the weather is predicted to be sketchy the rest of the week.

    The most current forecast says there is a likelihood of rain tonight. Should they get rained out tonight and have to play the new 7-inning Double-Header tomorrow, it probably favors the Braves. First, when Robbie Erlin has to leave in the 4th inning, there is less ground to be covered by the bullpen to follow. Second, a rainout tonight would give the tired ATL bullpen an additional day of rest before the twin bill tomorrow.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 31 berigan2electricboogaloo September 10, 2020 at 7:32 pm

      rain, rain, come again…today! 😉

      Hey, remember when I said we should resigh Dallas Keuckel? No??? me neither. He is going on the DL with back issues, but his numbers, aren’t too bad eh???
      Keuchel is 6-2 with a 2.19 ERA this season, his first with the White Sox.

      Liked by 1 person

  25. 32 Vox O'Reasoñ September 10, 2020 at 10:24 pm

    Braves come from behind and win 7-6; Marlins come from behind and beat the Philthies 7-6. Just like we drew it up.

    Braves magic number pared to 16.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. 34 Vox O'Reasoñ September 11, 2020 at 11:19 am

    Pitching probables for the rest of the Nats series:

    Fri: Josh Tomlin vs Erick Fedde
    Sat: Ian Anderson vs Patrick Corbin
    Sun: Kyle Wright vs Max Scherzer

    I can live with Friday and Saturday and feel OK. Not great with today, but OK. But Sunday… ooof. Maybe that’s the day we rest the regulars, empty the bench, and hope not to get hurt.

    Liked by 2 people

  27. 35 Vox O'Reasoñ September 11, 2020 at 11:46 am

    A quick comment on Kyle Wright getting another start after his last sub-par performance.

    At first glance… we might all have said, “There he goes again.” But Kyle’s last start was actually quite different from his past ones. I mentioned this in an earlier post, but one of the things Kyle worked on during his banishment to the alternate training site was his fastball command. Earlier in the season, Kyle would struggle to command that pitch, causing him to rely too heavily on his secondary pitches. And to Kyle’s credit, his secondary stuff has been pretty good, especially his wipeout slider. But you can’t survive on just those pitches. It’s a truism in baseball that everything works off the fastball. If you can’t throw it effectively for strikes, you won’t get very far. And even though Kyle’s slider has been one of his best pitches, hitters began to recognize Kyle’s tendency to overuse it, resulting in alot of walks and/or fat fastballs in the middle of the plate.

    So… upon his return to Gwinnett, and at coaches’ suggestion, Kyle moved to the 3B side of the pitching rubber for his setup. The result was that his fastball became more consistent with a tailing action to right-handed batters. And when it became necessary to call someone back up to make a start, Kyle’s progress earned him the nod.

    But… moving to the 3B side had an effect on Kyle’s slider. Really, that’s not a surprise. Every aspect of a pitcher’s delivery is fine tuned, and if you change one small element you can have a huge effect. So instead of the slider being a weapon for him in his last start, it became a liability.

    The result… is that a pitcher still works off his fastball first, and Kyle has shown he can make that pitch again to ML hitters. He’s still working on adjusting his slider. If he gets that dialed in, he might just turn in a complete start and show some of the potential he had coming out of Vanderbilt.

    My takewaway… is that Kyle is exactly what he said in his last post-game press conference. He’s “so close”, and just needs to “get over the hump”. He stood before the media and proclaimed that even tough he gave up 3 HR and lost the game, he felt good about his outing. And to be honest, I felt OK about it too. He was aggressive on the mound, threw his fastball well, and didn’t let the results throw him off his game plan. That’s progress for a kid whose time has come. It’s now or never for the former top prospect. I’m looking for him to put it all together soon. Too bad his next outing is against Max Scherzer.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. 36 Vox O'Reasoñ September 11, 2020 at 11:49 am

    OK, I know the Braves seem snake bit with regard to their pitching rotation this year, but we haven’t seen it to this level…

    Liked by 1 person

  29. 38 Gil in Mechanicsville September 11, 2020 at 11:52 am

    Mad Max is not the same guy we watched in the past but he is still pretty intimidating. It’s my opinion that the Braves should try to tire him out so they can get into the Washington pen. Quickie quiz: The Braves have the worse starter ERA in the NL, Who is second? A. The Nats…

    Bring the lumber boys….

    After watching the Braves come back from 5 zip last night, I flipped over to watch the Marlins vs Phillies. Danged if they didn’t do it too.

    The Marlins scare me this season. ’91 Braves anyone?

    Nits lose Sean Doolittle last night, for an already porous pen, they didn’t help themselves.

    Liked by 2 people

  30. 39 Vox O'Reasoñ September 11, 2020 at 6:22 pm

    This is great news.

    Liked by 2 people

    • 40 berigan2electricboogaloo September 11, 2020 at 7:25 pm

      if he can go 3-4 innings and just give up a run or 2, that would be good, cuz…I’m starting to think this rotation is not so great. Yep, perhaps not even good 😉

      Like

  31. 41 berigan2electricboogaloo September 11, 2020 at 7:29 pm

    Acuna just fouled a ball off his ankle, sorta looks like a padd/flap is there, but….he could not put ANY weight on the left foot. Crap! 😦

    Like

  32. 42 berigan2electricboogaloo September 11, 2020 at 8:58 pm

    Like

  33. 43 Vox O'Reasoñ September 11, 2020 at 10:59 pm

    Can’t leave 20 men on base and expect to win. Just can’t.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 44 Vox O'Reasoñ September 11, 2020 at 11:19 pm

      Then again, they still pushed 7 runs across. Josh Tomlin, Robbie Erlin, Tommy Milone… interchangeably bad. You can’t outslug bad starting pitching every night.

      Like

  34. 45 Vox O'Reasoñ September 11, 2020 at 11:00 pm

    Ender Inciarte is a waste of good bat wood.

    Like

    • 46 Vox O'Reasoñ September 11, 2020 at 11:22 pm

      Are they just afraid to start Cristian Pache‘s clock? I can see no other reason that Ender continues to fill a roster spot. He offers nothing to the team that Pache can’t equal. And at least with Pache there’s hope. With Ender it’s just dread.

      Liked by 1 person

      • 47 Gil in Mechanicsville September 12, 2020 at 12:47 pm

        It was a very disappointing but predictable finish to last night’s game for the Braves. As much as I hoped for a different outcome, I knew that leaving the bases loaded so many times that the Nits had a good chance of finally pushing the winning run across.

        Yep, giving the opposing team a 5 run head start every night makes it really tough to win. Braves have scored 7 runs two nights in a row yet split the results. AUGH!

        With the Fish and the Fillies splitting their twin bill last night, they both pick up a half game on the Braves.

        Liked by 1 person

  35. 48 Vox O'Reasoñ September 12, 2020 at 1:30 pm

    Yes. This…

    Liked by 1 person

  36. 50 Vox O'Reasoñ September 12, 2020 at 2:30 pm

    According to DOB, Newk will not join the rotation but rather help reinforce the bullpen. The starter for Monday’s series opener in BAL is still TBD.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 51 berigan2electricboogaloo September 12, 2020 at 3:09 pm

      well, that makes zero sense! Let him throw 110 pitches give up 3 runs in 5 innings, that would be progress. Nah, let him come in, in the 3rd after the starter gives up 5 runs, to pitch 2 1/3 innings… GAH!

      Like

      • 52 Vox O'Reasoñ September 12, 2020 at 3:58 pm

        Or perhaps he’ll fill the long relief role that Bryse Wilson was serving when he came in and made 40+ pitches on Thursday making him unavailable until Monday?

        Gotta keep some fresh arms in the pen, especially with rookies scheduled to start today and tomorrow.

        Like

  37. 53 Vox O'Reasoñ September 12, 2020 at 3:56 pm

    Like

  38. 54 berigan2electricboogaloo September 12, 2020 at 5:27 pm

    I think he made 80+ pitches in 4 innings…I guess that makes sense…. I mean, I don’t know…it’s really hard not to be a negative Nelly right now…Offense is off the charts, but still has trouble with the bases loaded much of the time. Rotation is a joke….and there are 2 weeks + left of the regular season to sort things out…somehow. Folty, Newcomb, and Touki basically cannot be worse than what is being run out there, but it’s going to be run out there. (Touki I guess is going to make a start, I think?)

    Ender is owed 9+ million in 2021, so I guess he has to play to “increase” his value, right? I mean, best, I mean best case scenario is some team taking him next year, with the braves paying 8+ million of his contract.

    Like

  39. 55 berigan2electricboogaloo September 12, 2020 at 5:28 pm

    this is fun…and you hear some welcome voices

    Like

  40. 56 berigan2electricboogaloo September 12, 2020 at 5:37 pm

    Well, I didn’t think I would be re-upping with The Athletic anytime soon, but….I saw a Jayson Stark teaser video about a father and son pitching duo that combined for 6 All Star games, both pitched for a decade plus…but didn’t know each other….at the end of that video, Jayson mentioned you could join the Athletic for…get this….$1 a month! My cheap arse took notice! 😉
    so, kinda hard to say you can’t afford a buck a month for a year, right?????
    https://theathletic.com/checkout2/intro1/introperiod12?ref_page=https%3A%2F%2Ftheathletic.com%2F2056094%2F2020%2F&source=paywallButton

    Like

    • 57 Vox O'Reasoñ September 12, 2020 at 6:04 pm

      I’m not giving Ken Rosensource any of my hard earned dollars.

      Like

    • 58 Gil in Mechanicsville September 13, 2020 at 9:20 am

      Yep, I had let my subscription lapse too, I finally got the $1.00 per month offer too. Had to bite on that one. Times must be tough at the Athletic with so many folks who can actually afford it, tuning out sports because of all the Social Justice crap being thrown at us.

      Liked by 1 person

  41. 59 Vox O'Reasoñ September 12, 2020 at 6:07 pm

    Hopeful Folty or hopeless Josh Tomlin (he said holding his hands out in a scales-like simulation…)?

    Like

  42. 60 Vox O'Reasoñ September 12, 2020 at 6:10 pm

    Like

  43. 61 Vox O'Reasoñ September 12, 2020 at 8:42 pm

    Ian Anderson is a breath of fresh air.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 62 Gil in Mechanicsville September 13, 2020 at 9:25 am

      Wasn’t that fun last night? A real baseball game broke out. A starting trio of Soroka, Fried and Anderson portends to be awesome next season doesn’t it?

      Liked by 1 person

  44. 63 Vox O'Reasoñ September 13, 2020 at 6:00 am

    Liked by 3 people

  45. 64 Vox O'Reasoñ September 13, 2020 at 6:05 am

    Liked by 1 person

  46. 65 Gil in Mechanicsville September 13, 2020 at 9:37 am

    Early game today, 12:30PM. The weather has turned cool. The temp was a delightful 65 degrees this morning. The humidity is still 98% but hey, the glass is at least 1/2 full.

    Today may be a tough slog for the good guys but you just never know who or when things will break your way. In a normal season, the Bravos would have had to pack it in because there is no way they could abuse their bullpen for 6 month but they may well just eke this thing out. The starting pitching could be just good enough to win it all this season but first things first. Win as many games as possible and just keep winning series.

    One final note, i think people overlook how much of an Adrenalin boost a team can get from having 40,000 screaming fans in your ear. Sometimes that is just enough to get you over the top.

    Liked by 2 people

  47. 66 Vox O'Reasoñ September 13, 2020 at 4:35 pm

    Kyle Wright said he was close to getting over the hump, and he looked like he made it today. Once again he worked off his good fastball, which he commanded, and had the good hook to go with it. That’s the pitcher the Braves envisioned when they made him the #5 overall pick out of Vandy. I’m really happy that he finally put it all together… not just for what it could mean to the Braves but for the kid himself who’s worked his tail off to get there.

    Now, just put a couple of games like that together and we might just have another pitcher.

    Liked by 3 people

    • 67 Gil in Mechanicsville September 13, 2020 at 5:10 pm

      Yep, not a #1 quite yet but a solid middle of the rotation guy who is still pretty young and should get better. A couple of touch and go moments which could have spun out of control when Ozzie botch a DP chance in the 5th but he put it behind him and retired Asubal with DP ball. That is a big step for a young hurler. Lest we not forget his melt down in his last appearance.

      So, two solid outings in a row by the kiddies and a chance for Toukie to round the corner tomorrow night. I hate facing a team which has lost 5 straight in the O’s but what the heck. The Marlins and the Phillies continue to beat each other down.

      Sixto again hurled a great game today against the Phillies. I am hoping the Braves get to skip him next week. The Fish pitching staff should be worn down by the time they roll into Atlanta next Friday so we shall see.

      PS. Freddie Freeman is a stud. I hope when I am reincarnated I can come back as one of his kids….:-)

      Liked by 1 person

  48. 68 Vox O'Reasoñ September 14, 2020 at 9:37 am

    Like

  49. 70 Vox O'Reasoñ September 14, 2020 at 10:34 am

    State of the Braves on Monday, Sept. 14, 2020:

    The Braves sit at 28-19, 3.5 games ahead of the Marlins and 4 games up on the Phillies with 2 weeks left in the regular season. As shown above, the magic number has been shaved to 12.

    The home boys have 13 games remaining… 3 at Baltimore vs the odious Orioles and 3 in the Big Apple vs the miserable Mets before coming back home to run out the string with the fighting Fish in for 4 and the brutal BoSox in for 3.

    The aforementioned Marlins still must play out 16 games over the next 14 days, with another against the Phils today, followed by series vs the Sox, Nats, Braves and Yankees… with those last 7 games being on the road.

    Meanwhile, the Phillies have 15 games to play over the next 14 days, with tilts against the Marlins, Mets, Jays, Nats and Rays… also wrapping their season with a week on the road.

    The Braves now have found themselves a real keeper in Ian Anderson and have witnessed Kyle Wright take a step forward. In addition, they are expecting both Max Fried to return and Cole Hamels to debut both later this week. Could we have a whole starting staff before we turn the calendar over to October?

    The rotation for the O’s series starts out with the temporary Touki followed by the teasing TBD, but following that it begins to take form with come-back Cole returning for the O’s season finale and marvelous Max returning for the Mets series opener, with youngsters Ian and Kyle following those guys in turn. Notice in there that nowhere were the names Josh Tomlin, Tommy Milone or Robbie Erlin typed.

    Based on conversations I’ve read, I believe there is a chance that we could see Mike Foltynewicz make that TBD start in BAL as his recent outings in Gwinnett have shown his fastball return to its previous mid-90’s form. I believe management may want to see if they have anything at all in Folty before heading into the final prep stages before the playoffs begin. Folty would not be a rotation option barring a disaster, but he could be a relief option if that fastball is back and darting like it has in past outings. But you have to see it in real life situations to know. Spread sheets won’t help this time.

    Even if it’s not Folty tomorrow, it won’t be a tired old veteran. Unless Bryse Wilson has to pitch today, he could be in line for the start… and quite honestly he earned the opportunity with his 4 good innings of work last week in relief of Milone. Having Sean Newcomb back in the pen as a long relief option today, Snit can afford to hold Wilson out for tomorrow’s start. And that seems a more likely scenario than activating Folty, who will require a 40-man roster spot. (I suppose you could hypothetically move Milone to the 45-day IL and solve that problem, though.)

    In summary, the Braves seem to be hitting their stride at a good time, and wrap up the regular season in the driver’s seat. I hope not to miss very much the rest of the way out.

    Like

  50. 72 Vox O'Reasoñ September 14, 2020 at 3:39 pm

    I think I said that earlier, just in alot more words. Too many? Maybe. That right there did seem simpler.

    Liked by 2 people

  51. 73 Vox O'Reasoñ September 14, 2020 at 3:40 pm

    Yawn.

    Liked by 1 person

  52. 74 Gil in Mechanicsville September 14, 2020 at 4:28 pm

    Unless Touki amazes everyone tonight, don’t be surprized if he is sent back to GA in exchange of a fresh arm for tomorrow. Maybe even if he does amaze everyone, he could still be expendable. He does have options and Folty doesn’t.

    Liked by 2 people

  53. 76 Vox O'Reasoñ September 14, 2020 at 6:34 pm

    The short sighted spreadsheet wonks ask “Why?” I say, why not? Costs nothing but a small portion of a salary for him to go to Gwinnett and swing a bat around. And now you have a possible hedge against an unforeseen injury in the next 2 weeks.

    Liked by 1 person

  54. 78 Vox O'Reasoñ September 14, 2020 at 8:51 pm

    What the heck? I leave the restaurant and it’s 1-0. I get home and it’s 10-0?!?

    Yowser.

    Liked by 2 people

  55. 79 Vox O'Reasoñ September 14, 2020 at 8:52 pm

    I think it’s a fair bet Touki will be returned to Gwinnett tomorrow.

    Liked by 2 people

  56. 80 berigan2electricboogaloo September 15, 2020 at 12:19 am

    Yeah, I showered 1-0 before, 10-1 after….ugh! Guy with 6.36 ERA coming in is awesome against the braves (he really did have some wicked movement) and Touki…well, How come he isn’t turned into a 98 MPH set up guy or something? I’d still rather see Newcomb in the rotation, but apparently, he and Bryce Wilson (in to keep it close at 13-1) are just bullpen guys…I don’t get it. Normally don’t have too much issue with Snit’s moves, but…sometimes I wonder if A.A. has a say cuz he didn’t do as many odd things with the rotation and bullpen in previous years, and yeah, I know, a very odd year….would have loved to see Bryce or even Newcomb get another chance in the rotation. Guess we shall see if the 2 lefties can pitch much in the next…12-13 days before the playoffs start…man, just when I was thinking after Wright’s start, that we might have 3-4 starters….

    Oh, since Newcomb was sent down, he can’t come back for how many days????

    Liked by 1 person

    • 81 Vox O'Reasoñ September 15, 2020 at 9:53 am

      would have loved to see Bryce or even Newcomb get another chance in the rotation

      I find it hard to disagree, but I will say regarding Wilson that he only really has 2 ML quality pitches, which does make it hard to be an effective starter. But I still think he could go deeper than 2 innings. As for Newk… why not? Is Huascar Ynoa really a better option? Obviously the powers that be know things we don’t, but it sure does seem weird to us on the outside looking in.

      Oh, since Newcomb was sent down, he can’t come back for how many days?

      Based on the Uber miles that Chad Sobotka has racked up this season I’d say there’s no limit.

      Liked by 1 person

      • 82 Vox O'Reasoñ September 15, 2020 at 9:55 am

        Also, I imagine that Wilson will be the first man up should Huascar Ynoa not make it at least 5 innings tonight.

        Liked by 1 person

        • 83 Vox O'Reasoñ September 15, 2020 at 10:08 am

          Yikes… just realized Wilson pitched last night. As I alluded to, I missed most of the game. Touki will almost certainly be optioned today for a long reliever. Patrick Weigel is a possibility. I suppose Josh Tomlin is available for that, but I kinda got the idea he would piggyback on Cole Hamels tomorrow since it would be his regular turn in the rotation. Still, he only tossed 67 pitches in his last turn, so pitching him today isn’t a stretch. But it’s a foregone conclusion that someone will have to pick up some innings after Cole tomorrow, so you’re gonna need another long guy at some point anyway.

          Having released Erlin, the Braves have the needed 40-man roster spot open to transfer Hamels off the 45-day IL, so that’s not an issue. Look for Touki to be optioned today to make room for another reliever, then for Ynoa to be optioned tomorrow to make room for Cole.

          Also, teams are carrying extra personnel on their road trips this season to make such moves without having to complicate it with travel. For instance, I understand Cristian Pache has traveled with the team on all their recent trips as a precaution in case an OF goes down with injury. But I’m not certain which pitchers are travelling with them.

          Liked by 1 person

  57. 84 berigan2electricboogaloo September 15, 2020 at 12:26 am

    I hate facing a team which has lost 5 straight in the O’s…
    Gold star for Gil!

    Liked by 1 person

  58. 85 Gil in Mechanicsville September 15, 2020 at 8:43 am

    That was butt ugly…. From Braves hitters making a kid who the O’s picked up off waivers look like the second coming of Vida Blue to Nick Markais booting a fly ball over the fence for a home run… Booted balls in the infield and just generally playing the worse game since game 5 of last season’s NLDS. It was very painful to watch.

    Bryse Wilson continued to amaze. Only run allowed in three innings was said Nicky M’s said boot assist over the wall. Must have been due to the grueling 45 minute bus ride from DC to Baltimore that left them worn out…

    Too soon? Okay, I think you all can catch my drift here.

    Now, about Tookie… Too good to give up on but sadly no minor leagues for him to mature with. He has potential but not yet, He will be a great pitcher some day, just not to-day. He just has to learn what it will take to harness his pitches so they will go where he intends them to go.

    So, we all await the big reveal on tonight’s sacrificial/ starting pitcher to be announced. Who’s turn in the barrel tonight?

    Liked by 2 people

    • 86 Gil in Mechanicsville September 15, 2020 at 8:44 am

      Huummm, that strike feature is a little tricky.

      Liked by 2 people

    • 87 Vox O'Reasoñ September 15, 2020 at 10:29 am

      Huascar Ynoa was announced last night. As a starter this season, he has opened 3 games and averaged under 2 innings (5.2 IP total) in those starts… with a 14.29 ERA. That’s horrendous. The good news is that he’s logged more innings as a reliever (9.0 IP) and amassed a much more appealing 2.00 ERA in that role. Who knows what we’ll see tonight? Gil, asked “Whose turn in the barrel?” It does look a little like Russian Roulette with some of these guys. But remember… Cole goes Weds, then Max returns Fri after an off day followed by Ian and Kyle to complete the Mets pitching trifecta. That’s at least 3 real starting pitchers and maybe even 4.

      Looking ahead, Cole should start Game 1 of the Marlins series, but the Game 2 start on 9/22 will be the mystery game as Max’s turn won’t come back around until Game 3 with Ian on the bump for Game 4.

      Could the Braves braintrust manipulate the rotation to close that gap and maybe pitch the mystery arm in the preceding Mets series instead? I sure would feel better with 4 real starters facing down the charging Marlins.

      Liked by 1 person

  59. 88 Vox O'Reasoñ September 15, 2020 at 10:42 am

    Like

  60. 89 Gil in Mechanicsville September 15, 2020 at 12:19 pm

    test\test

    Liked by 1 person

  61. 90 Gil in Mechanicsville September 15, 2020 at 12:20 pm

    test test

    Liked by 1 person

  62. 91 Gil in Mechanicsville September 15, 2020 at 12:21 pm

    success…. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  63. 92 Gil in Mechanicsville September 15, 2020 at 12:28 pm

    I failed to mention that Luke Jackson has returned to his 2018 season form. Ouch… Here is the book on Luke. If the pitch starts out as thigh high… DON’T swing, it is a slider and will end up below the strike zone. If waist high, swing… It’s a fastball… End of tutorial.

    Liked by 3 people

  64. 93 Vox O'Reasoñ September 15, 2020 at 1:30 pm

    Looking forward to seeing Jasseel pitch. He comes with a nice pedigree. He is currently the team’s #12 ranked prospect. Although relatively small for a ML pitcher at just 6’1″, 196 lbs., he can bring he heat at a consistent mid-90’s clip with bursts into the upper 90’s when needed. He has reportedly hit triple digits on the radar gun, but that’s not his norm. He also features a slider and change. He has pitched the majority of his pro career as a starter, but most analysts think his future is out of the bullpen. I suppose he’s the guy that will follow Huascar Ynoa tonight if multiple innings are needed.

    By the way, I recall the Braves refusing to include Jasseel in a deal last season, and I also recall them clearing a 40-man roster spot for him this past offseason to prevent losing him in the Rule 5 draft… so they must think pretty highly of his future with the team. I suppose that future starts tonight.

    Liked by 3 people

  65. 94 Gil in Mechanicsville September 15, 2020 at 9:16 pm

    Pretty nice performance by Ynoa tonight. 4 solid innings 2 hits zero runs. Was holding his back when he came out at the end of the 4th inning so there is a spot…

    Duvall ties Chipper Jones with 10 September home runs..

    Liked by 1 person

    • 95 Vox O'Reasoñ September 16, 2020 at 9:25 am

      Was holding his back when he came out at the end of the 4th inning so there is a spot

      His back appeared to “grab” when he bent over to pick up the resin bag after his inning on the mound. Crazy…

      Liked by 2 people

  66. 96 Gil in Mechanicsville September 15, 2020 at 9:17 pm

    Colder weather is really knocking down fly balls tonight.

    Like

  67. 97 Gil in Mechanicsville September 16, 2020 at 8:59 am

    Except maybe for Duvall who crushed one…

    Liked by 3 people

  68. 98 Vox O'Reasoñ September 16, 2020 at 9:26 am

    Liked by 2 people

  69. 99 Vox O'Reasoñ September 16, 2020 at 12:00 pm

    Cole Hamels has been officially activated from the IL. Jasseel was returned to Gwinnett. I’m glad he was here if necessary, but more glad it was not necessary. Very anxious to see how Cole performs tonight. He’s targeted for 55-60 pitches tonight, and will look to increase that to 70-75 in his next start, then hopefully 85-90 by his 3rd and final start of the regular season.

    Liked by 2 people

  70. 100 Vox O'Reasoñ September 16, 2020 at 1:12 pm

    Liked by 1 person

  71. 101 Vox O'Reasoñ September 16, 2020 at 10:12 pm

    Well, that sucked.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 102 berigan2electricboogaloo September 17, 2020 at 4:50 am

      yup….

      Like

      • 103 Gil in Mechanicsville September 17, 2020 at 9:46 am

        Baltimore ownership has denied the rumor they have petitioned the commissioner to transfer to the NL East. After last night’s embarrassment of Atlanta’s vaunted offense by their young pitching staff, it was revealed they have a .500 record this season against the NL East division teams this season plus the added benefit of not being the NY Yankee’s b**ch would greatly improve their chances of becoming respectable again.

        When asked to comment about last night’s embarrassing effort by the Braves, Braves manager said “well, the boys are tired after this week’s grueling scheduled and travel and looked forward to flying home to Atlanta.

        Liked by 1 person

  72. 104 berigan2electricboogaloo September 17, 2020 at 1:29 pm

    Gil, 😆

    Like

  73. 105 Vox O'Reasoñ September 17, 2020 at 5:02 pm

    Liked by 1 person

  74. 106 Gil in Mechanicsville September 18, 2020 at 9:09 am

    Both the Phillies and the Marlins lost yesterday, does that count as 2 towards the magic number? Asking for a friend… 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  75. 107 Vox O'Reasoñ September 18, 2020 at 11:01 am

    Liked by 1 person

  76. 108 Vox O'Reasoñ September 18, 2020 at 4:43 pm

    Right now he’s on course to start game 1 of the MIA series on Monday back at Truist Park.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 109 Vox O'Reasoñ September 18, 2020 at 5:07 pm

      In fact, with no more off days for the final 10 games, Huascar looks to be lined up for 2 more starts. Here are the projected starters the rest of the way out:

      Fri., Sept. 18 at NYM = Max Fried
      Sat., Sept. 19 at NYM = Ian Anderson
      Sun., Sept. 20 at NYM = Kyle Wright
      Mon., Sept. 21 vs MIA = Huascar Ynoa
      Tue., Sept. 22 vs MIA = Cole Hamels
      Wed., Sept. 23 vs MIA = Max Fried
      Thur., Sept. 24 vs MIA = Ian Anderson
      Fri., Sept. 25 vs BOS = Kyle Wright
      Sat., Sept. 26 vs BOS = Huascar Ynoa
      Sun., Sept. 27 vs BOS = Cole Hamels

      … which will lead into the first round of the playoffs which start Wed., Sept. 30 with the Wild Card Series where undoubtedly Max Fried will get our playoff Game 1 start. Hamels would not be on regular rest until Friday, so it’s fairly easy to assume Anderson will get the Game 2 start on Thursday. There are no off days in the WCS, NLDS or NLCS rounds of playoffs, so there are no skipping starts in a series. The WCS is a best-of-3, so that one is not an issue. We should have our best in Fried, Anderson, and Hamels going in that one. But the NLDS is a best-of-5, and the NLCS is best-of-7, so our less than reliable full rotation will be put to the test. (Yes, I realize I just made the assumption we’d get through Round 1 to the NLDS. Didn’t you?)

      Liked by 3 people

  77. 111 Gil in Mechanicsville September 19, 2020 at 6:41 am

    Regardless of who wins the World Series this year, they are going to miss out on a lot of perks. ie no big parade

    Liked by 1 person

  78. 112 Vox O'Reasoñ September 19, 2020 at 8:30 am

    Liked by 1 person

  79. 114 Gil in Mechanicsville September 21, 2020 at 10:20 am

    Go morning Stuffies… Pretty stout performance by young Kyle Wright yesterday in New York. Keith Hernandez said it was the best pitching performance he has seen this season. i have to agree, he was excellent. The Braves offense woke up just in time to assure him a win.

    Now it’s home for the good guys against a surprizing Marlins team.

    Liked by 2 people

  80. 115 Vox O'Reasoñ September 21, 2020 at 11:05 am

    Liked by 1 person

  81. 116 Vox O'Reasoñ September 21, 2020 at 11:34 am

    After one game, it was a little tough to say Kyle Wright had turned the corner even it was a good sign. After yesterday, I don’t think it’s a stretch to say he has figured something out. And you can see that not just in his performance in his countenance as well. He looks very confident. And the timing could not be better. It’s actually possible that we went from duct tape and bailing wire to 4 real starters… and right before the playoffs begin.

    Does it seem a little greedy to ask who the #5 guy will be? Because we are going to need 5 when we get to the NLDS round of the playoffs. Perhaps Huascar Ynoa can also string together a second dominant start tonight in the Marlins series opener. That would be the cherry on the top. But how do you go into playoffs with 3 real rookies in your rotation? Yet, what other options do we have? Josh Tomlin? Sean Newcomb? I’ll take the rooks, thanks.

    And speaking of possible #5 starters, who gets Wed’s start? Tomlin? Huascar goes tonight, and Cole will go tomorrow. But the last off day took up the intervening place in the sequence meaning Max is lined up for Thu to restart the rotation. The Marlins will dodge both Ian and Kyle in this important series. Instead the get Huascar, Cole, TBD and Max.

    And FWIW, our TBD will face their rookie sensation Sixto Sanchez.

    In fact, here are all the Marlins series pitching matchups:
    Trevor Rogers, LHP (1-1, 6.00 ERA, 29 K) vs Huascar [Toss up. I’ll take our guy because he’s our guy. Win.]
    Jose Urena, RHP (0-2, 6.00 ERA, 10 K) vs Cole [Urena is just not that good, especially vs ATL. Win.]
    Sixto Sanchez, RHP (3-2, 2.75 ERA, 31 K) vs TBD [Uh… hard to pick the home boys in this one. Loss.]
    Pablo Lopez, RHP (5-4, 3.96 ERA, 53 K) vs Max [I’m not picking against Max… that’s for sure. Win.]

    I like our chances to put the Fish away during this series. But even if we split 2-2, we shave 4 games off the Magic Number making it 1 going into the Boston series. All the pressure is on the very young Marlins tonight through Thursday.

    Liked by 1 person

  82. 117 Carolina Lady September 21, 2020 at 11:46 am

    STUFF: New TEAM1: HARD CASES is now out!

    Liked by 2 people

  83. 122 Vox O'Reasoñ September 21, 2020 at 11:49 am

    Also, I know I’m getting a little ahead of myself, but the post-season matchups will be seeded like any other bracketed tournament, meaning our final record will determine our Round 1 opponent. As of today, we are tied with the NL Central leading Cubs at 31-22. We finish with 7 at home, 4 vs the Marlins and 3 vs the Bosox, while they are on the road with 4 in PIT and 3 at the ChiSox. It could very easily come down to game #60.

    Liked by 1 person

  84. 123 Vox O'Reasoñ September 21, 2020 at 12:07 pm

    Liked by 1 person

  85. 126 Vox O'Reasoñ September 21, 2020 at 1:32 pm

    Bottom line is that the Braves do not need to worry about other teams anyway. Simply go out and thump the Marlins and take care of your own business. The Phillies have 4 in DC followed by 3 in Tampa. Their hill is a mighty tall one climb.

    Liked by 1 person

  86. 127 Vox O'Reasoñ September 21, 2020 at 7:09 pm

    A lot can change in a couple of hours…

    Like

  87. 129 berigan2electricboogaloo September 21, 2020 at 8:19 pm

    can’t like those last 2 comments :/
    well, bullpen playoff game? yikes….

    Like

  88. 130 Vox O'Reasoñ September 21, 2020 at 8:56 pm

    So for $18M the Braves got 3.1 IP. I would have given them a full 9 for league minimum!! 💪

    Liked by 2 people

  89. 132 Vox O'Reasoñ September 22, 2020 at 9:13 am

    OK… so I feel a little bit better about my math now. Last week when I was projecting the starting rotation going forward I did not project any gaps. But when looking at the pitching probables for the Miami series, there was the infamous TBD on Wed ahead of Maxie re-starting the turn. I just assumed I had figured wrong in my initial projection, but that would be wrong… or right… I was right. The gap day on Wed was inserted to give Max and Ian an extra day of rest between starts, but has now been eliminated. And now that Cole Hamels, barely a Brave, is done for the season, Bryse Wilson will officially get his start today, and Max will be back on regular rest tomorrow with Ian closing the Fish matchups on Thursday.

    So tomorrow we get Max Fried vs SIxto Sanchez. That ought to be a good’un right there.

    But here’s what I see… I see Snit sensing the division title and moving to step on the Marlins’ necks before they leave town. So they get Max and Ian.

    Don’t be surprised to see Wilson step up tonight in what could be the knockout blow. I expect 4 strong from him with Josh Tomlin ready to follow. It’s the way 2020 has been established.

    Like

    • 133 Gil in Mechanicsville September 22, 2020 at 11:51 am

      The knock on Bryce has been he only has two pitches, not enough to go thru a line up multiple times. Okay, get us through 3 or 4 and turn it over to the pen. That has been a pretty successful formula so far. Just try and not put the team in a five run deficit in the first couple of innings.

      Lets be honest 3 of 4 innings would have been the limit for Hamels anyway.

      I suppose if this had been a full season, Cole might have turned out to be a good pick but as it is, he was star crossed from the get go. Yes, it makes the playoff rotations a real crap shoot with no breaks between games but the Braves are not the only team with pitching woes.

      About last night…. WOW! That was some play by Freddie and Dansby getting Harrison at third in the ninth. Was huge play as it turned out. Also the missal snared by Austin in the eight off Marte’s bat. I don’t know the speed but reaction time was in nanoseconds.

      Another tight strike zone last night. The hits given up by Ynoa were not 100mph screamers but ground balls with eyes. Few pitchers possess the kind of stuff that allows them to challenge hitters with middle of the plate fast balls. On all the 2 strike hits allowed, without looking I would have thought Julio had returned.

      Liked by 2 people

  90. 134 Vox O'Reasoñ September 22, 2020 at 9:14 am

    Like

  91. 135 Vox O'Reasoñ September 22, 2020 at 9:23 am

    Technically the Braves can clinch the division tonight with a win over the Marlins and a Phillies loss in WAS. That said, the Phils have Aaron Nola going up against Austin Voth, so you have to like their chances. Still… as the great Joaquin Andujar once said: “There is one word in America that says it all, and that one word is, ‘You never know.'”

    Like

  92. 136 Vox O'Reasoñ September 22, 2020 at 10:29 am

    Well there ya go.

    Like

  93. 137 Vox O'Reasoñ September 22, 2020 at 11:36 am

    Bottom line: win. Braves simply need to not lose the next 6 games. I think that’s sound advice.

    Like

  94. 138 Vox O'Reasoñ September 22, 2020 at 11:39 am

    In case you missed this last night, this is why Dansby Swanson will always be more valuable than just what his batting line shows. He does things that transcend coaching and drills. He’s a ballplayer. Period.

    Like

  95. 139 Vox O'Reasoñ September 22, 2020 at 1:25 pm

    MLBTR just published a list of the upcoming 2021 Free Agents. Too early? Absolutely not! If you’re not looking ahead, you just might trip and faceplant. And nobody wants that.

    What might the Braves be shopping for in 2021? Well, first and foremost starting pitching. Duh. I know they need one good established solid veteran starter and possibly 2. As we learned this year, you can NOT have too many starters even if your youngsters look to have taken a step forward. That said, it sure looks like next season’s rotation will be anchored by Mikey and Maxie with Ian and Kyle taking their next steps. Still, I’d sure like to see Ian and Kyle slotted 4th and 5th with a good solid grizzled vet placed right in the middle of the pack.

    This year’s FA crop does not have that one big headliner unless you consider Trevor Bauer that guy, but he’s as big a head case as there is and not a guy I see AA importing to this clubhouse anyway. And only Robbie Ray, Michael Wacha and Taijuan Walker will be sub-30 years of age. This fan likes Marcus Stroman. But I don’t make the decisions. Maybe King Felix will come back for another audition too.

    What else might we shop for? Well, you’re always looking to fortify the bench as those guys tend to be more transient than most. Our own Nicky Kakes will be a FA but I’d sure like to see him come back in the same role as this year to work alongside Adam Duvall. I’d also like to see Ender cut loose to make way for Cristian Pache in CF, but that’s another topic. Or is it? I think it’s related because it clarifies the OF if you can bring Nick back.

    We’ll also need to address the backup SS spot. I think Johan Camargo is a non-tender candidate in his 2nd year of arb, and I think Hechy will be allowed to depart via FA. We may have an in-house candidate to win that job in young Braden Shewmake. The college product was drafted last year as a utilityman, and he has the tools to be a good one.

    What about DH? I think we’ll have it again. I think we’ll have it from now on. I’d sure like to see Marcell Ozuna come back to be ours, but he’s likely to have a robust market and I’m not sure AA will wade in those waters. He’s the top of the heap. Other names to consider: Michael Brantley, Alex Gordon, Matt Kemp.

    Last but not least, Tyler Flowers is also a FA. Might he and AA be interested in another 1 year deal? It wouldn’t hurt my feelings. I think he’s passable as a hitter but extremely valuable as a receiver, especially to our crop of young pitchers. Should he depart, we’ll be in need of a backup to Travis D. And these days, it’s most valuable to have a co-catcher. Is it time to bring up a prospect? I say it’s not… not yet. One more year of Flow is my best guess, but failing that we need to know who might fit. I see… no one who fits better than Flow. I think that should be a no-brainer for both sides.

    Other items to note are that Mark Melancon, Shane Greene and Josh Tomlin will be FA’s. But our bullpen pool is deep and experienced, with another crop of youngsters waiting their chance. Any of Will Smith, Chris Martin, or AJ Minter can close games. I can’t help but wonder of Folty could look to salvage his promise in a role such as this, too. Late relief is not a problem here. I could see AA shopping for a veteran swingman similar to Tomlin, though.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 140 Gil in Mechanicsville September 22, 2020 at 3:27 pm

      Vee, it’s just too early for me as a fan to get too concerned about next year when there are guys being paid millions of dollars to worry about such things. Yes, I know it is out there on the periphery but it is just too big a topic for me to take on all at once.

      However, the one rule I have learned to respect is to never let your team get too old on you. I saw that happen to the Redskins towards the end of Joe Gibbs tenure following a couple of Superbowl trophies.

      Ender? Yes, promoting Pache is a good move. I like Ender but I fear his self life has a near term expiration date. If only he would remember his success was derived on going the other way and stopped envisioning himself as a homerun hitter.

      One problem is knowing if the team is going to be restricted to 25 players next season. This year’s 28 man roster has made bullpen games a whole lot more palatable.

      Much like Josh Donalson, I thing Marcel has boosted his value beyond what Atlanta is going to be willing to pay. I honestly see him plying his trade in Boston next season. He will be Lil’ Popi there. They always seem to have the cash available for free agents who will allow them to compete.

      Like

  96. 141 Vox O'Reasoñ September 22, 2020 at 3:12 pm

    Phlllies / Nats game 1 of today’s DH is underway. The Braves should know by their own game time if said game could potentially be a Division clincher.

    Like

  97. 142 berigan2electricboogaloo September 22, 2020 at 4:20 pm

    hmmm, meant to post this, but…forgot…but, I MUST say this, I simply MUST!
    The gap day on Wed was inserted to give Max and Ian an extra day of rest between starts, but has now been eliminated. And now that Cole Hamels, barely a Brave, is done for the season, Bryse Wilson will officially get his start today, and Max will be back on regular rest tomorrow with Ian closing the Fish matchups on Thursday.

    I just feel like this is a semi-panicky move. I heard / read Fried’s “Velo” had dropped a bit in the last inning in that last start. I would have let them both have an extra inning. Cuz, if Fried tweaks something? Then we are in REAL trouble….

    Like

  98. 143 berigan2electricboogaloo September 22, 2020 at 4:29 pm

    V, I’d love to know the “truth” we don’t get that much in the real world, let alone baseball. I fear moola is just going to be vastly different in 2021. and especially for a team that gets so little tv revenue . Fortunately. this team doesn’t need a lot, unless you consider the bullpen if much of it leaves via F.A. then we have issues….
    unless and until we know the moola situation, I just wonder if even a #3 is possible….don’t worry, winter will be here very soon, and we will have months to wonder what will happen in the offseason 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  99. 145 Vox O'Reasoñ September 22, 2020 at 6:29 pm

    Like

  100. 146 Vox O'Reasoñ September 22, 2020 at 10:02 pm

    Joaquin Andujar was prophetic.

    NL East champs baby.

    Liked by 1 person

  101. 148 Vox O'Reasoñ September 22, 2020 at 10:15 pm

    Liked by 1 person

  102. 149 Vox O'Reasoñ September 22, 2020 at 10:39 pm

    How about that Bryse Wilson? I wanted 4 strong and got 5 dominant. Not bad young fella…

    Like

  103. 151 Gil in Mechanicsville September 23, 2020 at 8:02 am

    Yea!… Y’all think maybe the Braves have the makings of a stout pitching staff for next season maybe? Impressive start for young Bryse… Now, if only…

    Liked by 2 people

  104. 152 Vox O'Reasoñ September 23, 2020 at 8:06 am

    I don’t know who is led the credit, but it would appear that someone has gotten in the ears of these youngsters and taught them a thing or two about their approach to hitters. Bryce followed the same pattern that has given Kyle success, and to a certain degree Huascar also, of attacking the zone in and out and not giving in. He also looked pretty dang comfortable and confident out there as well.

    Like

  105. 154 berigan2electricboogaloo September 23, 2020 at 9:44 am

    Remember… Hamels, Ozuna, and Melancon all come off the books. It’s not all addition.
    true, but there was no moola made this year, except tv, right? I guess they get some of the national TV booty???
    and that would also mean losing our biggest power threat, and our closer….well, we can worry about that later said Scarlet!

    Bryce was finally like the guy who debuted last season and was amazing! Braves win the NL EAST, 3rd time in a row!

    Like

    • 155 Vox O'Reasoñ September 23, 2020 at 10:45 am

      The Braves payroll as of today, not accounting the prorating for the truncated season, just under “normal” conditions for the purposes of comparison, is $164,511,144. The commitment for 2021 is just $67,559,375. Yes, you can add to that the arb raises and such, but here will be money to spend even with the hit the coffers took this year. The team will not just simply freeze payroll based on 2020. That would be a suicide move. Now do I think they’ll go out and get into the bidding for JT Realmuto, Trevor Bauer and George Springer? No I don’t. But I do think they could go for the next level pitcher such as Marcus Stroman or Taijuan Walker. And I won’t be surprised if they make an effort to retain Marcell Ozuna. As for replacing our closer, we do have candidates in house that have closing experience and potential. That said, I think they’ll at least have conversations with Shane Greene. I don’t get the same feeling for Mark Melancon, although I could be wrong. Melancon, being older, strikes me as a guy that might prefer to re-up without going deep into FA… and perhaps that could play into his favor if he wants to return. But does AA want to pay a 36-year-old closer coming off a 4 yr/$62M contract? I suppose it all comes down to how much Mark’s camp will demand, huh?

      My point is simply that the Braves won’t get into any bidding wars with the Yankees or Dodgers, but they will have money to spend and needs to fill.

      Liked by 2 people

  106. 156 Vox O'Reasoñ September 23, 2020 at 11:13 am

    I did not realize until last night that the Wild Card Series games will be played in the team’s home park and not in “the bubble”. Of course, there’s no home crowd to create a favorable environment… but there is a familiar park and familiar homes and beds. Don’t discount the value of familiar homes and beds.

    And here’s how we are battling for the 2nd seed in the NL even though the Padres have a better record that we do. The top 3 seeds in each league will be given to the division winners in order of best record. The next 3 seeds will go to the 2nd place teams in each division, also in order of record, with the last 2 spots going to the 2 remaining teams with the best records regardless of division.

    The Dodgers have the #1 seed locked up. The Cubs lost last night so the Braves are up a game in the 2nd seed race. And the top 4 seeds being the 3 division winners plus the top 2nd place team (most likely the Pads) will host their respective best-of-5 Wild Card Series… the whole thing. Every necessary game.

    That’s a lot of verbiage, but fairly clear. The bottom line is that the Braves will host the first round playoff series against a Wild Card team.

    If the playoffs started today, the Braves would be the #2 seed and host the Reds. That said, the current 4-8 place teams – the Cards, Marlins, Reds and Brewers – are all within a game of each other with the Giants and Phillies just a game off the pace, so much can change over the final 5 games.

    Like

  107. 158 Vox O'Reasoñ September 23, 2020 at 11:19 am

    And one more thing before I return to my paying job…

    The Braves have won each of the first 2 games of this important 4-gamer vs. the Fish with Huascar Ynoa and Bryse Wilson starting on the rubber. Who had that on their radar? And now we a returning over the rotation with Max and Ian going today and tomorrow. Take that, Miamians!

    Liked by 1 person

  108. 162 Vox O'Reasoñ September 23, 2020 at 12:22 pm

    I heard this remark on the radio this morning, but I cannot find the specific verification anywhere. The remark was that the host didn’t really want the #2 seed because that meant a likely matchup with the Dodgers in the NLDS. Not sure how that works, but if that’s the case, I’ll also take that #3 slot.

    I feel pretty good about that Wild Card Series regardless of opponent, but I’d prefer the Cards over the Reds who are about to activate Wade Miley from the IL to join Trevor Bauer, Luis Castillo, Sonny Gray and Tyler Mahle in an already stout rotation. That may be the 2nd best overall group in the league heading into October behind only the Dodgers.

    Still, who can trot out a better hitting lineup 1 through 9 than our Braves? In the past, the Braves relied on pitching to get into October, then fell flat when their offense couldn’t keep up with the other top pitching in the league. I don’t think that will be the case in 2020.

    Like

  109. 163 Gil in Mechanicsville September 23, 2020 at 2:09 pm

    To be the best, you have to beat the best… Also you have to have nearly every close call go your way. It is very tough to beat a good team when they are also being abetted by Blue.. Ask the ’97 Braves…

    Marlins face a tough schedule yet. There best chance to win may be tonight with Sixto toeing the rubber for them but I don’t think he will go nine so the Braves will have a chance.

    Which player who normally gets the start gets the night off tonight?

    Liked by 1 person

    • 164 Vox O'Reasoñ September 23, 2020 at 3:10 pm

      Which player who normally gets the start gets the night off tonight?

      I’m not so sure Snit will roll like that. The last 5 games still have meaning, especially for the Marlins and Phillies. I think Snit will play his regulars, but Max will likely exit early even if he’s cruising. That said, Austin Riley might could use a night off to take a breather, so maybe Hechy gets in at 3B?

      Like

  110. 165 Vox O'Reasoñ September 23, 2020 at 3:26 pm

    AA is about to come on the radio station I’m currently listening to, and the hosts say they will ask him about next season’s spending. So we’ll see what the company line is fairly shortly.

    Speaking of radio, I heard Snit on the same station earlier, and he said he’ll probably carry a 3rd catcher on the post-season roster. The bench currently only has 3 guys – Flow, Hechy and Ender. They can’t drop the backup catcher or the only backup IF, and I doubt they’d drop the OF either. (To be honest, I’d rather have Pache than Ender. Pache’s a better defender and cannot possibly be a worse hitter. But I digress…)

    So that means one less reliever, right? My money is on Jacob Webb, but my preference is Luke Jackson. He hasn’t been fooling anyone lately. Then the question is which catcher comes up? Will it be Alex Jackson who has more experience, or William Contreras who has more talent? Chances are he’s only going to see action in an emergency anyway, so it may not matter a whole lot. But if it were my call I’d go with Contreras who is the better defender. Maybe we’ll simply swap one Jackson for another. I don’t imagine we’ll know those moves until next week… and as we all know a lot can happen between now and then.

    Liked by 1 person

  111. 167 Vox O'Reasoñ September 23, 2020 at 6:26 pm

    Prophet star…

    Like

  112. 168 Vox O'Reasoñ September 24, 2020 at 8:55 am

    Braves won; Cubs lost. Braves are now 2 games up in the race for the #2 seed with 4 to go…

    Braves pitchers for the last 4 games are sort of set, but not really. Ian goes tonight to wrap up the Fish with Kyle going tomorrow to open the 3-gamer with the Sox. Those have been announced. No starter has been announced yet for Saturday, but Snit noted to one of the Braves intrepid reporters that Huascar would probably get a couple of innings out of the bullpen in that game. It’s not hard to see how Snit intends to use him in the post-season, at least in the WC portion. Snit also mentioned that Bryse would likely get the start in the regular season capper on Sunday, although he’s not officially listed yet. One could imagine that if the Braves clinch the #2 seed before then that a lot of regulars will get rest… including pitchers.

    Like

  113. 169 Gil in Mechanicsville September 24, 2020 at 10:54 am

    Who had Sixto giving up three runs in the first inning or that Fried would be touched for two homers in the first? Anyone? Nope… Another pitchers duel that never happened. Of course Fried twisting his ankle gives him a complete pass. I am glad Snit took him out of the game. So many pitchers have caused long term injuries to themselves trying to compensate?

    Some things that were revealing to me last night… #1: Luke Jackson is a different pitcher with men on base than with the bases empty. #2: Ozzie really makes the Braves’ offense better. That bloop to left for an add on RBI was a thing of beauty. #3: If Freddie Freeman does not win the NL MVP this season, I will never believe the award is fairly decided upon ever again.

    I love Charlie Hustle but I have to admit Adeiny Hechavarria is a better player.

    Isn’t it great that Dansby is regaining his stroke?

    This season is ending way too soon for me. 😦

    Liked by 2 people

  114. 170 Vox O'Reasoñ September 24, 2020 at 11:00 am

    Max Fried’s early exit from last night’s game appears to be more out of caution than anything serious. (And rightly so.) If you look at the replay of the play in which the left ankle “tweak” occurred, you cannot even see the motion. It’s reported that Max wanted to return but Snit told him no. Unless something happened I didn’t see, I expect him back for Game 1 of the WCS.

    Nothing to see here…

    Liked by 1 person

  115. 174 berigan2electricboogaloo September 25, 2020 at 8:28 am

    well, Ian Anderson is the pitcher I have the most confidence in right now… worry a bit about Fried only throwing 6 innings since his start on the 5th of this month.

    and has anyone heard mention of how terrible Nick M. has been of late? I just hate it, but he’s not helping the team right now. 1 HR, 15 RBI’s .246 BA, .308 OBP. but, worse than that is his September.
    9 for 65, no homers, 4 RBI’s. .138 BA, 200 OBP!!!! and that’s with everyone and their brother tearing the cover off the ball this month! What happened? In August, after virtually no prep for the season, 21 for 57 1 Hr (10 doubles!) and 11 RBI’s .368, 429 OBP. Have you ever seen someone so hot, turn so ice cold? Do you have him start in a 3 game series?

    Like

  116. 175 Gil in Mechanicsville September 25, 2020 at 8:57 am

    Four errors by the Braves last night doomed Ian Anderson to a collar last night. You cannot give a good team that many extra outs and expect to win.

    Pretty miserable conditions for a baseball game but they were the same for both teams so there is that.

    Agree on Anderson’s potential Ber. He wiggled out of trouble more often that Hunter Biden last night.

    Liked by 1 person

  117. 176 Gil in Mechanicsville September 25, 2020 at 8:58 am

    As for the 2021 All star logo… meh.. Also, striped shirts don’t translate well on high def TVs.

    Liked by 1 person

  118. 177 Vox O'Reasoñ September 25, 2020 at 9:57 am

    Hard to take anything of substance away from a game played under such adverse conditions, but Ian Anderson is a bona fide pitcher.. that’s for sure. No worries with him.

    Cubs also lost, so the Braves are still 2 games up in the race for the #2 seed with 3 games to go. 3-game season capper with the Bosox opens tonight with Kyle Wright on the mound. Well… weather permitting anyway. Today’s forecast is a little better than yesterday’s, but not a lot.

    I’m interested to see if Kyle can keep up his pace. He’s always had the potential, just couldn’t put it together. So honestly, his emergence shouldn’t be a big surprise. But what a boon for us, eh? We have been waiting for these talented young pitchers to turn into something, and there has been some doubt as to whether our spate of high draft picks would pan out. But we are now seeing the fruits of these labors. Next season, our rotation should be anchored by young aces Mike Soroka and Max Fried, with Ian Anderson and Kyle Wright continuing their evolution. Add one good solid veteran to that mix and this group will go from famine to feast in one season.

    Of course, every discussion about pitching always has to carry the disclaimer that it can all change on a dime with a tweaked back or sore triceps or tight shoulder.

    Like

  119. 178 Vox O'Reasoñ September 25, 2020 at 10:37 am

    Now, post-season roster discussion (homage to The Scribe)…

    This is the official rule for 2020 post-season rosters:

    Teams submit a 26-man roster [since expanded to 28] prior to each round of the postseason comprised of postseason-eligible players. A club may request permission from the Commissioner’s Office to replace a player who is injured during the course of a series, but that player is then ineligible for the rest of that round and the subsequent round, if there is one. A pitcher may be replaced only by another pitcher, and a position player only by another position player. Teams carry extra players throughout the postseason in the event of injuries, and those players, as well as players on the injured list, can be in the dugout during games, within reason.

    The only real thing to consider there is that we can carry the 28 we’ve become accustomed to. But that’s not the direction this post is going. I’m not worried so much about trying to carry the guys we have, but more concerned with how we will change it for the post-season.

    Yep, I said change it. This roster has been fine (arguably) for the 60 games of the regular season. It obviously won the NL East and got us to the dance. But the playoffs are so much more focused and leave no room for mistakes, and that includes roster construction.

    Ask any manager what he dislikes the most about his job, and he’ll tell you it’s cutting players. And personal feelings CANNOT play a factor in putting this October roster together. Our decision makers proved they can make the hard decisions last season when they left Julio Teheran out. So what are the hard decisions this year?

    To me they’re not that hard. #1, Luke Jackson has no spot. He’s fine in garbage time, but he’s not the guy I want in the game with so much on the line. #2 (and really, this one is my #1), Ender stays home. What does he contribute to this team? Defense? Cristian Pache is a better defender and can play all 3 OF spots. Speed on the basepaths? Well, he is somewhat fast, but not a great baserunner, and certainly not a great base stealer. Again, Pache is superior on both fronts. And are you going to give Ender a meaningful AB late in a playoff game when you need a hit? No way, AA. Not me.

    Here is how this amateur GM would make out my 28 man playoff roster:

    Pitchers: 14
    Fried (L), Anderson, Wright, Ynoa, Tomlin, Wilson, Melancon, Smith (L), Greene, Martin, O’Day, Minter (L), Matzek, Dayton (L)

    You only need 3 starters in the WC round, so that still gives you an 11-man bullpen. Jacob Webb can travel with the team and stay sharp in case of injury. I suppose I’d let Luke travel too. Maybe. 😉

    IF: 9
    Freeman, Albies, Swanson, Riley, d’Arnaud, Flowers, William Contreras, Hechavarria, Johan Camargo

    OF: 5
    Acuña, Ozuna (DH), Duvall, Markakis, Cristian Pache

    Ender can travel too, but only if he’ll carry Marcell’s luggage.

    I get that Markakis is struggling and a tough call, but I can look at him and think I still might get a double in the gap. I look at Ender and wonder if he can even hit it to the gap.

    And here is one more thing to keep in the back of your mind. Would the team consider adding Pablo Sandoval to the roster as a lefty DH or late inning LH bench bopper? The Panda has not had a great season, but he’s always a threat to hit the ball to Wilmington. He’s in the 60-man player pool, and could easily be added to the 40-man roster by removing Cole Hamels. I initially named Camargo simply because I wanted his SH bat and some more defensive versatility. But his bat is as cold as Nick’s and Ender’s. Why not add the big LH power in the form of a grizzled veteran who has a ton of playoff experience and has been to 4 World Series (winning 3)? I mean… why else did they sign him so late in the season if they weren’t looking ahead to the playoffs?

    Like

    • 179 Vox O'Reasoñ September 25, 2020 at 11:59 am

      It should be noted, or amended to the post above that panda is actually a SH. I focused on the LH side since that seems to be the best fit on this roster as a LH compliment to the RH Marcell Ozuna in the DH spot.

      As for how Ozuna might end up playing in the OF, that’s likely only against a LH pitcher in which case you still wouldn’t want a lefty DH. In that case, you’d probably have Flow behind the plate with d’Arnaud as DH. That’s why you carry the extra backstop.

      SO the best route for Panda on the roster is simply as a late inning bench bat.

      Panda, Camargo, Ender… who do you want off the bench late in the game with the tying runner on 3B? Ender is still the last one of those 3 I’d take. I could live with either of the other 2… both of whom bat SH. Panda has more power potential (and playoff experience) while Camargo has the easy defensive edge. I suppose it’s about priorities.

      One more note… with the DH in play, and the inherent potency of the starting lineup, late inning PH’s are just not as important (unless Ender is batting).

      I think Camargo still gets my nod on defensive potential.

      Liked by 1 person

  120. 180 Vox O'Reasoñ September 25, 2020 at 3:52 pm

    Freddie gets a blow tonight…

    Like

  121. 181 Gil in Mechanicsville September 25, 2020 at 4:22 pm

    There is a reason players like the Panda and Camargo etc are at Gwinnett. 1: Insurance 2: Preparation 3: Evaluation, if these guys have worked out the kinks in their swings than by all means lets get them going.

    I’m pretty sure Ender will be on the roster for the playoffs but I suspect neither he nor Nick will be roving the outfield for Los Bravos nest season.

    Liked by 1 person

  122. 182 Vox O'Reasoñ September 25, 2020 at 4:44 pm

    I’m pretty sure Ender will be on the roster for the playoffs

    If that happens, it will be for purely emotional (loyalty) reasons and not for merit. And it will be a total waste of a roster spot.

    Offensively speaking, and using today’s updated numbers (according to Baseball Savant), Ender ranks in the bottom 2% of the league in Expected On Base Average, in the bottom 3% in “barrels”, or hard contact, in the bottom 14% in Exit Velocity, in the top 78% in K’s, in the top 64% in swings/misses, and in the bottom 34% in Outs Above Average.

    He’s also in the bottom 33% in sprint speed, so any myth of him being a good pinch runner should go out the window, and in the 53% range in defensive jumps… meaning he’s no longer an elite defender.

    Bottom line is that he’s useless on the playoff roster. Heck, he’s pretty much useless on any ML roster that isn’t rebuilding and just in need of warm bodies.

    Liked by 1 person

  123. 184 berigan2electricboogaloo September 25, 2020 at 9:39 pm

    IMHO, if AA is really, really shrewd, he might find a sucker to take Ender and the braves will only have to pay him 8 million to not play here….no one is going to take a chance on him, shame. Really don’t know what happened, can you believe he doesn’t turn 30 til late October…too young to have lost a step, or have his bat speed slow down, and yet…it has happened.

    Like

  124. 186 Vox O'Reasoñ September 25, 2020 at 10:23 pm

    Ender gets an AB in the 9th inning of a tie game. Result: strikeout. That was a preview of what you’ll get in the playoffs.

    Like

  125. 187 Vox O'Reasoñ September 26, 2020 at 8:21 am

    Well that’ll be fun. Huascar has made the post season roster and won’t pitch again before then anyway.

    Like

  126. 188 Gil in Mechanicsville September 26, 2020 at 9:08 am

    Another stellar performance by Kyle last night, I am beginning to get a bit excited about next season’s prospects.

    Prediction: Mark Melancon will be pitching in either Washington or Philly next season. The Braves will let him walk.

    Did y’all see that mammo ACJ hit last night? Should need a visa to ride that one.

    Freddie Free showed why he deserves the MVP this season. The Braves don’t win without him.

    Hech has made me into a liar. Did his best Brooks Conrad imitation again last night.

    Liked by 2 people

  127. 189 Vox O'Reasoñ September 26, 2020 at 9:57 am

    First, I have to admit that I gave up on the game when the Red Sox scored 2 in the top of the 10th. Second, I did not realize that with that win last night the Braves clinched the #2 seed in the playoff bracket. That is a pretty big deal. Now Snit can empty the benches over the next 2 games. Since the Red Sox are already out of it there’s no “integrity of the game“ to worry about. These last 2 games literally don’t matter. I’m excited to see what Tucker Davidson can do. I wonder who’ll start tomorrow?

    Like

  128. 192 Vox O'Reasoñ September 26, 2020 at 10:52 pm

    Yikes.

    Like

  129. 193 Vox O'Reasoñ September 27, 2020 at 1:37 pm

    Prophet star…

    Liked by 2 people

  130. 194 Gil in Mechanicsville September 27, 2020 at 2:35 pm

    Do you think they will play Pablo in place of Heck at third base? My goodness, it is like he has forgotten how to play, and it appears to be contagious… I don’t blame Davidson for that awful line that was hung on him. No pitcher can survive the type of defense that was being played behind him in the second inning.

    A young kid who is susceptible to a bit of nerves to begin with and suddenly thinking he has to be perfect is just doomed. I think both Dansby and Adieny should publicly apologize for sucking in the field yesterday…

    The game means nothing to the team but it meant something to Tucker.

    Liked by 2 people

  131. 196 Gil in Mechanicsville September 27, 2020 at 2:37 pm

    I am glad the Braves don’t have to wait to find out what team is flying to Atlanta for Wednesday’s lid lifter (homage to Joe Biden) 🙂 …

    Pretty convoluted as yet. Just like they drew it up at the commissioner’s office.

    Liked by 2 people

  132. 197 Vox O'Reasoñ September 27, 2020 at 2:53 pm

    By the way, I was not aware until today that Riley has been dealing with a quad injury. Glad he can give it some rest. I’m curious if there is any playoff magic left in that oversized presence of the Panda. Some guys just light up in October.

    Like

  133. 198 berigan2electricboogaloo September 27, 2020 at 6:52 pm

    I think both Dansby and Adieny should publicly apologize for sucking in the field yesterday
    Indeed! I felt so bad for him!
    V, I too didn’t know Riley was hurting, I was really wondering why Adieny kept going out there….

    Like

  134. 199 berigan2electricboogaloo September 27, 2020 at 7:07 pm

    well, we get the Reds…no easy task! About as tough as you can get. Really need to win that first game, right? Game 2 a must win, yikes!

    Like

  135. 200 Gil in Mechanicsville September 28, 2020 at 11:42 am

    You know Ber, I don’t think there are ever any easy paths to the World Series. Having all these nagging injuries show up right at crunch time is always troubling but at least Freddie and Ozuna are healthy plus Panda did not look bad afield yesterday. Brooks Robinson he is not but then neither is he Brooks Conrad so there is that.

    The size of the strike zone will be all important for the rookie pitchers methinks. I am certain their nerves will be heightened but at least they won’t have to contend with the frenzy of a crowd to compound it.

    My best advice to the team… DON’T CHOKE!

    Liked by 1 person

  136. 201 Vox O'Reasoñ September 28, 2020 at 12:32 pm

    Some general playoff business to attend to prior to focusing on our hometown Bravos…

    The NL side of the playoff bracket will all take place in Texas, following the WC games of course, which will take place in the 1-4 seeds’ home stadiums. For the Braves, the NLDS (yes, I am claiming the NLDS already) will happen in Houston, with he NLCS taking place in Arlington. The World Series will also take place in Arlington.

    The 16 teams’ respective playoff rosters do not have to be finalized until Wednesday, the day the WC games commence.

    BTW, the Braves/Reds matchup drew the early time slot, with first pitch set to be thrown at noon. Set your alarms accordingly.

    Liked by 2 people

    • 202 Gil in Mechanicsville September 28, 2020 at 5:31 pm

      I know some folks were hoping for a late (prime time) spot for the Braves but I am kind of glad to have them early. I won’t be forced to lose any sleep staying up late to see the games.

      I expect the Braves and the Reds to both wait until the very last minute to finalize their rosters Wednesday. Get out the old cortisone and heal them quickly. Is that allowed anymore? Asking for a friend…

      Liked by 3 people

      • 203 Vox O'Reasoñ September 29, 2020 at 10:17 am

        I too am glad it’s the early game. My evenings are often busy, and it’s nearly impossible to split attention when Mrs. Vox is involved. Plus Wednesdays are exclusively church anyway. But during the day I’m working, and I can easily keep up with the action while still being a good employee. I’d be perfectly happy if all the games during the week started at noon.

        Liked by 2 people

  137. 204 Vox O'Reasoñ September 29, 2020 at 11:07 am

    So as I scroll through some of the MLB news feeds, I see a couple of very interesting tidbits. I will share here:

    ~The Rays are adding top left-handed pitching prospect Shane McClanahan to their postseason roster, according to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times.

    ~The Twins are set to promote top outfield prospect Alex Kirilloff for what would be his MLB debut during the first round of the postseason, according to Phil Miller of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

    And why are they doing these things? Because each team believes their prospect carries abilities that can help them advance to the NLDS better than someone that is already there.

    Now Alex… do you really believe that Ender Inciarte is going to propel this team past the first round for the first time in 15 years? He’s not going to steal a base when you need it and he sure isn’t going to get a big hit when you need it. If it’s for defense, I can name a kid that has a superior skillset there as well. Please Alex… now that your peers are setting the precedent, please sit Ender’s butt down and add Cristian Pache to the postseason roster.

    Please.

    Liked by 2 people

  138. 205 Vox O'Reasoñ September 29, 2020 at 11:55 am

    Kevin McAlpin reporting from today’s presser with Snit:

    … on RAJ: “He’s feeling good, he’s fine. He didn’t have anything that would prohibit him from hitting leadoff tomorrow”

    … on Chris Martin: “He’s going to be ready to go tomorrow. I think when he came in yesterday, he was surprised at how good he felt. I’m glad he said something, if he had stayed out there it might have been something really bad”

    … on Austin Riley: “He’s been hitting every day. I don’t know that he will be 100% when we start the games tomorrow but he will be good to go.”

    ~ Snit says the Braves are still working on finalizing their Postseason roster.

    On that last note, they aren’t waiting on medical reports since we just got the (mostly) positive news on all the questionable players. So the ongoing discussion is not about players that are hurting physically. I’m sure they are still discussing the staff and bullpen, but I hope they are giving equal eight to discussing the bench.

    Liked by 1 person

  139. 207 Vox O'Reasoñ September 30, 2020 at 8:05 am

    Well, after several days of iffy weather around these parts, the good Lord has given us a forecast of perfect baseball weather for the next 3 days. According to the “experts”, we will have sunny skies and high temps in the low- to mid-70’s for the rest of the week.

    Today’s official forecast for first pitch: Sunny, 66°, W 7 mph L-R

    Speaking of first pitch, apparently He was listening to my “wishes” on game times as well.

    Today’s Bulova time of first pitch (homage to the great Skip Carey): 12:08pm ET
    Tomorrow: 12:08pm ET
    Friday (if necessary): 3:08pm ET

    Liked by 1 person

  140. 208 Vox O'Reasoñ September 30, 2020 at 9:48 am

    No official roster yet. I’m keeping my eyes open…

    Like

  141. 209 Vox O'Reasoñ September 30, 2020 at 9:58 am

    Like

  142. 210 Gil in Mechanicsville September 30, 2020 at 10:35 am

    Good morning folks. What a beautiful day in the neighborhood. I am ready for some baseball. First however is a trip to Kroger’s to use my fuel points before they expire.

    Now baseball… Keeping my fingers crossed that the lads don’t leave it up to the umpires to decide this game. In fact, I pray that the umpires are invisible today. No 225 foot infield flies, no none calls on players getting pushed off the bag, no bogus blocking the plate calls.

    Reason I hate legalize gambling in sports, the incentive to cheat/shade/bias a call or play is so much greater. Give me someone who has no interest in who wins or loses to be a fair arbiter.

    Okay then, one last piece of advice… Don’t be an easy out and don’t give away at bats. Keep your head in the game and know how many outs their are. Don’t get caught day dreaming and make the plays you are suppose to make.

    Strong and steady often outshines occasional excellence.

    Like

  143. 211 Vox O'Reasoñ September 30, 2020 at 10:46 am

    Good sense prevailed. Pache is on; Ender is not. Both Panda and Johan make it. IMHO the suits made very good choices.

    Like

    • 212 Vox O'Reasoñ September 30, 2020 at 11:07 am

      For emphasis, both Johan and Panda made the roster over Hechy, who had a very bad last week in ATL. Of course, as we have already celebrated, Pache made it i over Ender, who had a very bad 2 months in ATL.

      On the pitching side, with the team opting to carry just 13 pitchers, Luke Jackson and Bryse Wilson were left off. Neither is a real surprise.

      I would guess that all of the above are still on the “taxi” squad in case of injury. All should be staying in “game ready” shape and going through their normal routines.

      Remember also, this is a best 2-of-3 series. I would expect to add in one more pitcher before the next round. And obviously injuries (God forbid) will also dictate further maneuvering. Injured players may be replaced during a series, but with specific rules and consequences: First, a pitcher may only be replaced by a pitcher and a position player may only be replaced by a position player. Second, an injured player is not only ineligible to play in the series in which he was replaced, but he is also ineligible to play in the next playoff series should his team advance. Thus, there will be no playing loose with the roster, but “taxi” squaders may still be called upon in emergency.

      Like

  144. 213 Vox O'Reasoñ September 30, 2020 at 10:48 am

    Like

    • 214 Vox O'Reasoñ September 30, 2020 at 11:22 am

      Note here that Nick Markakis is all the way down to #8 in the order. He may have even been at #9 if Riley was 100%. But I think that spot is indicative of 2 things. First, he has been scuffling as of late. We’ve all seen that. But second, and more importantly, I believe that the plan – hope – is that the Braves can get out to an early lead, get strong early innings from their starter, and then turn the game over to their talented bullpen and stingy defense. On the latter, I think we can expect to see Pache come in for defense in the later innings with RAJ moving to RF. Batting Nick 8th allows Snit to easily retro-fit the rookie into the bottom of the lineup. I think this could be the framework for each of these WC games.

      Like

  145. 215 berigan2electricboogaloo September 30, 2020 at 12:15 pm

    whew! I saw last night at a restaurant the Yankees bludgeon the best pitcher in the AL (Beiber on the Indians mound) get pounded…concerns me a bit….

    Like

  146. 216 Vox O'Reasoñ September 30, 2020 at 12:20 pm

    Well, it appears the Reds strategy is to jump on Max early in the count, and they did get a couple of hits that way in the 1st inning. But they couldn’t push a run across. And if they want to continue that strategy, I think they’re doing us a favor. Max only threw about 9 pitches in that first inning. Let’s keep that pitch count down and allow Max to go deeper in this game. Works for me.

    Like

  147. 218 Gil in Mechanicsville September 30, 2020 at 3:33 pm

    I have had a knot in my stomach this entire game, Top of eleventh 2 out.

    Liked by 1 person

  148. 219 berigan2electricboogaloo September 30, 2020 at 4:34 pm

    If you can believe it, had to take my Dad to the doctors at 1 pm, didn’t get out til about the 9th inning. Couldn’t believe it was still 0-0. Really can’t believe it is 0-0 in the 13th! So very many missed opportunities for both clubs…

    Like

  149. 220 berigan2electricboogaloo September 30, 2020 at 4:51 pm

    YYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Like

  150. 221 berigan2electricboogaloo September 30, 2020 at 4:54 pm

    649 DIRECT tv has the sports south guys on now

    Like

  151. 222 berigan2electricboogaloo September 30, 2020 at 5:56 pm

    you all so plum tuckered out, you are napping now? the Braves won you know! 😛

    Liked by 1 person

    • 223 Gil in Mechanicsville September 30, 2020 at 6:17 pm

      Yep. pretty much done in by the drama… I am glad to see there is at least one other team that has a record of futility to match the Braves. The Braves bullpen came through strong. I am looking forward to next season with all the young pitchers who will be starting for the Bravos.

      Will still need to sign a grizzled vet to help the kids along but first things first, win tomorrow…

      Like

  152. 225 Vox O'Reasoñ October 1, 2020 at 8:03 am

    I really appreciate the Reds consistently going after Max early in the count. It allowed him to last through 7 innings, and that allowed the Braves to use their dominant bullpen into extras without burning out any arms. If Snit had to cover an additional 2 innings earlier, he would have run into problems by the 13th inning. At best, he would have overused a couple of guys making them unavailable today… like David Bell did. I would not expect to see Michael Lorenzen today. And he’s been one of their better bullpen arms.

    Like

  153. 226 Vox O'Reasoñ October 1, 2020 at 8:09 am

    For what it’s worth, the Braves not only earned the W yesterday, they beat the Reds’ ace and likely Cy Young winner. That not only hurts in the bracket, it hurts mentally. Bauer was phenomenal, and showed why he will is worthy of all the accolades. Yet he was matched frame to frame by young bulldog Max. Bauer’s also a bit of a headcase, but most know that and don’t let it bother them.

    The Braves certainly didn’t.

    Like

  154. 229 Vox O'Reasoñ October 1, 2020 at 8:46 am

    Delta has a flight departing from ATL to CIN at 4:55pm. I bet we can get them to the airport by then.

    Bye!

    Liked by 1 person

  155. 230 Vox O'Reasoñ October 1, 2020 at 8:53 am

    They can taste it.

    Like

  156. 231 Vox O'Reasoñ October 1, 2020 at 10:06 am

    Cincinnati Enquirer: Trevor Bauer after Cincinnati Reds’ Game 1 loss: ‘You can’t fault the pitching’

    Such a stand-up guy…

    Liked by 1 person

  157. 232 Vox O'Reasoñ October 1, 2020 at 1:41 pm

    Wow. Ian Anderson is living up to all the hype today. This kid is terrific.

    Liked by 1 person

  158. 233 Vox O'Reasoñ October 1, 2020 at 2:21 pm

    Remember when we said that starting pitching was going to be a problem against Cincy? Yeah… me too.

    Liked by 1 person

  159. 234 Vox O'Reasoñ October 1, 2020 at 2:57 pm

    I think the Reds might just make that 4:55pm flight after all. 😆

    Liked by 1 person

  160. 236 Gil in Mechanicsville October 1, 2020 at 3:21 pm

    YES!!!!! Fell like the monkey is off the backs of the club now.

    Another outstanding pitching performance by the rookie. Now the Braves get an extra day off.

    Liked by 2 people

  161. 237 Gil in Mechanicsville October 1, 2020 at 3:23 pm

    Feel…. Ah well, typos anon here I come.

    Liked by 2 people

  162. 238 berigan2electricboogaloo October 1, 2020 at 5:01 pm

    Gil, didn’t even notice that error…. fell the monkey…sounds like a great band name….
    or a variation of the Peter Gabriel song, Shock the Monkey

    Of course I was getting my oil changed (really needed to do it, Dad made the appt, but was asleep , so I HAD to go to it) weird…hadn’t heard a game on the radio all year, and now heard back to back days. Anyone know why Powell didn’t do the play by play yesterday? He was on the game today. Almost thought Joe Simpson was Don Sutton. I do miss Joe Simpson doing the games with Chip. Frenchy is still in his 30s. Don’t get the old coot stories that can be fun…
    oh yeah, YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    BRAVES WIN, BRAVES WIN!!!!

    I really had a bad feeling about this series, for some reason. I think the Yanks just tearing apart the best starter in the AL had me fearing Fried was going to give up 3-4 homers….feel (a tiny bit) sorry for the Reds, man, not even one run scored!
    Oh well, we have been on the other side of it, haven’t we????
    so, who’s next? Marlins? Cubs? umm, who else???

    Liked by 2 people

    • 239 Gil in Mechanicsville October 1, 2020 at 6:20 pm

      Marlins, Cubs, who else? I have learned the hard way to take Braves games one at a time. No looking down the road. That said, if they survive their next round, they will have to face the Dodgers most likely so there is that. Heck, all the talking heads discounted the Braves chances from the get go because they had two rookie pitchers starting their series. I was actually looking forward to Kyle Wright have a break out game, after all. his last two starts have been pretty good.

      This club may well be coming together at just the right time. The past two days have been a clinic on pitching. All kinds of pitching. Flame throwers and finesse specialist.

      The Braves have never been a team that scored big during the playoffs but pitching and defense is what wins championships. The Braves will no doubt be on the lookout for a veteran pitcher to join their bevy of young studs next season.

      As far as Ozuna being offered a contract, I think it will depend on how much they want to retain Freddie Freeman when his deal runs out in 2021. Pretty sure it will take considerably more than the $22 million he will earn next season. I think it will command “stupid money”. He will be 32 as an unrestricted free agent and realistically could play 6 more years with little decline.

      How much do you think the Angles would be willing to pay him?

      Oh well, I’ll worry about it tomorrow, 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  163. 240 berigan2electricboogaloo October 1, 2020 at 8:51 pm

    berigan2electricboogaloo
    August 4, 2020 at 8:20 pm

    Max Fried has arrived…at 26…my point?
    folks keep acting like Bryce Wilson is a former prospect. He is all of…22. Ian Anderson is …22. But I just heard Frenchy say he might come up at some point this year, but sure hopes he stays down for awhile.
    Wilson has 410 innings in the minors , Anderson 377 in the minors

    It’s funny, but I am sure it PAINED A.A. to even bring him up. It took so many things going wrong for it to even happen. Anyone think, Folty, Newt, Hamels, the guy who opted out for the season, would have been as good??? Things do happen for a reason

    Like

  164. 243 Gordon Lawrence October 1, 2020 at 9:02 pm

    EMWTK was reminiscing about Carolina Lady, VOR, BOB, and others over on the site that sprang up when DOB-AJC died.
    I gave them a heads up as to where you folks could be found.
    I hope that’s O.K.
    Of course, a couple of the snarks are still around basking in the twilight of DOB’s shade.
    But generally they’re pretty much on point regarding all things BRAVES.
    They keep their politics on a separate thread, btw.

    Liked by 3 people

  165. 244 Gordon Lawrence October 1, 2020 at 9:06 pm

    So in a five game set who starts?
    FRIED, ANDERSON, WRIGHT??…….????WILSON?

    Liked by 2 people

  166. 247 berigan2electricboogaloo October 1, 2020 at 10:49 pm

    😆

    Liked by 2 people

  167. 248 chrisklob October 2, 2020 at 12:48 am

    i absolutely hate espn since they decided to dabble in politics starting about ten years ago. i’ve done everything i can to NOT watch espn tv or listen to radio. unfortunately watching games the last few days has been the only option since our local braves affiliate radio station decided to stop doing braves games. it’s been torturous for me. while our regular broadcast team drives me a little nuts at times i sure do miss them and i miss the camera crew and guys/gals in the truck. braves camera crews and truck crews do a MUCH better job of catching angles of plays than espn does and i’ll take them every time over the “worldwide leader in sports”.

    i’ll give credit to arod and vasgersian though. they have been complimentary of many of the braves which is appreciated. the braves don’t get nearly the love they deserve at the national level.

    Liked by 5 people

    • 249 Gil in Mechanicsville October 2, 2020 at 8:48 am

      Chris, you are lucky you don’t have to suffer thru having to listen to the Nats announcers every time the Braves play them. As for ESP-U… well, you know…

      I doubt it is by choice the local Braves feeds are not carrying the Braves games. MLB is squeezing every nickel they can out of the game. Somebody has to pay for $330 million dollar contracts.

      Liked by 3 people

  168. 250 berigan2electricboogaloo October 2, 2020 at 2:56 pm

    yeah, espn…I really do like a few folks, but not enough to regularly watch (not that they even have a regular baseball show anymore, NBA is ALWAYS the top story on their website, even with ratings down 40%) it was….tolerable those 2 games.
    Hey Chris, can you listen online? I know you can’t via tunein usually. , never can in the car…(No radio in my car, long story)

    Liked by 1 person

  169. 253 chrisklob October 2, 2020 at 10:47 pm

    Vox, thanks for the tip and the link. and Berigan i wasn’t aware that mlb had loosened their restrictions. i get that mlb is a for-profit company but they want your money for just about everything. i pay for a cable package that includes the 2 channels that have the regular broadcasts but if i want to watch online i’ve got to pay for it. excuse me, i DO pay for it. i can literally watch just about every channel online that i get from home except for fox sports and fox sports southeast. and yes, i am aware of the app. i’ve tried multiple times to get it to work and it doesn’t.

    Liked by 2 people

  170. 254 Gil in Mechanicsville October 3, 2020 at 1:13 pm

    So, the Braves square off against the Marlins and the Dodgers vs the Padres. To be honest, the Marlins scare me but then, so did the Reds. Going to be fun at a neutral field… HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA… Like they have played in pack stadiums all summer.

    Liked by 1 person

  171. 255 berigan2electricboogaloo October 3, 2020 at 4:16 pm

    not sure for how much longer, but mlbtv is running some of the 1968 World Series since the great Bob Gibson yesterday…

    Liked by 1 person

  172. 256 Gil in Mechanicsville October 4, 2020 at 8:22 pm

    I was sad to learn that Francisco Cervili officially announced his retirement from baseball yesterday. After suffering is 7th documented concussion he is hanging up his cleats. I hope he stays in the game in some capacity. I really enjoyed the energy he brought to the game and I am glad he played at least a short time with Braves.

    Liked by 3 people

  173. 257 berigan2electricboogaloo October 5, 2020 at 8:17 am

    They then ran an interview hosted by Bob Costas, (hard to believe he’s 68, remember when he was a mere kid back in St. Louis on the KMOX in the early 80s) of Bob Gibson and Tim McCarver . Very interesting.

    Gil, that is a shame. Like you said, he gave a real boost to the team last year. I guess one could argue he might have been a better guy than Flowers to have as the backup.

    Liked by 1 person

  174. 258 berigan2electricboogaloo October 5, 2020 at 9:04 am

    I am so confused…I thought there would be no days off between any games this playoff season. Why so many days between the 1st and 2nd round? I can understand needing at least 1 for rainouts, etc. I know the braves won in 2 but man, 4 games between rounds? I mean, good for the rotation hopefully….

    Like

  175. 259 Vox O'Reasoñ October 5, 2020 at 2:12 pm

    I am so confused…I thought there would be no days off between any games this playoff season.

    No off days inside each series because there is no need to travel. But there are off days between series as teams do travel and reset their rosters. Every remaining team had to travel to Houston, Arlington (NLDS), LA, or San Diego (ALDS) for their respective games, and the same will follow the DS into the CS games which take place in Arlington (NLCS) and San Diego (ALCS). Plus, the Braves dispatched their WCS opponent quickly which gave them an extra day as well.

    Like

  176. 260 Vox O'Reasoñ October 5, 2020 at 2:21 pm

    Speaking of resetting the roster, there is no way the Braves carry 15 position players into the NLDS. They had the luxury of that extra bat given the best 2-of-3 format, but not so much now in this best 3-of-5 format. Which means a pitcher returns and a hitter departs. Who will those players be?

    If had to guess, I think Bryse Wilson returns and one of Johan or Panda departs. And if I were a betting man, I’d look to see which one of the two SH can help me more from the LH side of the plate. That guy looks to be the Panda. I won’t bore you with the numbers. Just take my word for it. 😉

    I don’t expect to see that NLDS roster announced before tomorrow.

    Like

    • 261 Vox O'Reasoñ October 5, 2020 at 3:42 pm

      Truth is, the numbers are not that dissimilar overall as a LH… with a slight edge to Panda in 2020 in limited ABs. I don’t think you could do wrong with either. Johan definitely gives you more versatility defensively.

      Like

  177. 262 Vox O'Reasoñ October 5, 2020 at 2:31 pm

    The Braves have already announced, however, their pitchers for games 1-3 of the upcoming NLDS… but the current media darling Marlins, with their much hyped (overhyped perhaps?) young pitchers, have not.

    The Braves will predictably start Fried, Anderson and Wright in that order, with the possible Game 4 pitcher TBD. Speculation says it will be a “bullpen” game with Tomlin starting, but that will only work if said bullpen isn’t overworked in games 1-3. I suppose only time will reveal that. And I think that’s why we’ll see Bryse Wilson return to be our long man.

    I will predict that Miami will counter with Sandy Alcantara, Sixto Sanchez and Pablo Lopez, in that order. That’s how Mattingly pitched the Cubs series and I think he’ll do it again vs the Braves.

    Like

    • 263 Vox O'Reasoñ October 5, 2020 at 3:53 pm

      The Marlins just released their starting pitchers for games 1-3, and surprisingly they are holding Sixto Sanchez until Game 3.

      That makes the matchups:
      Game 1, Tues: LH Max Fried vs RH Sandy Alcantara Advantage: Braves
      Game 2, Wed: RH Ian Anderson vs. LH Pablo Sanchez Advantage: Braves
      Game 3, Thurs: RH Kyle Wright vs RH Sixto Sanchez Advantage: Marlins

      If the Braves can go up 2-0 in the first 2 games, that puts all the pressure on the upstart Marlins to win 3 in a row. And if the series were to inexplicably go to a decisive Game 5, Sixto is completely out while Max would come back on short rest.

      Works for me.

      Like

  178. 264 Vox O'Reasoñ October 5, 2020 at 2:54 pm

    Now… one might think the Braves are being somewhat disrespected by the national media given the start times they have been and are being assigned. As you remember, they had 12:08pm ET start times for their WC games vs the Reds, and their NLDS will be similarly early. Games 1-3 will begin at 2:08pm ET, as will Game 4 (if necessary). And should the teams reach the decisive Game 5, that game will have a 4:08pm ET first pitch.

    That’s right, the Braves have apparently been deemed Not Ready For Prime Time.

    But that’s OK with me. First, I’d just like to say a big “@#$%& you” to the national media types who make these decisions. When the Braves angle past the Fish in convincing fashion, maybe they’ll finally be able to turn their lustful heads away from the Yankees and Dodgers for just a hot second. But probably not.

    That said, I could not care less if they don’t. I like the early start times. It works better with my personal schedule… so there’s that.

    Liked by 1 person

  179. 266 chrisklob October 6, 2020 at 12:29 am

    one might think the Braves are being somewhat disrespected by the national media

    we’re of the same mind here. nothing new though. even during the season when checking the scores on mlb.com i noticed that the braves score was always buried deep in the list. unless of course they were playing a marquee name like the yankees or boston. that’s not even new this year. the braves have won the division three years in a row but mlb couldn’t care less. i wonder how they handle it if freeman wins mvp or, gasp, the braves find a way to win it all. how far down the list will the article be?

    Liked by 2 people

  180. 267 berigan2electricboogaloo October 6, 2020 at 7:53 am

    V, I just can’t remember…were there so many days between the 1st and 2nd round last year? It’s just been so many days I feel like the season already ended…
    Yeah, the media just doesn’t like the braves for some reason. I mean, they will praise F.F. of course…

    I sure hope if we go to a game 4, it is NOT J.T . on the hill as an opener! Good grief! Give me someone with, you know…stuff like Bryce . can’t just give a game away….

    Liked by 1 person

  181. 270 Gil in Mechanicsville October 7, 2020 at 10:56 am

    Wheeee… That sure was fun wasn’t it? Yes, it was a little shaky at the out set but things started trending in a positive direction as the game progressed. Looking for another solid pitching performance from young Ian. Time for him to get some media love normally reserved for New York and LA.

    Liked by 2 people

  182. 271 Gil in Mechanicsville October 7, 2020 at 12:30 pm

    Wishing a Happy Birthday to our fearless leader… Have a great one Margie 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  183. 272 Vox O'Reasoñ October 7, 2020 at 1:04 pm

    Perhaps the Braves can give the Chief a big W for a birthday present?

    Happy Birthday CL!

    Liked by 1 person

  184. 273 berigan2electricboogaloo October 7, 2020 at 3:27 pm

    Happy Birthday CL!!!!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  185. 274 Carolina Lady October 7, 2020 at 4:07 pm

    Thank you, guys! It’s amazing to make this many trips around the sun! (It hasn’t changed, BTW…) 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  186. 275 Vox O'Reasoñ October 7, 2020 at 5:00 pm

    2-0 baby. I love it!!

    Team on a mission…

    Like

  187. 276 Vox O'Reasoñ October 7, 2020 at 5:04 pm

    Is there any team in the playoff race that looks at Ian Anderson and is happy to be facing a “rookie”? He’s a stud… a complete stud.

    Liked by 3 people

  188. 277 Vox O'Reasoñ October 8, 2020 at 8:16 am

    Soroka, Fried, Anderson, and dare I say… Wright. For years. These are the fruits of the labor of several scouts under different leadership, yet finally coming together in the way all envisioned. It’s gonna be a fun ride.

    Liked by 2 people

  189. 279 Gil in Mechanicsville October 8, 2020 at 9:55 am

    I think it is only the performance of Kyle Wright today upon which we await with baited breath before we completely jump off the deep end.

    Liked by 2 people

  190. 280 Gil in Mechanicsville October 8, 2020 at 5:56 pm

    I am jumping here… 🙂 Kyle Wright has arrived. Yes, we were all a little nervous when the Fish loaded the bases but after Kyle successfully spit out the hook he settled down and continued with the dominant pitching. I was also a bit apprehensive when the Braves loaded the bases in the second with no outs and failed to score. Okay, salt that one away and more forward.

    Now, I am hoping the Pards and Dogies go five… Rest up Braves, you have earned it.

    Liked by 3 people

  191. 281 berigan2electricboogaloo October 9, 2020 at 11:15 am

    well, Dodgers swept, of course….
    I just still can’t get over how A.A. was desperate to put anyone and their lousy no good brother in the rotation before Anderson and Wright! Where would we be without them? Nowhere!!!
    amazing.
    In 2021, they will have to watch Anderson’s innings, but not Fried’s, or Wright’s , so that’s good. I am actually against a grizzled vet at this point. I mean….9 times out of 10 I’d be all for it, but , unless Soroka can’t come back full strength right away, grizzled vet will just hold back Ynoa, or Bryse Wilson at this point. Spend the moola on Ozuna instead.

    Liked by 3 people

  192. 283 chrisklob October 10, 2020 at 12:54 am

    CL, i missed your birthday and i apologize for that. been a ridiculous week/month/year/life. hope you had a good one and you are continuing to improve!

    had you told me that the bravos would sweep the first two series of the playoffs while allowing a total of five runs over those five games, several of those started by kids making playoff debuts that nobody outside of baseball had ever heard of i would have said you’re nuts. but here we are! did you see the smile on ian anderson in the dugout? wow, what a feeling!

    yes, the reds and fish are not exactly the 29 yankees but these kids DID perform on the mound and the bats did what the bats have done all year, at least in the division series. it’s nice to see the efforts started 5 or 6 years ago come to fruition. we had some lean, lean years in braves country. years we, as long time braves fans, are not accustomed to enduring. the real battle starts when the NLCS begins against mlb’s second favorite team, the dodgers. and a battle it will be. this is a team that’s been there and done that. well, all except for putting a ring on their finger. THAT ring. the one that means they won it all.

    speaking of favorite teams, i wonder if the braves figure out the dodgers and find their way to the biggest dance of the year whether or not the league will just go ahead and spike the season. i can just imagine the face that manfried will make if he has to give his trophy to either of the braves or the rays.

    go braves!

    Liked by 3 people

  193. 284 Gil in Mechanicsville October 10, 2020 at 11:39 am

    If I were Snit, I would remind my troops the Dodgers are human, after all, the Nats beat them last year so why not the Braves?

    I am not betting the farm on the Braves to beat the Dodgers but I am not betting against the Bravos either. My one true hope is the Braves pay attention to how Globe Life plays. It is a doubles park. Of course it is also not Dodger stadium in the day time where baseballs fly like the wind.

    Situational hitting is the key with men on base. Someone please grab both Duvall and Riley by the lapels and remind them that swinging for the fences and leaving runners in scoring position stranded will cause them to fall short of the prize.

    Liked by 2 people

  194. 286 Gordon Lawrence October 10, 2020 at 8:09 pm

    Missed your Birthday CL.
    Sorry, been over burning up the WASHINGTON FOOTBALL blogs.
    Happy belated B-Day.

    Liked by 1 person

  195. 287 chrisklob October 10, 2020 at 11:55 pm

    Someone please grab both Duvall and Riley by the lapels and remind them that swinging for the fences and leaving runners in scoring position stranded…..

    DUVALL not so much.

    i have long said that i’d rather see a string of singles in a row than a home run that clears the bases. sure, that home run is sexy and exciting but it can also allow sort of a reset for the pitcher and the infield, especially. keeping runners on the bases keeps pressure on the pitcher and often forces fielders, particularly infielders, to play in a position that is less than optimal. it was kind of interesting to hear Smoltz say the same thing in last nights game.

    so, someone PLEASE tell those guys to take what’s given to you and stop swinging for the fences. a five run rally beats a three run homer every time! and given the next opponent, we’re going to need those runs!

    Like

    • 288 Gil in Mechanicsville October 11, 2020 at 6:25 pm

      I blame the talking heads and the fantasy league nerds for the glorifying of the homerun ball. That and MLB for juicing the ball. Give them what they want… The battle cry of the younger fans and the TV marketers who give extra points for looonnnggg homeruns and 100 mph fast balls. The low scoring games are too boring they say.

      Well, nothing knots my stomach like a 0-0 tie going into the ninth. One mistake and it’s done. The truth is we don’t often see highlight reels of singles. 110mph balls off the bat are the thing now.

      Liked by 3 people

  196. 289 Vox O'Reasoñ October 12, 2020 at 8:25 am

    Will there be any roster changes from the NLDS to the NLCS? I can’t foresee any, but you never know. AA will probably wait until the afternoon to release his. It’s what he does.

    Liked by 1 person

  197. 290 berigan2electricboogaloo October 12, 2020 at 10:28 am

    do I honestly think the Braves will beat the Dodgers? No…they have both nearly unlimited funds, a bunch of guys that would start on most other teams, and an truly amazing scouting system. They have both stout swing for the fences guys and those pesky guys (Like that Kiki guy) that always seem to get those backbreaking hits. Their pitching? well, their combined ERA was .3.02 best in the NL (Cincy was next, 3.84) And that was without 2 starters from 2019, Hyun Jin Ryu (2.69 ERA for TOR) and Kenta Maeda (2.70 ERA for the Twins)

    So, I don’t really expect the braves to beat them…but, 2 starters they have never seen before, and it is 2020 😉 so…as the great Fats Waller said, One never knows, does one?

    Liked by 3 people

    • 291 Vox O'Reasoñ October 12, 2020 at 12:55 pm

      do I honestly think the Braves will beat the Dodgers? No

      I do. I like the Braves to force the Dodgers to go to their bullpen early tonight where they’ll do some damage and take Game 1 of the series.

      Braves-Rays in the World Series. Book it.

      Liked by 3 people

  198. 292 Vox O'Reasoñ October 12, 2020 at 12:52 pm

    Yep.

    Liked by 1 person

  199. 295 Vox O'Reasoñ October 12, 2020 at 4:12 pm

    Holy cow… has it really been that long?

    Liked by 2 people

  200. 296 Vox O'Reasoñ October 12, 2020 at 8:09 pm

    Underway!!

    Liked by 1 person

  201. 297 Vox O'Reasoñ October 12, 2020 at 8:12 pm

    MVFree!!

    Liked by 3 people

  202. 298 berigan2electricboogaloo October 12, 2020 at 9:59 pm

    They have both stout swing for the fences guys and those pesky guys (Like that Kiki guy)
    Prophet star? 😡
    Other than that one pitch, has Fried ever looked better?

    Liked by 2 people

  203. 299 Vox O'Reasoñ October 12, 2020 at 11:07 pm

    Duvall injury is bad news. The end result after a couple of pinch hitters has both Riley and Culberson in the OF late in this game when defense is a priority. I suppose Ender will be Duvey’s replacement, although that’s nothing more than an automatic out in the lineup. The first crack has appeared in the armor.

    Liked by 1 person

  204. 300 Vox O'Reasoñ October 12, 2020 at 11:15 pm

    Mix it up!!

    Liked by 1 person

  205. 301 Vox O'Reasoñ October 12, 2020 at 11:31 pm

    Yeah baby!!

    Liked by 3 people

  206. 302 chrisklob October 13, 2020 at 12:11 am

    well THAT was fun! did you see how much fun they were having in the dugout during that late inning rally? these kids are loose and having a good time! and did you see how tight Roberts was? he kind of stomped out onto the field to pull Treinen and then in the 9th during the rally he had a look like “what the he** is happening here? the 2020 braves remind me of the early 90’s teams! so much fun to watch!

    Liked by 4 people

  207. 303 berigan2electricboogaloo October 13, 2020 at 9:27 am

    My Dad could not understand why I was so negative during the later innings (He is a truly fair weather baseball fan, he did enjoy this game 😉 ) but kept telling him, you just don’t leave runners on inning after inning and beat the Dodgers! And How many times have we seen braves teams over the last 20+ years get the bases loaded, and not score, then lose? I mean, when Ozzie swung at a pitch 1 inch from his thigh, I was thinking, well, Kiki, or that Taylor guy will muscle a ball 1 inch over the fence and the braves would lose, 2-1..golly gosh, we sure were close there much of the game, that’s a moral victory, right? :/
    So, winning the 1st game, against their best starter (I know, Clayton could through 7 shutout innings tomorrow, but he just doesn’t scare me like a upper 90s starters do) is huge, in case you didn’t know it! 😉
    like Chris said, we got into their heads a bit. Treinen I heard only gave up 1 homer all year, so 2 in one inning, and Kenley Jansen not being the closer he used to be, sure helps our chances!

    Liked by 1 person

    • 304 Vox O'Reasoñ October 13, 2020 at 10:58 am

      I’m not scared of one single pitcher the Dodgers can trot out to the mound. During the course of this compressed season, we faced deGrom, Scherzer, Strasburg, Corbin, Nola, Diaz, & Wheeler multiple times… all in our division and all in the top 25 pitchers in the entire NL, and we beat them. Add to that Cole, Morton, Snell and all those great pitchers the AL East tossed against us, which we also beat, and the Dodgers shouldn’t intimidate anyone.

      This lineup is scary from top to bottom as we proved last night when our #9 hitter took Treinen deep in the 9th inning. Youngster Austin Riley was not overcome by the moment because that group is confident in who they are and what they can do. They simply are not overwhelmed by the lofty stakes nor the lofty opposition.

      Now, that said… I think the injury to Duvall is a costly loss. Agreed that he had become an “all-or-nothing” type hitter, but that “all” was still imposing and a threat to each mound opponent on every time he stepped in the box. If the injury is as severe as it appears, he’s done for the season and the Braves have to replace a starter. We don’t really have a direct replacement in terms of a power threat unless you play Riley in LF and start the Panda at 3B. There is rumor that that the suits are leaning toward adding Camargo to play 3B with Riley moving to LF (and Pache coming in late for defense). I believe those are the best options. I think adding Ender would be a mistake. You might as well play Pache at that point. At least if he runs into a pitch he might hit it out of the IF.

      Like

  208. 305 Vox O'Reasoñ October 13, 2020 at 10:40 am

    Really fun moment from that great 9th inning last night.

    Liked by 2 people

  209. 306 Vox O'Reasoñ October 13, 2020 at 12:09 pm

    Holy cow. That’s YUGE!

    Like

  210. 308 Vox O'Reasoñ October 13, 2020 at 12:15 pm

    Better than Ender. Now… how does Snit handle the lineup? Riley in LF w/ Panda at 3B? Riley in LF w/ Camargo at 3B? Ozuna in LF w/ Panda DH? I think Riley in LF w/ Camargo at 3B might be the best bet, but I won’t undersell Panda’s post-season experience.

    Like

  211. 310 chrisklob October 13, 2020 at 12:24 pm

    those are two big pieces of breaking news right there. the camargo move was expected (at least SOME move was expected) but the kershaw news is YUGE indeed.

    Liked by 1 person

  212. 311 chrisklob October 13, 2020 at 12:30 pm

    Gonsolin’s stats this year: 9 games (8 starts), 2-2, 2.31 era, 46.2 innings with 46k, whip 0.84.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 312 Vox O'Reasoñ October 13, 2020 at 1:09 pm

      Gonsolin is no slouch, but he’s not Kershaw. And he hasn’t started a game in 3 weeks. Will there be rust? And how long can he go before we get to the bullpen again? I think that’s the biggest key there. Their bullpen is no joke, but you can’t empty out all your ammo in the first 2 games either. There could be effects from this game that impact their whole staff for the rest of the series. 7 games in 7 days… you better know how to budget the arms.

      Liked by 2 people

  213. 313 Vox O'Reasoñ October 13, 2020 at 1:19 pm

    If I’m Snit, which I obviously am not, I keep the top of the order intact, slide everyone up to fill in Duvall’s slot until you get to Riley (LF). I bat Johan (3B) 8th and keep Riley in the 9 slot. I like him there with Acuña and Freddie behind him. I think he sees better pitches in that spot.

    Liked by 1 person

  214. 314 Vox O'Reasoñ October 13, 2020 at 1:21 pm

    Or there’s this…

    Liked by 1 person

    • 315 Vox O'Reasoñ October 13, 2020 at 1:27 pm

      Let’s look at this from a big picture perspective. The thing I kept hearing about this ballpark prior to last night’s game was how big the OF is. Perhaps Snit is giving his young pitchers the best defense that he can while having the smallest effect on the offense possible. And if we’re really honest about it, Duvall had only 2 total hits in the prior 2 playoff series anyway, so are you really losing much with Pache batting? I guess the known defensive positives outweigh the possible offensive negatives in this scenario. And Snit gets paid a salary to make these decisions. I just type in my spare time. I’ll defer to him.

      Liked by 1 person

      • 316 Gil in Mechanicsville October 13, 2020 at 2:05 pm

        What’s the old baseball adage? Ya never know….

        Yep, I’m pretty sure Pache will get on base at least once tonight. He did coax two walks out of the Dogies last night and one was after coming in to hit for Duvall down two strikes. Do I expect him to hit a 450 dinger? Well, refer to the above old adage.

        At least the outfield defense will be as good or better than with Duvall.

        Have the Braves ever faced Gonsolin before? They don’t usually have a very good record against guys they are facing for the first time but again, see afore mentioned adage.

        Now, about last night, wasn’t that fun? Super Max was outpitching Buehler much to the shock of the pundits. Okay, we all knew it was a good possibility that Fried could pitch with the best of them but no one thought he would not wilt under the pressure. Still, haven’t we all seen that the Braves tend to rise to the level of their competition?

        I though it bode well for the Braves when Freddie hit that 429′ bomb in the first inning. Fried was able to relax just a bit. Not a lot but enough. The homer by Riley in the ninth opened the flood gates methinks. Would it have been enough? Probably but a 4 run cushion is always welcome. I did let out a yell when Austin hit that tater though. The rest turned out to be gravy but that’s okay, it sent a message.

        I guess the real wild card will be how well Kyle will pitch tomorrow night. Turn in another gem like he is capable of hurling and there will be much gnashing of teeth and wearing of sack cloth in LA.

        Liked by 1 person

        • 317 Vox O'Reasoñ October 13, 2020 at 3:06 pm

          Max Fried has the “stuff” of Steve Avery and the stoicism of Tom Glavine. One thing that Glav always had was an unwavering determination that always wore the same on his face regardless of count or score or inning. Max may have the same x2. He’s a bona fide stud and he showed it to the rest of the country last night. Remember when we all said the Braves lacked a true “ace”? We may have drawn an inside pair.

          Liked by 2 people

  215. 318 Vox O'Reasoñ October 13, 2020 at 8:25 pm

    The youngsters are all showing up big tonight. Gotta be proud of them. Also gotta credit Snit. They wouldn’t have this success if he had not put them in positions to succeed along and along.

    Liked by 3 people

  216. 319 Gil in Mechanicsville October 13, 2020 at 9:30 pm

    Fun game but hate that 3 run homer by Sagar. OK, lock it down fellas

    Liked by 4 people

  217. 320 chrisklob October 14, 2020 at 12:03 am

    it’s nice to be up 2-0, especially against the team that’s been the cream of the NL for the last few years. i have family in town and didn’t get to see the first half of tonight’s game but picked it on the radio in the car in the fifth.

    I am concerned about two things. first, and we’ve known about this for a while, but i’m worried about game four and having a bullpen game against Kershaw. i am also a bit alarmed at how the bullpen damn near gave this game away and am hoping this didn’t have the effect of waking the dodgers up. last night i mentioned that they looked flat and very unexcited. they looked the same when i tuned in but man, they sure did wake up in the later innings. hope that is not a sign of things to come.

    Liked by 3 people

    • 321 Vox O'Reasoñ October 14, 2020 at 7:58 am

      first, and we’ve known about this for a while, but i’m worried about game four and having a bullpen game against Kershaw.

      Agreed. BUT… you don’t have to win 7 out of 7. You just have to get 4.

      i am also a bit alarmed at how the bullpen damn near gave this game away

      Also agree, but that was on HRs allowed by AJ Minter and Josh Tomlin, 2 pitchers that would not have been in the game if it had been close. Remember, Malancon was warming up until Ozzie made the lead 5 runs with his blast into Malancon’s glove. Then Tomlin got up and Malancon sat down. The final threat was on a pair of errors by our sure handed 2B… an anomaly for sure. Tomlin might have gotten out of it without giving up anything. But you know what they say about “if’s and but’s”. As Gil said yesterday, “Ya never know”.

      What I do know is that for all the late drama, that team picked by darn near every living creature to handily send the upstart Braves back to their old southern home is now down 0-2 and under all the pressure in the baseball world.

      Liked by 2 people

  218. 322 berigan2electricboogaloo October 14, 2020 at 5:09 am

    I was enjoying the game on a resturants rooftop, easy game, and we walked downstairs to leave and…the 9th inning happened. Man, the Dodgers looked soooo defeated before hand , hate to see anything give them hope…but,. we are still up 2-0….tomorrow is…shockingly…a big , big game. they win, 2-1, and right back in it. We win, 3-0, and they have basically no chance

    Liked by 2 people

    • 323 Vox O'Reasoñ October 14, 2020 at 8:06 am

      hate to see anything give them hope…but,. we are still up 2-0

      Watching and listening to some post-game commentary, and it seemed the network talking heads were giddy that they had something positive to spin about the Dodgers, and all wanted to talk about how the team had “woken up” and now had “new life” after “discovering a way to get to the Braves’ pitching”.

      What? I thought these were already the world beaters?

      Back to the talking heads, and tying this into Ber’s comment…

      All the commentators were all over it until they got to Big Papi, who said something to the effect of, “No, no… they are sitting in that clubhouse knowing they’re down 0-2. That’s what the’re feeling.”

      Tell it like it is Papi. No spin.

      Liked by 2 people

      • 324 Vox O'Reasoñ October 14, 2020 at 3:16 pm

        CORRECTION!! It was not Papi, who was also in on the Dodgers lovefest post-game. It was a cutaway to realist Dontrelle Willis. My bad…

        Tell it like it is D-Train!!

        Liked by 1 person

  219. 325 Vox O'Reasoñ October 14, 2020 at 8:23 am

    I’d like to address something that is soooo very notable to me.

    I’ve watched the 2 managers in this series… the vaunted Dave Roberts who can do no wrong, and the good ol’ boy Brian Snitker that is a “good guy” and “great story”. Snit is managing circles around Roberts in this series.

    First there’s the demeanor that Klobber talked about after Game 1. Roberts is wound tighter than Dick’s hat band. (I’ve heard this phrase all my life. You’d think Dick would have had a chance to get a larger hat by now, but I digress…) And when you see camera shots into their dugout, the whole team seems to be as shell-shocked as their leader. Over in the Braves dugout, Snit is going about his business with his generals in much the same way he has for this entire season. You don’t see alot of change in the man unless he’s celebrating a big play.

    But more importantly, Snit is doing the one thing that he gets criticized most for… he’s managing his bullpen wisely. He has gone through pitchers like sweet tea at a BBQ joint. Snit, meanwhile, gave us an assortment of Matzek, O’Day, Minter, Martin and Tomlin yesterday, with an emergency appearance by Malancon. Who you didn’t see yesterday was Smith or Webb or Greene… all available to pitch in tonight’s game with full rest.

    The other thing he did was to pull Anderson after just 85 pitches. Now if he needs to bring the youngster back in a Game 6 on short rest it isn’t a big deal. But he knew that he could get 2 strong innings out of Matzek and get to the late inning crew. But with a big lead, he didn’t hand it to the big dogs, rather the other half. And yes… they let the Dodgers back in it, but they didn’t lose it. And now the big dogs are fresh for Game 3.

    I’m feeling it guys and gals. And even though I will be tied up at church tonight (not literally) and not get to see this one, I have great confidence in Kyle Wright to continue what the Braves have finally discovered: solid starting pitching. I’m not just hoping for a 3-0 lead, I’m expecting it.

    Liked by 3 people

    • 326 Vox O'Reasoñ October 14, 2020 at 9:44 am

      He has gone through pitchers like sweet tea at a BBQ joint.

      I need to clarify that. I meant to say that Roberts is going through his pen, not Snit. But I didn’t make that very clear.

      Liked by 2 people

  220. 327 Gil in Mechanicsville October 14, 2020 at 9:52 am

    When Ozzie bobbled that ground ball in the ninth which would have been out #3 I thought, “Oh no, here we go again” but that was the advantage of having a 5 run lead. A prevent defense so to speak. Malancon is not a guy who is going to strike a lot of folks out induces people to hit weak contact. The triple by Belenger was an anomaly.

    So, time for Kyle Wright to impress the doubters. After all, who did the Dodgers beat up on this season? It is easy to look like world beaters when you play a weak schedule.

    Say what you will, but the Braves had to play a tough schedule. Did the Fish not knock off the Cubbies? The Reds came into town “red” hot. Did the Bravos not play the likely AL champ Rays even this year?

    I have not yet counted the chickens but the numbers aren’t nearly as intimidating as they were last Monday. The TV execs are already in a cold sweat. They have lost their biggest cash cow in the Yankees, to lose the Dodgers would be a death blow to the TV ratings. The only regional contest the moguls want is Yankees/Red Sox.

    Liked by 4 people

  221. 328 Gil in Mechanicsville October 14, 2020 at 12:47 pm

    I think all of you are old enough to remember the ’96 World Series loss to the Yankees and how after winning the first two games by large margins, everyone who was a Braves fan though, this is a lock. Well, I have a different take on the Dogies’ comeback last night. I think it was a good wake up call that you cannot ever let up against a good team. Did we not see how many times the Braves came back this season? Did we not also see the Braves fall short by a run or two on occasion?

    I think it will help the Braves stay focused. Did we really expect the Braves to sweep the Dogies? I would much rather be two games up than two games down.

    So will tonight be the “Wright” time for the Braves? Ya never know… 🙂

    A word about Pache… That kid looks really good in left field. Pretty sure Ender’s time in Atlanta is over. AA will not recoup the $9 mil owed him next season but he will bring something, he will be included as a throw in a trade. Ender can still play gold glove caliber defense and a change of scenery could be just what Ender needs to revive his bat. Then again, he may not but the 9 mil is already spent money. It’s 9 mil that can be spent to reward Freddie or even retain Ozuna but I suspect Marcel will move on to greener pastures ala the Rainman…

    I also doubt Nick will be with the team next season. I hope Braves fans learn to appreciate how much Nicky two bags has meant to the Braves in his 6 seasons with the team. Sure, he has lost a step and maybe his bat has slowed down a tic but his brain still operates at a high level.

    The Braves get the last at bat tonight, lets hope they don’t need it.

    Liked by 2 people

    • 329 Vox O'Reasoñ October 14, 2020 at 1:48 pm

      Agree Gil. It will be tough to let Ozuna go. Unless they focus all their FA dollars, er… attention on him, it’s a fait accompli (FOB?). Or is it?

      Yes, Nick will be gone. Ender also will be gone in one way or another, but his $9M will still haunt us. Next year’s OF will be Acuña in RF, Pache in CF, and a healed Duvall in LF. I expect a lesser LH hitting veteran 4th OF will be added to help balance the act in Nicky’s stead. As for the future of the OF, both Acuña and Pache will be fixtures for some time. And unless he’s traded for a TOTR pitcher, young Drew Waters will join them in 2022. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

      Speaking of pitching, Kyle Wright has already made a believer out of me. Add him in at #4 behind Soroka, Fried, and Anderson, and it leaves you wondering how hard AA will pursue a veteran pitcher next season. After all, won’t Soroka and Fried be veterans at that point? I would expect him to look more at a guy at the end of his string ala Anibal Sanchez or Jaime Garcia. Perhaps King Felix will want to make another go at it? Those are the types of pitchers I foresee coming in to compliment the current youngsters. Or maybe Huascar Ynoa takes a step forward? My point here is that there should not be any desperation moves for pitching, and certainly not all the money will be directed that way.

      Who knows..? Maybe they will get something worked out with Ozuna. It seems to be a marriage that works for both parties.

      And gotta start thinking about Freddie’s extension at some point. Gotta.

      But here’s the thing… the Braves have $72.5M coming off the books after 2020. That’s a staggering amount. In that amount, you lose your big bat in Ozuna and you lose your closer in Malancon as well as Shane Greene. Aside from that, the losses aren’t that deep. Tommy Milone, Josh Tomlin, Darren O’Day, Adeiny Hechavarría, Nicky Kakes, and Tyler Flowers. Malancon is probably no longer a closer after 2020 anyway. The bullpen arms will be fleshed out by a youngster or 2 along with the typical veteran auditions, and William Contreras will probably be the #2 catcher.

      So the Braves really only need to replace the closer and the DH. Can Chris Martin step into the closer role? What about Will Smith? Or both situationally? I think they could. Or could forgotten Folty reemerge as a late inning reliever?

      Looks to me that the biggest offseason need will be the DH to hit behind MVFree. I’m betting the biggest focus will be right there for AA & Co. And I’m betting that even if it isn’t Ozuna, there will be a big 1-dimensional player available to us for that role.

      Liked by 1 person

      • 330 Gil in Mechanicsville October 14, 2020 at 2:51 pm

        Something I remember from Tony Russo, to be competitive a major league needs to be at least 7 quality starting pitchers deep.

        Another old bromide: Contending teams should never have more than one rookie in their everyday starting line-up.

        Pache will be the designated rookie next season.

        Braves are strong up the middle and look to be stronger next season.

        In the meantime, let’s go Braves, let’s win this thing… Time to stun the baseball world by sending the Dogies packing.

        Liked by 1 person

    • 331 Vox O'Reasoñ October 14, 2020 at 2:12 pm

      Ya know, it dawns on me that they may well keep Ender as the 4th OF. He’s just what I described… a veteran LH. And they will already be paying him. Could happen.

      Liked by 1 person

  222. 332 Vox O'Reasoñ October 14, 2020 at 2:16 pm

    Now… news from the NLCS…

    Bryse Wilson has been named the Game 4 starter. I would think 4 innings from him would be more than acceptable. If we don’t need Huascar tonight, he’ll likely be the piggyback for Bryse. If Huascar goes tonight, then it’ll be Tyler Matzek. Either way to me is not a bad “pitcher” to send out there in Game 4.

    Liked by 1 person

  223. 333 Vox O'Reasoñ October 14, 2020 at 2:17 pm

    Like

  224. 335 Vox O'Reasoñ October 14, 2020 at 2:23 pm

    Nice…

    Like

  225. 336 chrisklob October 14, 2020 at 4:56 pm

    So the Braves really only need to replace the closer and the DH.

    has this been determined to be an NL rule for 2021? i hadn’t heard it definitively either way.

    Liked by 2 people

  226. 338 berigan2electricboogaloo October 14, 2020 at 6:23 pm

    well, I am gonna guess it was quite the bad thing Josh came in last night, and allowed the Dodgers to come back to life….

    Liked by 1 person

  227. 339 Gil in Mechanicsville October 15, 2020 at 7:31 am

    Okay, Braves got their butt whooping out of the way. Yes, it was a pretty brutal loss but not the first time this season. A couple of positives to report, the Braves pen staunched the bleeding after the third inning. Actually, if they eliminate the first inning, well, you know… 🙂

    A couple of really bad calls in the first inning by the home plate umpire too but that was not unexpected. You can’t take out a huge media market too soon after all. That said, Kyle Wright will file this one away and get better. If the pitches on the margin had been called strikes instead of balls in every case a different outcome would have occurred.

    Anyone remember the pounding John Smotz received on opening day against the Marlins back in the day? I also remember the rude reception Steve Avery received at the hands of the Mets in his major league debut. SO it only counts as one loss. If Kershaw pitches tonight and twirls a gem the series simply becomes a best 2 out of 3. I like what Snit said last night, a loss like the one they just endured is easier to take than one of those extra inning one run losses. ’91 series final anyone?

    Pache continued to sparkle afield and at the plate. Johan looked hitterish too.

    Bryse Wilson toes the rubber tonight. Lets root for him to have a solid outing. Just keep it close kid. Kershaw is not the same guy he was 3 years ago. He is beatable.

    Liked by 2 people

  228. 340 Vox O'Reasoñ October 15, 2020 at 8:21 am

    Count me as being in the minority that doesn’t think what happens on one night carries over to the next. I disagree that the Dodgers were given “life” on Tuesday therefor came out smoking on Wednesday. What they experienced last night was a pitcher that left pitches out across the plate. Kyle Wright surely has turned the corner and looks like he has a bright future, but he was just plain bad last night. And when you leave pitches out for good hitters, a team like the Dodgers will make you pay.

    In fact, I suppose it’s fair to ask the question… what happened to the carryover in the last 7 innings when Huascar & Co. shut them down?

    The old adage is always true: Momentum only goes as far as the next pitcher you face.

    Like

  229. 343 berigan2electricboogaloo October 15, 2020 at 8:33 am

    well said Gil! Kyle Wright threw one of those in the box ,but upper quadrant of the strike zone, that 9 times out of 10 has been called a strike of lately. If it had been called a strike…oh well. I heard Kyle afterwards he impressed me , and the Sports south crew (and in case everyone didn’t know, or forgot they come on , one of the 2 Fox sports channels right after the game and talk and show interviews for 30 minutes or so) Smoltz said during the game if he was a teammate he’d tell him, we don’t win the W.S. without you, and to not watch the video of the game. Kyle said he did want to watch the video to learn,and Paul Byrd just said he was really impressed by how he was doing after the game (and its funny, Snit almost sounded like a guy that wasn’t sure he’d pitch him even in game 5 , had to see how he was doing mentally, I thought that was odd to say)
    I did think Snit was right on about how better to be blown out early, rest a few guys and the bullpen (well, Bryse Wilson’s backup was used up, the kid with the name I can’t spell, Youa? Yoca? drat)
    guess what? Todays game is HUGE too! 😉 3-1, or 2-2, hmmm, which sounds better????
    I am a big fan of Bryse Wilson…I guess since he was so impressive in his first ever MLB start….we have seen a few hints of that this year. But, the Dodgers are a tough team. Still, I like our chances if he pitches with confidence, and I have a feeling he will. I think he is pretty competitive. Guess we will find out, eh?

    Like

  230. 344 berigan2electricboogaloo October 15, 2020 at 8:51 am

    Count me as being in the minority that doesn’t think what happens on one night carries over to the next…
    In fact, I suppose it’s fair to ask the question… what happened to the carryover in the last 7 innings when Huascar & Co. shut them down?

    V, guess we will just have to agree to disagree (wait, you won’t? 😉 )
    as you mentioned, and we all saw, they were shell shocked through most of 2 games. They had nothing to point to, nothing to get their blood pumping, even that 3 run homer didn’t seem important when it was 8-3. But, just as we have seen with braves teams, they came back and almost won the game…and it breeds confidence, If they had a weak 9th in game 2 like they had in game 1, I honestly think they would have been super tense in game 3, and likely lost it….oh well, won’t ever know for sure….just want/need them to lose tonight
    later start tonight, 8 PM you “old” people, need to take a mid day nap to stay up ,(my Dad, pushing 90 stays up til 1 AM some nights) it will likely go well past 11 pm 🙂

    Like

  231. 345 Vox O'Reasoñ October 15, 2020 at 1:11 pm

    V, guess we will just have to agree to disagree

    I agree… to disagree. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  232. 348 Vox O'Reasoñ October 15, 2020 at 3:31 pm

    Liked by 1 person

  233. 349 Vox O'Reasoñ October 15, 2020 at 9:52 pm

    Oh crap

    Like

  234. 351 berigan2electricboogaloo October 15, 2020 at 10:51 pm

    Did I talk up “my” boy Bryse Wilson a bit? Wow….a big time pitcher, and still only 22, wait til he can toss that curve more on the outside of the plate to righties (worked pretty well inside to righties)
    yeah, that very odd fall by Acuna scared me too…he had trouble right out of the box, and don’t even know why he hit 1st so oddly to cause the fall…glad he seems to be ok…
    lets not give the Dodgers any more chances, ok guys?

    Liked by 1 person

  235. 353 berigan2electricboogaloo October 15, 2020 at 11:35 pm

    Liked by 1 person

  236. 354 Vox O'Reasoñ October 15, 2020 at 11:52 pm

    Lovin’ it!!

    Liked by 2 people

  237. 355 Gil in Mechanicsville October 16, 2020 at 7:23 am

    Great answer game by the Braves last night. 10-2 can of whoop-a$$ opened by the Braves in the 6th inning on future HOF Clayton Kershaw. Just another example of why the games have to be played on the field.

    Any guesses on who makes the start tonight? Ynoa? Tomlin? Dayton?

    Liked by 2 people

  238. 356 Vox O'Reasoñ October 16, 2020 at 7:54 am

    Any guesses on who makes the start tonight? Ynoa? Tomlin? Dayton?

    Ynoa pitched 4 innings in relief of Kyle Wright just 2 days ago; Dayton also handed up some taters in that game. And Tomlin is owned by every Dodgers hitter and their mama. I hope not to see him unless the team is up by 15+.

    Like

    • 357 Vox O'Reasoñ October 16, 2020 at 8:17 am

      For the record, Ynoa tossed 92 pitches in that Wednesday blowout game, so he’s definitely out. Dayton similarly heaved 62. I don’t expect to see him either… which won’t hurt my feelings.

      But Tomlin… he’s a decent bet to make the start. (Lord help us.) He hasn’t pitched since Tuesday and only lofted 20 pitches in that one. Jacob Webb flung just 27 pitches in that aforementioned game, so he should be available.

      This will likely be the Johnny Allstaff game. I expect everyone in the bullpen will be available for at least 1 inning except Ynoa and Dayton, especially if the offense can get out in front. If that happens, I expect Snit to go all in to slam the door.

      And what are the chances that Kyle Wright might get back up on the horse in the middle innings tonight? He only threw 35 pitches himself in that game which I shall not reference again. I think it could happen… but only in relief. And only to start a clean inning. He said he wanted to learn from that disastrous start, and maybe he did. The truth is, we need him back up on that hill with confidence.

      Like

  239. 358 Vox O'Reasoñ October 16, 2020 at 7:55 am

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha

    Liked by 2 people

  240. 359 Vox O'Reasoñ October 16, 2020 at 7:59 am

    Dave Roberts announced last night that Dustin May will get the Game 5 start tonight for the Dodgies…

    Liked by 1 person

  241. 360 Vox O'Reasoñ October 16, 2020 at 8:27 am

    Bowman: A little more than three weeks after making his first start of the season, Wilson gives the Braves what is currently their most valuable start of the year.

    Hard to argue that statement.

    Liked by 1 person

  242. 361 Gil in Mechanicsville October 16, 2020 at 8:40 am

    The fact the Braves do not actually have a starter to hurl at the Dogies tonight only emphasis the importance of winning last night’s contest to go up 3-1. Tonight’s contest is not one I would bet my lunch money on against LA.

    Of course Carrot Top isn’t expected to go nine either. Just keep them within striking distance boys because… Ya never know…

    Liked by 2 people

  243. 362 Vox O'Reasoñ October 16, 2020 at 8:51 am

    Quotes from last night’s game, supplied by Mark Bowman at MLB.com:

    Current hero Bryse Wilson: “It’s a great honor to get to pitch against Kershaw. I was super happy to get the team the win and one step closer to the World Series.”

    Nice hat tip, kid. Class.

    More Wilson: “I think, for me, it just re-establishes that I need to trust my stuff and my stuff is good. I need to continue to trust that and stop being afraid of what is going to happen after I throw the pitch.”

    I’ve said many times that you can’t be a successful starter with just 2 pitches, and looking at Bryse’s numbers, I have misjudged him. According to Statcast, he actually had 4 offerings going last night. I will break those down in a separate post.

    General Snit: “Wow, that’s about all I can say. Are you kidding me? That kid stepped up. How he would handle the situation, I guess he answered that.”

    “Wow” was pretty much my reaction too.

    Staffmate Chris Martin: “He did a heck of a job. He went out there and competed. He wasn’t fazed with the situation. I honestly don’t think he was too fazed he was facing Kershaw. He did an awesome job. It was a lot of fun to watch.”

    … and more importantly he gave he bullpen a much needed break heading into today’s Johnny Allstaff game.

    Opposing leader Dave Roberts: “They’ve pitched really well. You’ve got to give those guys credit. [Wilson] made pitches when he needed to. When we did hit balls hard, we just didn’t find any luck, but that’s baseball. It’s a crossfire and he did a nice job working the inside and outside part of the plate to both hitters, and we just couldn’t square him up consistently enough.”

    Location, location, location… it’s not just for real estate.

    Like

    • 363 Vox O'Reasoñ October 16, 2020 at 9:06 am

      OK… according to Statcast, here is the breakdown of Wilson’s 74 (50 strikes) pitches last night:

      4-seam fastball: 47 (64%), avg. mph = 94
      Slider: 12 (16%), avg. mph = 89
      Changeup: 9 (12%), avg. mph = 87
      Curve: 6 (8%), avg. mph = 79

      He needs to write that formula down. It’s a good one.

      Like

  244. 365 berigan2electricboogaloo October 16, 2020 at 9:40 am

    OK… according to Statcast, here is the breakdown of Wilson’s 74 (50 strikes) pitches last night:

    4-seam fastball: 47 (64%), avg. mph = 94
    Slider: 12 (16%), avg. mph = 89
    Changeup: 9 (12%), avg. mph = 87
    Curve: 6 (8%), avg. mph = 79

    He needs to write that formula down. It’s a good one.
    Yep! One thing though, he talked about using a 2 and 4 seem fastball , I wonder what that breakdown is?

    Like

    • 366 Vox O'Reasoñ October 16, 2020 at 10:42 am

      Yep! One thing though, he talked about using a 2 and 4 seem fastball , I wonder what that breakdown is?

      I suppose he stat wonks can’t measure everything. Shocker.

      Like

  245. 367 Vox O'Reasoñ October 16, 2020 at 10:49 am

    In a post-game interview with Ken Rosensource, Wilson was asked how his game plan differed from that of Kyle Wright on Tuesday. Bryse replied that the game plan, which he did not detail, was essentially the same one Kyle used and that he simply trusted his pitches.

    To me that just illustrates that Kyle got caught up in the moment and let his nerves affect his game. I hope that the has learned from that and might give us a couple of good innings tonight. That would be huge both for the Braves and for him personally.

    Like

  246. 368 Vox O'Reasoñ October 16, 2020 at 10:56 am

    Ever read the opponent’s media coverage? I found a fascinating opinion on this series from the Dodgies beat writer Anthony Castrovince. Here is his take:

    What if I told you one of the best things that happened to the Braves in this National League Championship Series actually occurred in the first inning of Game 3?

    “But wait!” you’d exclaim. “Wasn’t the first inning of Game 3 when the Dodgers unleashed a merciless rain of runs on Kyle Wright and the Braves’ bullpen?”

    It was! The Dodgers scored a postseason-record 11 runs that inning. It was, seemingly, their announcement that their machine had been rebooted and that they were ready to live up to their billing as a behemoth.

    But then came Game 4 on Thursday night, when the Braves beat up on Clayton Kershaw and the L.A. bullpen in the sixth to seize a 10-2 victory and a commanding 3-1 lead in this best-of-seven NLCS.

    So now, unequivocally, this Braves team — a team with a criminally underrated pitching staff and a loaded lineup — has a big edge, one win away from Atlanta’s first World Series berth this century. And I would argue that edge extends to the pitching possibilities for the remainder of this series, too.

    But before we dig into that, let’s point out that it didn’t necessarily have to be this way.

    In that immortal first inning of Game 3, the Dodgers had a window to do something bold, brash, possibly unprecedented and perhaps even a little disrespectful to their opponent. They could have made a move that would have dramatically changed the outlook for their pitching plan the remainder of this series, which at the moment rates as pretty iffy.

    The Dodgers could have pulled Julio Urías before he threw a single pitch.

    It was 11-0 by the time Urías stepped to the mound, 32 minutes after the game had started. In the 1,659 games in postseason history, would you care to take a guess how many teams have overcome so much as a 9-0 deficit, let alone an 11-0 deficit?

    Right, that would be zero.

    So, c’mon. What was Urías doing in that game? He is unequivocally one of the Dodgers’ best arms, and his career-high 101 pitches in Game 3 (a game the Dodgers won, 15-3) amounted to wasted energy. He could have been saved for Game 4, allowing Kershaw another day to rest his bothersome back.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 369 Vox O'Reasoñ October 16, 2020 at 11:02 am

      He goes on to say:

      Well, as you know, the Dodgers didn’t yank Urías. They burned him. And as a result, this is how the remainder of the series looks for both clubs from a pitching perspective:

      Game 5, Friday

      Braves: Manager Brian Snitker wasn’t committing to anything after Game 4, but the Braves will probably just try to bullpen their way through this one. That’s rarely ideal, yet the Braves are especially well-equipped to do it after Bryse Wilson saved them with six innings in Game 4. Of the four relief arms used briefly in Game 4 (Will Smith, Chris Martin, Tyler Matzek and Shane Greene), only Greene had also pitched in Game 3. The rest should all be readily available. Mark Melancon, Darren O’Day and A.J. Minter will have not pitched in two days, so they’ll be good to go, too. Wright (who was on a heck of a run before his brief Game 3 disaster) would be physically available to try to redeem himself.

      Dodgers: See, this is where it would have been nice to have Urías or a slightly more rested Kershaw as an option. That’s not to say Dustin May, who will start Game 5, isn’t a fantastic option in his own right. May is one of the most exciting young pitchers in the sport, with elite velocity and spin and a 165 ERA+ this season. But May is making this start on three days’ rest after throwing 1 2/3 innings in Game 1. If he can’t go deep, the Dodgers’ depth in a win-or-go-home scenario is suspect. As we saw yet again in Game 4, the bullpen options do not inspire a ton of confidence.

      Advantage: Push

      Then he goes on to speculate on the Braves having Max Fried and Ian Anderson back for any necessary Game 6 and/or 7. That does sound pretty good, doesn’t it?

      Is that the perspective of a team that was the overwhelming favorite yet that is unexpectedly facing elimination… again?

      I must admit, it sure looks like the Braves are in the proverbial catbird seat, but I won’t count that chicken until it hatches.

      Like

  247. 370 Vox O'Reasoñ October 16, 2020 at 2:25 pm

    Here we go…

    Like

    • 371 Vox O'Reasoñ October 16, 2020 at 2:33 pm

      This is the “opener” concept. He’ll face Betts who hits righties better than lefties, then tough lefty Seager, Turner, and possibly lefty Muncy in that opening inning. This is a smart move by Snit to open with the hard throwing lefty looking to get the game off clean. Minter will in all likelihood only go 1 inning, then the rest of the plan is a mystery.

      Hey, you gotta name your starter, but not the rest of the guys. Snit’s moving the chess pieces even before the first pitch. I like it. Roberts can’t really set a lineup based on the starter’s arm side.

      And remember, the Braves still get the last at bat in this game. That could be YUGE in this one.

      Like

      • 372 Vox O'Reasoñ October 16, 2020 at 3:27 pm

        I’m guessing here, but it is possible that Minter could go 2 innings if his pitch count stays low during the 1st. Then maybe Kyle Wright comes on to face the bottom of the lineup and can settle in before getting to Betts and Seager? It’s just a thought…

        I will say with great confidence that no Braves pitcher tonight will face the same batter twice unless Wright does find a groove.

        I’m also betting we see LH Matzek again, as well as LH Will Smith. Smith was nails before last night, and will be again. But mixing up the arm sides early sort of twists Roberts into a pretzel on a night when he can’t afford to hold anything back. If Snit mixes it up (see what I did there?) early, and Roberts tries to match moves, they might burn through their bench before the crucial late innings.

        Like

  248. 373 berigan2electricboogaloo October 16, 2020 at 10:28 pm

    berigan2electricboogaloo
    October 16, 2020 at 9:40 am
    I totally predict that Minter, who has never started in the minors or majors, nor pitched 2 innings in a game, that Minter will pitch 3 innings, and strike out 7!!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  249. 374 berigan2electricboogaloo October 16, 2020 at 10:29 pm

    😆

    Liked by 1 person

  250. 375 chrisklob October 16, 2020 at 10:31 pm

    incredible performance by minter tonight!

    Liked by 2 people

  251. 376 Vox O'Reasoñ October 16, 2020 at 10:32 pm

    Now I’ve seen it all…

    Liked by 1 person

  252. 377 chrisklob October 16, 2020 at 10:37 pm

    i alluded to this the other day but this team reminds me of the early 90’s versions of Braves. hungry kids that want the win. no, they CRAVE the win. the dodgers remind me of the early 00’s Braves. they are there because they are “supposed” to be there but they are going through the motions of playing this game. they lack that craving that is so evident on the faces of the braves.

    lots of this game left and there is but a one run difference in the score at the moment. nothing is decided. i can’t tell you who will win but i can tell you who wants it more.

    Liked by 3 people

  253. 378 chrisklob October 16, 2020 at 10:45 pm

    i almost didin’t recognize Markakis during his first at bat. i assume that he shaved between innings before his first AB.. i also assume that by the end of the game he’ll have the full beard grown back in.

    Liked by 3 people

  254. 379 Vox O'Reasoñ October 16, 2020 at 11:18 pm

    Is anyone else as tense as I am?

    Liked by 3 people

  255. 381 berigan2electricboogaloo October 17, 2020 at 6:05 pm

    well, that bases loaded nobody out situation, and not scoring at all (How many times have we seen this from our beloved braves?) could be the series. Hate to say it, but…prove me wrong braves, please!
    And Nick M, poor Nick M. he went from a guy who hit good fastballs, to a guy unable to hit them(and Walker has a GREAT one) it’s sad to watch actually, just no chance….really, someone should be out there instead of him (and as I say this, I know, Duval’s injury has really hurt us)

    Liked by 2 people

    • 382 Gil in Mechanicsville October 18, 2020 at 1:33 pm

      The one thing desire can’t overcome is age. A fact of life, as one ages the bat speed and reaction time diminishes. Even for the legendary Julio Franco… So it is with Nick. At some point you just have to concede that baseball is still overwhelmingly a young man’s game.

      Speaking of youth, hasn’t Pache just been magnificent? I really look forward to watching him roam centerfield next season. Having Acuna in right and Pache in center allows the Braves to get away with having an average outfielder in left, typically where the weakest arms are stashed.

      So what of tonight? Sigh! Whatever the outcome, I will remain a Braves fan. It would have been easy for me to flip to the Nationals when they moved to DC, after all, they are my “home town team” according to MLB black out restriction. Only 90 miles away. All the kids I rooted for back in the day in Richmond are gone, since retired. AA Richmond is the farm club for the Giants now. NAW… can’t root for them either.

      So I continue to shell out the $120 bucks a season to be able to follow the Braves.

      One thing I do know is regardless of the outcome of tonight’s contest, the 2021 Braves should be an overwhelming favorite to crush the NL next season. A crop of absolutely wonderful young pitchers . Not since the heydays of the 90s has the stable of pitchers look so good as what is coming. The bonus is an offense not realized in the past.

      Money is always an issue but even money cannot guarantee a World Series ring. The Dodgers are recognized far and wide as the best organization in the National League but they have no ring. The Yankees have never stopped throwing money at the problem, fell short this season.

      Still, Alec will be force to shop at the bargain outlets again next spring. It would be great to not worry if the paychecks will bounce from week to week. Hey, I have been there and done that. You try to be the first to the bank before the accounts are flagged for insufficient funds but that is maybe a topic for another day.

      In the meantime… GO BRAVES… let’s send Joe Buck back to his LA loving domicile… Trying to explain how a bunch of upstarts from the deep south upset everyone’s favorites to win it all.

      Liked by 3 people

  256. 383 berigan2electricboogaloo October 18, 2020 at 10:02 pm

    well Dansby and Riley need some baserunning re-training…sigh….

    Like

  257. 384 berigan2electricboogaloo October 18, 2020 at 11:54 pm

    so.completely.predictable

    Like

  258. 386 Gil in Mechanicsville October 19, 2020 at 6:27 am

    While I would be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed with last night’s loss, I have become somewhat jaded and feel that after the Braves lost 4/5 ths of their starting rotation, they were pretty much playing with the house’s money.

    Honestly, it would have been the upset of the ages, especially for the TV execs.

    So, I am seriously thinking the Braves will be all in next year.

    Liked by 2 people

  259. 387 Vox O'Reasoñ October 19, 2020 at 11:22 am

    Well, I’ve given myself a little time before coming on here with a post of any substance. I’ve been bombarded this morning with so much… well, I’ll just reserve the word I want to say and just comment that the bible says our speech should build up, not tear own.

    And I’m not talking about tearing down the Braves. It’s the so-called fans.

    If you don’t want to read a rant, then you may want to just scroll on down…

    I’m actually sick to my stomach of all the shallow minded pseudo bandwagon jumping myrmidons with their self-superior “here we go again” and “so typical Atlanta team” and “horrible manager” and “terrible player did this” baloney.

    First, what professional baseball jobs do you hold that allow you to think you could have played or managed better?

    And I’m so sick the word “typical” this morning. What is it with these people? They can’t handle the simple emotions involved with a sporting event and have to somehow deflect it off on some mysterious curse on a city and its sports teams?

    Reality check: it’s a game played by skilled professionals and managed by 30 out of 7.8 Billion people that inhabit this orb. If you think you are in that top 99 percentile and qualified to manage, go for it bub. Good luck to ya. In every single sporting contest on the planet, there will be a winner and a loser. Get used to it. That doesn’t mean that on any given day that 50% of the sports teams “suck” and “are cursed” and “have a terrible manager’. No, it actually means that a defined outcome has occurred… one team won thus another lost.

    And for those that want to call out Dansby Swanson and Austin Riley for shaky baserunning in 1 inning of 1 game, how about going back and lifting up the same players for the Home Run and RBI single that was directly responsible for all of the team’s runs up to that point? I suppose an expression of appreciation would be too difficult. It’s much easier to bitch and complain than to actually reason through a thought process.

    I actually feel sorry for some of these folks that post as if they would not sleep afterward and would have to seek counseling before getting on with their lives.

    I’m as invested as any fan on this planet. I’ve been a fan of this team since my family moved to Atlanta from south Georgia in 1969 and my dad went to work at the stadium selling tickets. He brought home to me every little item that was given away at games, including a full set of 3″x5” player cards from the 1969 team. I memorized every player on that team. I loved the Ralph “Road Runner” Garr and Felix Milan and Darrell Evans and Mike Lum and of course, Hank Aaron. I continued the team through all the lean years that included such luminaries as Pat Rocket and Roland Office and Jerry Royster and Biff Pocoroba. I follow the team so closely that I often neglect my paying job and home chores in favor of researching and chatting online with fellow fans.

    I am not a casual fan.

    Yet, when I went to bed last night, I rested well. I didn’t have a fit like a petulant child and I didn’t pull out my hair and I didn’t start spewing bile out all over social media like has simply become an easy way ignore the concept of self-control with little to no repercussions. I haven’t resorted to a hard drink for breakfast and I haven’t found it impossible to do my job. I feel no compulsion to kick my dog. My life has continued in the grace, mercy, and blessings that God has afforded me. And it’s good.

    So this morning, after sleeping on it and ruminating for a couple of hours, I just simply want to say thanks. I want to thanks to the Braves… the entire team, including the front office, manager, coaches, and even the early castoffs.

    Thank you all for a terrific and exciting season, and thank you for a competitive and entertaining playoff run. You gave us something very special in this weird 2020 year of years. Thanks for “mixing it up” and for the selfies and for making this a team I’ll hold in the same esteem of the 1991 team.

    In the end, you lost a Game 7 by a 4-3 score to a team that ran away with their division and was heavily favored to win it all before the post-season even had the first pitch.

    So instead of kicking a team that wanted to win a whole lot more than any Joe Blow whose post-season contribution was limited to operating his TV remote control, I’ll just express my deepest appreciation and tell you I can’t wait for that magical February 2021 date when P&CR and to see what this talented young core can accomplish in the years to come.

    Thank you Braves… you are special, even if the short sighted emotionally fragile blatherers can’t realize it.

    Rant over. You can come out now.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 388 Gil in Mechanicsville October 19, 2020 at 12:33 pm

      Bravo Vee, I agree 100%. A near miss will make the ultimate victory even sweeter.

      And OH MY! Haven’t we had to endure some awful Braves teams as fans of Atlanta? These guys are pretty special. They were not even predicted to beat the Phillies or Nats by some pundits.

      Like

  260. 389 berigan2electricboogaloo October 19, 2020 at 12:29 pm

    V, there is NO more passionate braves fan than you, and I do respect that, bigly 😉
    and there are many, many fair weather fans that probably never heard of half the players on the team…
    that being said, the playoffs were like so very many playoffs, and I truly can’t figure that out! How does every braves team fail to get big hits with runners on, esp. when the bases are loaded, and no one is out? there is a big problem in the hitting philosophy. Yeah, some young hitters, but I feel like only FF and Ozuna give consistently solid AB’s .
    My Dad just couldn’t understand how I had such a negative vib about the team the last 2 games, but I knew what was going to happen. Do I hate the team? no, of course not! But, I really thought they were so young, so energetic, and the rotation was so good , at just the right time, is that they didn’t know they shouldn’t be beating up the best team in baseball! We have certainly been on the other side of that, right? we have known darned well we were better than the teams that beat us in the playoffs…..so, to so the team go 2-0,(Dodgers had to win 4 of 5 games) to 3-1 (they had to win 3 games in a row against the braves) to hear the Dodgers had a 13% chance to win, either 2-0, or 3-1…so, that made this more painful than even a 4 game sweep, IMHO.
    IF I can find the link, the Sports South guys were just pizzed off, if you will pardon the word. I actually appreciated the honestly, because…honestly, I have felt that they have been cheerleading too much this year (I figured ratings were perhaps down from the 2019 levels) so, to hear Paul Byrd, who was not at all worried about game 7, upset (his level, more a passion than anger thing) Nick, Brian Jordan, and especially Peter Moylan , who I sure hope does NOT lose his job, for having an opinion. He clearly is still a HUGE Braves fan, and was just being, “real” . He made such a good point, he said in I think 13 years, he only pitched 1 inning, in the playoffs. How it’s not that easy to get there…and you just don’t want to waste an opportunity when it comes your way.
    Did they waste an opportunity? I don’t know…They made several mental mistakes, the Dodgers just didn’t. The Braves let Kensley Jansen beat them on 6 pitches in game 6, Dodgers grinded, and grinded out ab’s that wore out Anderson in 3 innings…Perhaps that’s because they have now gone to the W.S. 3 of the last 4 years.
    Do I think they can get back to this position? Absolutely! But, some hot team can take them out next year in 3 games, you just never know… that’s why this year hurts….

    Liked by 2 people

  261. 390 Vox O'Reasoñ October 19, 2020 at 12:49 pm

    I suppose that since the 2020 Braves season is officially capped, it’s OK to begin looking forward?\

    In case you’ve forgotten this team will return the following to the starting lineup: Freddie Freeman, Ronald Acuña, Jr., Ozzie Albies, Dansby Swanson, Travid d’Arnaud, Austin Riley, Adam Duvall, and Cristian Pache next year. Let me add that the current ages for these players, in that same order, is 32, 22, 23, 25, 31, 23, 32, and 21.

    As for pitchers, we will return to the rotation a healthy Mike Soroka, Max Fried, and Ian Anderson, as well as Kyle Wright, Bryse Wilson, and Huascar Ynoa. Want those ages? Sure. How about 23, 22, 26, 25, 22, and 22.

    Bullpen returners? How about Will Smith, Chris Martin, Tyler Matzek, Jacob Webb, AJ Minter, Grant Dayton, Luke Jackson, and probably Darren O’Day (team option)? Those guys tend to trend a little older, but that group is also more fluid. Some like Jackson and Dayton could be non-tendered while we could sing or re-sign any number of candidates. So this group is not as certain in total yet will be anchored by some very good arms. Let’s not forget also that the pipeline will also offer some exciting young bullpen candidates like Phil Pfeifer, Jeremy Walker, Pat Weigel and Tucker Davidson. There are also some guys looking to get their careers back on track like Touki, Newk, and Folty. Maybe they will, maybe they won’t. The point is, there are various talent streams with which the team can augment a fairly solid bullpen base.

    And of course there are possible trades and Free Agent acquisitions. Cue the “payroll” complaints…

    I’ll start by saying that no one knows what the payroll constraints will be in 2021. I’d be a fool to think that Liberty Media will authorize an increase. But I also won’t say that I’m certain they’ll order a payroll cut. We simply do not know.

    But this much I do know. The Braves finished the 2020 fiscal season with a normalized (for comparison purposes) payroll amount of $164,511,144. That is the highest amount ever spent on an Atlanta Braves team. The commitment for 2021 is just $67,559,375 including a fairly standard estimate of arb raises and pre-arb assignments. So whether you’re in the “payroll will be slashed” camp or the “they have money to spend” camp… there will be money to spend, even if not to Dodgerian proportions.

    What areas should be addressed with the team’s finite available capital (cash and prospect)?

    Top priority: the team must replace its DH and closer. I say this in full knowledge that there has been no official statement regarding the DH for the NL in 2021. But is there anyone who thinks we’ll go back now? The genie is out of the bottle. It’s not going back. We’ll have a DH going forward. I do wish that we could have a reunion with Marcell Ozuna, but I also must set aside the emotional fondness and remember that he had a breakout 60-game 2020 after a couple of relatively average seasons. And he’ll be 30 before the calendar year flips. Plus, he has pretty much earned himself a retirement contract with his performance the year. Somebody will break him off; I doubt it will be the Braves. In all honesty, a guy who is limited in the field but can mash a ball over the fence might be one of the easiest spots to fill on a roster. I’m not that worried that we’ll find one, even if it’s Adam Duvall or Scott Schebler. But I expect something more even if not Ozuna.

    I’m more concerned with the closer role. I’m not sure we have that guy in house. Minter seemed to have found his old mojo and has to be considered. Some think Will Smith or Chris Martin could be that guy. Honestly, I think any one of those 3 could do it, but I like the structure the way that it is having those guys along with Webb in the 6th, 7th, & 8th innings leading to the door slammer. That guy should be the #1 priority to be acquired. And that will take a chunk of our available flexibility.

    Next level priority: the team must replace its backup catcher. I think this could be the year that the Braves move away from the “two veteran” system and use a youngster as the backup. I believe that William Contreras will partner with d’Arnaud as he prepares to take over full-time in 2022. That’s my opinion and I’m sticking to it.

    Wants but not needs: the team might want to look at a veteran LF to play alongside Pache and Acuña. Why not just hand it to Duvall again? Well, Nicky Kakes is likely not back, and hopefully Ender’s time is ended. We will need a LH bat somewhere in the lineup besides Freddie and Ozzie. I believe that LF is the likeliest landing spot for said bat… unless that’s how they address DH. Let’s just say that it’ll work itself out in one if those spots. It’ll have to. Every other place in the lineup is set. Dark horse switch-hitting OF Drew Waters can’t be ignored, but I don’t think the team would look to break camp with that many rookies on the Opening Day roster. But as Gil likes to say, ya never know.

    I suppose we should address the favorite topic in team construction… the starting rotation. It’s hard to imagine the team won’t want a veteran to wedge in among all the youngsters. But I can’t say that for 100% certainty this time. Soroka, Fried, and Anderson are locks. And to be honest, Wright and Wilson have shown what they can do when they are given the opportunity. Does that mean they are the favorites to flesh out spots 4 & 5? I’m sure that Alex will bring in a couple of veterans to compete for a spot, but I don’t foresee another Cole Hamels. Rather, I think it will be a reclamation type guy – think of past successes like Ervin Santana, Jaime Garcia and Anibal Sanchez. Jon Lester’s name has been whispered as havign an interst to come here as he makes his offseason home in Atlanta That would be pretty cool, but I believe that the money speaks louder than geography. And yes, I do think Wright and Wilson will have the advantage of having already proven themselves in this year’s post-season.

    So in the end, whether or not the team has $30M to spend or $60M to spend, they really don’t need the unlimited checks of the Phillies. They don’t need Trevor Bauer or JT Realmuto. They really only need a small amount of targeted acquisitions to be right back in as the favorites in the division, and get right back to face the Dodgers once again in October.

    Liked by 2 people

    • 391 Vox O'Reasoñ October 19, 2020 at 1:02 pm

      Allow me to reiterate for emphasis, this 2020 team had the bulk of its success on the backs and arms of the bullpen. AA could not have foreseen a truncated 60-game season, but he did understand the importance of a solid relief corp by locking up Will Smith and Chris Martin early in the 2020 FA cycle. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him work a similar strategy for 2021. I look for him to acquire another good late inning arm (or 2) before turning his attention to the other holes.

      Liked by 2 people

  262. 392 Gil in Mechanicsville October 19, 2020 at 2:59 pm

    Was anyone else besides me somewhat disappointed by Will Smith’s performance this season? A guy who was supposed to be the heir apparent to Mark Melancon as the closer. Maybe it was just the upsetting routine of 2020 that did it but it just seemed to me he was a tic or two off.

    Liked by 2 people

  263. 393 Gil in Mechanicsville October 20, 2020 at 2:01 pm

    Good afternoon folks, moving on with my life after my team fell just short of what could have only described as a monumental upset by the Braves over the vaunted Dodgers. Okay, there is fortunately a next year for the Braves. They were one starter shy of having enough pitching to get it done.

    Having Soroka returning to the fold next season is a real plus. Having the rookie Ian Anderson break out is a game changer too. Now it is just a matter of these kids learning to pitch verse learning to throw. Yes, there is a difference.

    Anyone surprised to learn that Acuna’s left wrist was sore? Too bad he has not yet developed the mental acumen to understand as a lead off batter, you do not have to try to hit every ball 500 feet. Cut down the swing and get on base. I remember Furcal being an optimal lead-off guy. Walk or single he would end up on second via a steal and a sac bunt and a sac fly later he would be crossing home plate.

    I hope Pache was watching Mookie Betts field fly balls. The guy put on a clinic. I’m saying he could be just as good. I would not mind the Braves adding Jackie Bradly Jr either but they won’t. Only so much payroll money to go around. It would be easy to say spend the money, especially when it’s not my money but until baseball institutes a had cap on payroll, what we have is what we’ll get.

    Not having a minor league season this year I think will hurt a lot of teams/players. We know most of the kids making their way thru the system will fall short of ever having a major league appearance. For every Ronald Acuna Jr.s there are thousands of Moonlight Grahams.

    The minor leagues allow players to experience what it means to have a baserunning blunder ala Dansby & Riley in game seven when it does not mean so much. My question is this: was Dansby told by Wash to go on contact or did he go on his own? Just asking…

    Liked by 2 people

    • 394 Vox O'Reasoñ October 20, 2020 at 5:11 pm

      Anyone surprised to learn that Acuna’s left wrist was sore?

      Not at all. He could not drive the ball at all in the NLCS. Sadly reminiscent of Freddie in last year’s playoffs.

      Liked by 1 person

  264. 395 Vox O'Reasoñ October 20, 2020 at 5:19 pm

    Alex met with the media today at Truist Park. As chronicled by Mark Bowman, here are some highlights of that media scrum…

    Alex on payroll: “In terms of what we’ll have for 2021, if I had a number, I wouldn’t tell you just from a competitive standpoint. But we haven’t had that discussion, and there’s a lot of uncertainty. Will we have fans? What will the revenues be? But those are questions for the world, and likely all of sports. We’ll have to work through that uncertainty. But the focus and the goals will be the same. We want to put the best team on the field that we can and get back to a position to win a World Series.”

    Alex on Marcell Ozuna: “Marcell was amazing for us. He was awesome. I’d love to have him back. I certainly plan on having discussions. But just a day after we got back, there is uncertainty in so many areas. I’m not trying to be cryptic or to foreshadow. We’re going to have to work hard to get as many answers as we can from a revenue standpoint, a DH standpoint, all of those things. But there’s no doubt he was tremendous for us. He fit in great, and we’d love to have him be a part of what we’re doing going forward.”

    Alex on Freddie: “He’s someone we plan on and expect to have as a Brave for a long time. I know he plans on that as well. When that time comes, hopefully, it will be the first time you hear about it. Like with any contract, we’re going to work real hard to keep that quiet, because we don’t want daily questions of the players, manager and coaches. It just makes it hard to get deals done. He’s a key part of this organization. The hope and the plan is he’ll be a part of it going forward.”

    A tidbit on Mike Soroka: A little more than two months after tearing his right Achilles tendon, Soroka is wearing shoes and walking without any assistance. Exactly when he might be cleared to pitch again next year remains unclear.

    Liked by 2 people

    • 396 Gil in Mechanicsville October 20, 2020 at 7:27 pm

      Thanks for the recap Vee. I have to reiterate I feel less disappointed with the Braves latest failure than many others. Perhaps it is because I feel so confident the team is still on the rise, not reaching the end of a string.

      I am sure the Padres will garner a lot of pre-season picks to click but it will be tough to overlook the Braves. I am not completely certain it is a good thing to be picked as a favorite but one has to believe Los Bravos will be tough to overlook.

      Liked by 2 people

  265. 397 Vox O'Reasoñ October 21, 2020 at 10:53 am

    The discussion around the Braves after AA’s presser yesterday centers around a strategy that is both predictable and achievable: (NOTE: All money amounts are full season amounts for comparison purposes, and not the prorated amounts the players actually received.)

    Unlike past seasons when all the discussion revolved around pitching, this year’s Job #1 will be extending Freddie Freeman. That is the top priority and must be taken care of before proceeding with the rest of the steps. Many will think that once you re-sign Freddie you won’t have any money left. But I will respectfully dispute that. For one, I have already laid out the numbers for 2021. The Braves are only on the hook for $67,559,375 (including reasonable estimates for both arb raises and pre-arb assignments) for 2021. And that includes Freddie’s current $22,359,375 commitment. That’s the point that most people forget to calculate into the equation. Even if Freddie’s new deal gives him $30M annually, you’re only adding $8M to his current draw. But even that is probably a little high. Most people believe Free’s extension will look something like the one that the Cards worked out with Paul Goldschmidt, which was 5 years/$130M ($26M per year for each of the 5). Goldy was a year older than Freddie when he inked that deal, and was coming off a string of All-Star appearances, MVP votes, and Gold Gloves. It’s a valid comparison. Freddie will be just 32 when 2021 kicks off, and will likely look for more than just 5 years… and I think the Braves will be of a mind to accommodate for a similar yearly avg. So for argument’s sake, let’s call it 8 years/$220M, or a yearly avg of $27.5M. IMO, that is about where the deal will land and it will replace the current deal and take Freddie to his age 40 season… similar to fellow Braves legend Chipper Jones. And in the process, it only tacks on an additional $5M per season to what Fred’s already getting, leaving plenty of room for more players to be added.

    Job #2 will be looking to bring back Marcell Ozuna. The Big Bear did bring something to the team this season that it needed… and I am talking more than just .338/.431/.636 w/ 18 HR’s in 60 games. Indeed he led the team in HR’s, RBI, and total bases. Yet as fantastic as those numbers are, he gave this team a real heartbeat that it seemed to have lacked for a while. And that, as much as the runs produced, helped push this team to within one productive AB of a World Series. We all wanted AA to re-sign Josh Donaldson last season… and most thought that would occur given how well his previous 1-year deal worked out. Well, that same sentiment should be echoed exponentially with Ozuna. He’s even more important to the success of this team. He made $18M in 2020. If you take the money you gave lame ducks Nick Markakis ($3.2M) and Tyler Flowers ($4M), add it to the $18M he received this season, you’re at a very logical $25.2M without increasing a dime from 2020. 5 years/ $125M for a productive DH and emotional leader is reasonable. He could well be our version of Big Papi before it’s all over.

    Job #3, will not be replacing the closer. Yes, you are taking both losing both Mark Melancon and Shane Greene from the bullpen, as well as taking $19M and $6.25M respectively off the books. But one of or a combination of Will Smith, Chris Martin, and AJ Minter can close games. There are several in-house options to slide into lesser leveraged roles such as youngsters Philip Pfeifer, Jeremy Walker and Tucker Davidson. And we shouldn’t forget that Sean Newcomb was pretty solid out of the bullpen in 2019. So rather than redirect that $25.25M back into the bullpen, AA should go out and find a solid (not ace, but solid) veteran starting pitcher to add to the mix of talented youngsters. There are only 3 real locks to the rotation, those being Mike Soroka, Max Fried, and Ian Anderson. As good as Kyle Wright and Bryse Wilson showed they could be, they have to be considered merely competitors for a starting job. And as we have said over and over again, which played out so painfully in 2020, you can never have too much starting pitching. Personally, I think Jon Lester would be a perfect fit. He’s a former ace in the later years of his career that could give this young staff a real veteran presence as well as solid innings. It doesn’t hurt that he makes his offseason home in ATL. Still, it’ll take some real $$ to lure him here. Accounting always trumps geography.

    There will be other tweaks and adjustments to the roster, but those 3 items seem to be the most important items to be checked off on the To-Do list.

    Like

  266. 398 Vox O'Reasoñ October 21, 2020 at 11:45 am

    I believe we know who will not be back and therefor leave openings behind. As we’ve already mentioned, Kakes, Flow, Melancon, and Greene are all most likely goners. I don’t know what to think about Ender. He’s lost his starting job, but could still fill the 4th OF role I suppose… especially since we’re on the hook for another $9M. Luke Jackson is a non-tender candidate, yet might still be useful. He’s as hard a call as Ender.

    As for other goner vets, Panda is gone. Charlie is gone. And how could I go so long without mentioning Cole Hamels? He is pretty easy to forget, but his $18M is not.

    Here is a list of youngsters that I think have a legitimate shot at joining the team in 2021. I’m not saying all will, But I believe these are youngsters could possibly fill some holes left behind by the aforementioned:

    OF: Cristian Pache [lock], Scott Schebler. Schebler is a LH version of Adam Duvall, and the team will be in need of a LH bat. Uber-prospect Drew Waters might be tabbed later in the year, but only if Duvall falls off badly.

    Catcher: William Contreras [probable]. He’s the heir apparent and is ready to take on a non-starting role. Alex Jackson would have to have a monster spring, which is not likely. He is depth.

    Bullpen arms: Huascar Ynoa [lock], Philip Pfeifer (L), Jeremy Walker, Tucker Davidson (L), Patrick Weigel, Jasseel De La Cruz, Kyle Muller (L). Any one or more could win a spot and fill a role.

    Utilityman: Braden Shumake [longshot, but not impossible]. We know Charlie is a goner, and Johan could find himself traded or non-tendered after a pretty mediocre season. Shumake has a pedigree and will be a very good player that can play all over the field ala Ben Zobrist, Martin Prado, and recent Braves killers Chris Taylor and Kiké Hernández. I’m not sure if Shmake is ready to make the jump yet, but it should be noted that he was included in this year’s 60-player pool.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 399 Gil in Mechanicsville October 22, 2020 at 6:38 am

      I am also wondering what the cap will be on the number of players allow on the active roster in 2021. Those will be pitching spots methinks.

      All of the arms you mentioned being gone will find work elsewhere in the NL East. All are better than what the Phillies and the Nats have in their current stable. Camargo will find his way onto a big league roster too.

      Liked by 1 person

      • 400 Vox O'Reasoñ October 22, 2020 at 7:59 am

        Camargo will find his way onto a big league roster too.

        I agree.

        Johan is an interesting case. He has been very good, but he’s also been pretty mediocre for the last couple of seasons. He went from a 3.6 WAR in 2018 to -0.6 in 2019 and 0.1 in 2020. His bat has been dormant for longer than just a slump. He once was an excellent fielder, but he can no longer play SS and doesn’t have the speed for OF. At this point he’s pretty much limited to 3B or 1B, but doesn’t have the typical power production from a corner IF. Because of his lack of speed, he’s not a great baserunner. So while he once made a good super-cub, he’s really no longer as versatile as you’d like in a utilityman. Still… he’ll find work because he does have a track record and there are teams that lack versatility.

        Johan is on track for his 2nd arb year after making $1.7M in 2020. I will not be surprised to see him included in a trade scenario, but not as a featured player unless it’s for a PTBNL or something similar. Otherwise the team may be loathe to pay him $2M+ for his level of productivity over the last 2 years.

        What might buy him another year here is whether or not the team feels Braden Shumake is ready to assume the utility role, or whether they simply prefer to keep Charlie for another year. Charlie is still a versatile guy, can still play all over the field, and would probably re-sign again for close to the same $1M he made in 2020.

        Liked by 1 person

  267. 401 Gil in Mechanicsville October 22, 2020 at 9:34 am

    Charlie clutch suffered from a decided lack of playing time. It showed up in his batting average.

    Like

  268. 402 Vox O'Reasoñ October 23, 2020 at 2:59 pm

    Obviously there are alot of moving parts to putting together a 2021 roster. There is the obvious question of budget, but also the remaining MLB mandates with regard to the DH and to roster size.

    I imagine if things go back toward “normal”, there will not be an increased roster, but that really only means 2 less pitchers, right? 🙂

    At any rate, I think we can figure out most of the 2021 roster without concerning ourselves too closely with the rest of it. After all, we have a young and deep roster that only requires a couple of additions.

    Here is my very early projection of the roster, with just a few of remaining highlighted questions:

    Lineup:
    Ronnie, RF (R)
    MVFree, 1B (L)
    ??, DH [if there is one]
    d’Arnaud, C (R)
    Ozzie, 2B (S)
    Dans, SS (R)
    Duvall, LF (R)
    Riley, 3B (R)
    Pache, CF (R)

    See the problem here? I feel like I keep harping on this, but there is a decided lack of LH bats here. And should Ozuna come back to be the DH, it’s only magnified. Seriously, I don’t think this works as is. And the only real place you can tweak that is in LF. So I am a little curious to see haw that’s addressed.

    If there’s no DH, then I like Ozzie back in the 2 hole and Freddie at 3 with d’Arnaud still behind him at cleanup. Otherwise, Ronnie, Freddie, Marcell and Travis were a beastly 1-4. Why mess with that formula?

    Now, the rotation:
    Soroka
    Fried
    Anderson
    Wright
    Wilson
    … or a FA veteran instead?

    I believe Wright did enough at the end of the season to have an advantage for a spot, and I think Wilson also showed he’s capable. But I do not think either should be considered a lock, rather each still has to earn a spot. And if that competition involves one or more additional veterans, then amen and amen. The more the merrier.

    Bullpen:
    Smith (L) – closer
    Martin (R) – closer
    Minter (L)
    O’Day (R)
    Matzek (L)
    Webb (R)

    First, I believe the concept of the “9th inning closer” is fading away. The playoffs are proving that you better have more than one guy that can come in and get outs when the game’s on the line. Our own NLCS showed that games are won and lost in innings other than the 9th. That said, I believe these 6 I listed are very talented locks for the pen. And I think the other 2 spots will simply be a competition among returners Jackson (R), and Dayton (L) along with a handful of internal candidates. And once again, there will also be some other FA veterans in camp trying to earn jobs. And if Wilson doesn’t make the rotation, he’s gotta be a lock in the pen, right? Overall, the bullpen is likely the least concerning part of the team.

    And finally, the bench:
    William Contreras, C (R)
    Ender, OF (L) —gotta pay him… he probably makes the roster
    LH compliment to Duvall, OF (L)
    Charlie Culberson, Util (R), maybe?
    Better have another LH bench bat other than Ender. He’s gonna give you nothing offensively.

    There is work to be done here. There always is.

    So there’s a quick glance at a viable 26 man roster for the 2021 Braves. Gotta figure out DH or no DH, then acquire a LH bat for either DH or to platoon with Duvall. Need a veteran (or 2) to compete for a rotation spot. Need to flesh out the bench.

    Pretty much sums it up.

    Like

  269. 403 Carolina Lady October 23, 2020 at 4:26 pm

    THANKS for the new lead, V! lol

    Liked by 1 person


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