Braves Journal, The House That Mac Built

Scarred, but smarter.

12 Apr

Braves 4, Marlins 8

There was much excitement today in Braves land before the game, when the team announced Matt Kemp is headed to the DL with a sore hamstring, and the announcement caused so much shuffling around in the Braves locker room that someone forgot to sit down and tell Bartolo Colon that he is on the Braves now, and with that fact comes a certain ability against the Marlins in Miami. This was a grave error, since Colon went out and pitched against the Marlins like he did when he was on the Mets, which is to say, not good. Let’s hope whoever was in charge of passing along the info to him will remedy their mistake before his next start in Miami, so that he knows going in that a little Marlin will cure whatever ails the Braves, and he will feast upon them accordingly.

The rest of the Braves continued very much to be Braves-like. Playing shoddy defense, grounding into double plays, treating situational hitting like it had the plague…really Braving in a nutshell. Colon allowed a run before he got an out, and by the time the first inning was over it was 3-0. He allowed three more in the third before the Braves put a run on the board in the fourth on a Nick Markakis home run. The Braves pushed two more runs across in the fifth, thanks to some questionable Marlins defense, to cut the deficit in half, but Mike Foltynewicz gave both runs right back in the bottom of the inning, pretty much making the game a moot point. The Braves picked up their final run in the sixth, and then the teams swapped scoreless frames until the game came to a merciful close.

Despite the final score, the game contained the most exciting part of the Braves season thus far. A cat somehow found its way onto the field and managed to escape by climbing the centerfield wall. There’s something you don’t see every day. Fortunately for the Marlins, it wasn’t black, so it didn’t benefit the Braves at all. It did generate some interest, though, so maybe SunTrust Park should take notice and emulate it later on in the season if the product on the field becomes truly unbearable to watch.

51 Responses to “Braves 4, Marlins 8”

  1. 1
    Smitty Says:

    This is a bad team.

  2. 2
    sdp Says:

    I was considering going to see a game at SunTrust, but I dunno if it’s worth the $ and traffic.

  3. 3
    Smitty Says:

    I am going Sunday, I’ll report in.

  4. 4
    Rob Cope Says:

    I’m going Friday. Regardless of this slop, I haven’t been to a new stadium, so I don’t want to miss it.

  5. 5
    Dusty Says:

    I will be making the drive down from Chattanooga for the Friday game as well. Trying to figure out when to leave. 3PM departure should put me in the vicinity at 4:30 but I have no idea how the traffic will be.

  6. 6
    csg Says:

    Its a decent team, but bad if any of the main starters are out for a period of time. Its why the bench and bullpen are so important.

  7. 7
    Rusty S. Says:

    One positive note is that the Braves have scored at least 4 runs in the last 5 games.

  8. 8
    Td Says:

    I think it will be hard for us to win many games if 4 of our 5 starting pitchers continue with an ERA of over 4.5, 3 of the 5 keep an ERA of over 6, and half of our entire staff maintains an ERA of over 6.

  9. 9
    gaz Says:

    http://www.ajc.com/sports/baseball/leadoff-how-braves-value-increased-320m-one-year/SVhhnwcYfidlR9PelwQHTJ/

    Ownership: “We don’t have the money to compete with the big market franchises”

  10. 10
    Nick Says:

    This team will not be good until the front office actually makes an attempt to win. Hasn’t happened yet. “Waiting for the pitching” is an utter BS excuse. This is gonna be a pointlessly lost year, and so is next year unless they get off their asses and actually try to build a winning team. That means not having Adonis Garcia be your starting third baseman and Tyler Flowers be your starting catcher. That probably means trading prospects. I’m really becoming sick of this crap. Two years is more than enough! Start trying to freaking win!

  11. 11
    DG Says:

    This isn’t fair to Snitker, the fans, or the taxpayers of Cobb County. Liberty needs to stop pinching pennies and bring home a winner. I worry about 50-112.

  12. 12
    Jay Says:

    Metaphor alert

  13. 13
    John R. Says:

    @12, Is that some local version of The Onion?

  14. 14
    sdp Says:

    Reserve your judgement a bit. A 10-day road trip to start the season kind of sucks.

  15. 15
    Rob Cope Says:

    It doesn’t have to be a lost year. Of the 27 prospects we’ve traded for, only 2 are on the major league roster (Dansby and Folty). When they made the trades in winter 2015, I’m sure they envisioned Newcomb, Ellis, Wisler, Ruiz, Mallex, and Dustin Peterson, five of which were in AA or higher when acquired, would be on the major league roster in 2017. This could change quickly, but as it sits, none of them are in the bigs, and that has to be a let down. It’s one thing to be bad, and it’s another thing to be in the 3rd year of the rebuild with almost no young players on the roster. That’s really my beef. But by June, we could see 3 or 4 guys on the roster, so I’ll try to be patient.

  16. 16
    krussell Says:

    Perpetual rebuild is perfect cover for fielding a bad product and focusing on the real-estate empire. I’m convinced that we’ll suck until we get new ownership.

  17. 17
    Smitty Says:

    @10 & 15

    I agree with both of you. The rebuild was being sold as a two year “retool” and when the Braves moved, they would contend.

    While very few believed that, they did push it. Someone should be held accountable, it probably will be Snit. That’s not fair.

    I also think we could have gotten more for JUpton, Simmons,Gattis, Heyward, Kimbrel than we did. While we did win the Swanson deal (so far) the rest really haven’t been over the top.

    I know it’s only been 10 days and we’ve been on the road, but this team is bad. The defense is terrible. They showed no life in the spring. The bench is full of awful players. We have had a hole at third and catcher for three years, not a lot has been done to address it.

    We have three outfielders who have injury histories and we made little effort to find a fourth outfielder.

    Our rotation 2/5 guys over 40. One guy who is a frequent DL visitor and a young guys who has had like four quality starts.

    We have all discussed from time to time the guys at the upper levels of the minor leagues have some flaws. While there is hope those flaws resolve, it isn’t looking like they will. Wisler and Blair are probably AAAA pitchers. Newcomb can’t throw strikes. Simms is probably a set up guy. Are we doing a good job developing players? I am not so sure about it.

    I think there is real talent at AA and below and I am not panicking yet, but it is really hard to watch this team right now. I am not sure it is going to get any easier.

  18. 18
    krussell Says:

    I’d much rather watch the AA guys take their lumps on a bad big league team in a lost season. I know all the reasons why that’s a bad idea, but as a fan I just don’t care. The best 20 players in the org should be on the Atlanta Braves, at all times. That hasn’t been the case at all for years.

  19. 19
    Dan Says:

    Is it possible to not sell out on opening day in a brand new stadium?

  20. 20
    Chief Nocahoma Says:

    My guess, we have 2 legitimate MLB starting pitching prospects: Allard and Gohara. Maybe Touki.

    All the rest are suspects/doubtfuls. Blair, forget it. Wisler, AAAA. Newcomb, nope.

    Of position players, maybe Albies, Austin Riley and Acuna. Too early on Maitan.

    I’d give Snitker another month and a half to right the ship.

  21. 21
    Jay Says:

    @19 – they’ve already sold out opening day.

    The chicken little-ism is getting to be a bit much.

  22. 22
    Dusty Says:

    Hursh coming up, Roe to the DL.

  23. 23
    spike Says:

    Coincidence or karma?

    http://www.ajc.com/news/traffic/delays-clear-after-braves-foam-tomahawks-spill-onto-south/oBUXp0feUAm9saXXJ0p9YO/

  24. 24
    gaz Says:

    I was always on the rebuild will take 5-10 years train, krussell is probably right that it will take new ownership/management before anything works. Rebuilding through pitching is proving to be just as tough as many of us said it would so I say we should all give ourselves a giant pat on the back for that one.

  25. 25
    spike Says:

    @16 – Rebuilds are like IOUs – the return/good years arent guaranteed but the outlay/bad ones sure as hell are. I don’t like them in general because it feels like management is just writing themselves out a five-year IOU to the fans, and if it doesn’t work, ownership gets new management that promptly does the same thing.

  26. 26
    Stu Says:

    We are seven games into a season that most everyone has understood for a year or more was not going to be a playoffs-ready one. Even if we were seven games into the 2018 season with this record, it would be too early to be talking about 10 years of aimlessness, being right about pitching failure, etc.

  27. 27
    krussell Says:

    It’s not the bad start that bothers me, it’s that they aren’t trying their best to win. Punting five seasons is fine on paper, but doing it with washed-ups and never-was’s while at the same time talking about “winning brass” is just obnoxiously insulting. The opening day roster is one of the worst in baseball. It has zero chances to be competitive. Same as last year. EOF and Bonifacio would not be on a team that gave a damn about winning. This is the same kind of roster we saw through the 70’s and 80’s. Been there, done that.

  28. 28
    Game, Blauser Says:

    Not to be a Sam Hutcheson-esque contrarian, but I think everyone would be a whole lot quieter about the deficiencies at the end of the roster if this team had jumped out to a hot start. Instead of “gross, I guess we’re going to be on the rebuild treadmill forever” we’d be treated to posts along the lines of “Oh man, just wait until we flip Garcia and Colon and Cakes for quality talent and call up Albies and [insert pitching prospects here]. We’re gonna be a force! Watch your backs Cubbies!”

    It’s totally natural to get caught up in the highs and lows of the baseball season, everyone does it. That said – there’s no need for doom and gloom on BJ, especially not based on a bad week to start the year. Things will get better.

  29. 29
    krussell Says:

    They aren’t calling up Albies while Brandon Phillips is a thing. Why is Brandon Phillips even a thing? Because they don’t care about this year.

    I’ll shut up about this year because there’s no reason to whine about what is a totally predictable and expected outcome. Wait until next year! I mean it. Next year is the ultimatum!

  30. 30
    John R. Says:

    Hey, to be completely fair if you look at the numbers, Brandon Phillips and Nick Markakis are both hitting well. Matt Kemp had a goliath start and Freddie is doing well. Jace is doing well off the bench. The rest of our bats are abysmal. I don’t want to overstate the talent of Sean Rodriguez but if he was with the team I think you’d see a different complexion to this lineup, and he was a purposeful addition to the roster by our current GM.

  31. 31
    braves14 Says:

    To be fair, they traded for Phillips because:

    1. Rodriguez got hurt
    2. Albies is coming off a broken wrist and hasn’t hit in AAA yet.

  32. 32
    Rob Cope Says:

    @28

    Yes and no. We’re starting the year 1-6 because spots 18-25 are sub-replacement level, and they’ve largely contributed to our losses. So yes, if we didn’t start 1-6 we’d be happy, but if’s and but’s were candy and nuts…

    At the end of the day, it’s a bit of bad luck (Rodriguez), but after being linked to quality bench bats, the propaganda machine talking up our bullpen, and the amount of AA+ talent that isn’t on the club, it’s extremely frustrating to have this roster. And those spots are hurting us considerably.

    Once again, though, this season should be a season where we end the season with a roster mostly comprised of young players, and we just have to be patient. My initial numbers were incomplete; I now count 13 players who could join the club and look to be better than Weber/Gant/Whalen/Jenkins/Cunningham/Bethy/Castro-type prospects.

  33. 33
    gaz Says:

    Ironically Brandon Phillips is a thing because management actually cares TOO much about the quality of the on field product. By that I mean the Reds made Phillips available so they could give Jose Peraza a look this year who is only on the Reds because the Braves decided they needed a major league third baseman for their rebuild and traded away controllable young assets for Hector Olivera. If they were consistent in their thinking and not attempting to toe the line between rebuilding the farm and contending, they would have never made that trade and we wouldn’t have Brandon Phillips available.

    Just look at all the successful rebuilds recently, i.e. Cleveland, Chicago, Houston, etc… how many assets did they give up for over the hill major league veterans during their 90 loss seasons? How many have the Braves given up? By my count:

    – Wood and Peraza
    – Opportunity cost in trading Simmons and taking back Aybar for the purpose of having a major league shortstop
    – Opportunity cost in trading Kimbrel by packaging Upton with him for the purpose of shedding his salary they were never going to need freed up anyway
    – 4 years of Nick Markakis
    – 3 years of Matt Kemp

    Could be missing some but off the top of my head it doesn’t make any sense why you would make these moves without a desire to not have the major league product bottom out. How happy were all the mouthpieces, Coppolella, Hart, etc. that they played decently in September and lost millions of allocation money and moved 3 spots back in the draft position from where they should have been? Would Theo Epstein have said anything remotely similar about “building momentum to the new year” in 2012? Somehow I doubt this.

  34. 34
    csg Says:

    Hursh up, Roe on DL….deck chairs

  35. 35
    csg Says:

    Sounds about right

    http://www.ajc.com/news/traffic/braves-foam-tomahawks-spill-onto-south-cobb/oBUXp0feUAm9saXXJ0p9YO/

  36. 36
    sdp Says:

    Ender!

  37. 37
    Td Says:

    Saying we are punting this year is crap. We could have fielded a more competitive team this year, but management decided that to do it we would have to sacrifice way too much of our future. I agree with this. We were designed to be about a 500 club. The miscalculation could have been defensively. If we don’t improve defensively, 70 wins could be the best we can hope for.

  38. 38
    krussell Says:

    There’s not a single objective prognostication that has us at .500, except for the homer-ish blogs. Everyone has us in the low 70s at best.

    *If* .500 was even a 25% possibility, then why would you not go for it? Why start the first month with a scrub bench and pen? Why not call up a few big arms? The reason we have a team full of retreads is because management knows we can’t win yet. They are all in for 2018-2020.

    Is this reasonable? Probably. I don’t like it but I can understand it. They know people will fill STP even if we win 60 games. Next year the free pass ends.

  39. 39
    Td Says:

    We are a much better team than at the start of last year on paper. I stand by us being built for about 80 wins but given our defensive deficiencies, 70 could be closer to reality. To get to about 5 to 10 more expected wins we would have had to either sign someone to a long term contract and block a prospect or trade away too many prospects.

  40. 40
    Rob Cope Says:

    WHOA! Two Inciarte HRs, and a line out to RF. Slump Ender!

  41. 41
    Rusty S. Says:

    Book-Ender.

  42. 42
    Rob Cope Says:

    Nice. Top of the order coming alive.

  43. 43
    Remy Says:

    The Braves’ defense will improve. Washington and TP will see to that. Bad start. Nothing more than that.

  44. 44
    sdp Says:

    Ender Incifarte!

  45. 45
    Td Says:

    @43 – I agree that our defense will improve, but given range factors, at least 5 of our 8 position starters are well below average defensively. Biggest disappointment of the off season has to be in not getting a really good catcher, but affordable ones are few and far between.

  46. 46
    sdp Says:

    yay

  47. 47
    csg Says:

    Well that’s a good win. Down late and a good comeback. It won’t be our only 2-6 stretch this year but that’s a good one with another off day tomorrow

  48. 48
    Yaramah Z Says:

    Good win.

    As csg says, it won’t be our only 2-6 stretch this year, but I do think we’re better than this. Offense has scored 4 or more in last 5 games. Get Kemp back, and with Ender heating up, this offense will be a force. And once Cabrera comes back we’ve got 3 plus arms at the back of the pen. That should hold us in good stead for a while.

  49. 49
    csg Says:

    I think getting Kemp back will be a good addition. I’m still not sold on Cabrera but he’s got to be better than Roe and Hursh, so that’s somewhat of a plus. This team still needs Pagan and KJ as bench options

  50. 50
    ryan c Says:

    I’d like to see Kyle Kubitza get a shot at platooning at 3B. He’s off to a hot start and has some versatility. If it doesn’t work, he can likely just be DFA’d.

  51. 51
    Rob Cope Says:

    Recapped.

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