Braves Journal, The House That Mac Built

Scarred, but smarter.

13 Aug

The Same River, Twice, Again……………Braves 5 Cardinals 6

La Vie en Rose. Life through rose colored glasses. That’s what we need. How we need it.

 

You could pretty much predict it. The details might vary to some extent but not much, really.

We score a couple in the first but give them back right away. They added 3 in the 4th, one more in the 7th, that was all they needed. The essential difference with their at bats and ours was simple – they hit the ball harder up and down the line. Just like the previous night and just like they will on Sunday afternoon. It is a cacophony of sound at two different levels that sends its own message.To be fair we had one guy who did that and did it all evening and had just one single to show for it. Dansby had no luck at all, straight at an infielder, but there has to be a glimmer here you think as all his contact was pure, The right foot went backwards about 18 inches on every full swing. What that means heaven knows but it’s there, just watch. But he hit it hard, every time.

Lucas Sims went to 0 and 3 but did persevere into the sixth and a pitch count at close to 100. That helped the bullpen somewhat and hopefully gave him something  positive to take back to the dugout. Assessing his performance, his pitches, you end up with the impression that the curve and change, both around 83/85, are worthy of further refinement and look decent. His fastball in the low nineties does not impress. It has to be precisely located to work and tonight’s numbers show otherwise. 5 IP, 5 runs, 3K, only 1 BB but 2 HBP. But he hung around and did not appear to lose his composure

Max Fried pitched a meaningless 8th inning in relief and took 18 pitches to do so. This, again for him, proves nothing at all. Have him relieve RA mid game tomorrow and leave him out there. Maybe then we, and he, will learn something. 4 innings would be ideal.

Our hitters look tired, the prolonged absence of Kemp is permeating the order. The shining exceptions were the aforementioned Dansby and also Brandon who’s surprising us all at third and tonight cracked a solid homer. Matt Adams is miserably bad and here follows a hypothesis as to what may have happened and is continuing to happen.

At the time Freddie emerged from the DL and took a few hundred ground balls and then played a couple of perfectly competent games at third there were two posts made on this board that day. Both said the same thing. The pressure on Adams to perform at the plate had doubled, just like that. We had all been absorbed with how Freddie would do at third. Once it had been quickly established he was fine there the unspoken focus was all on Adams. All he had to do was to hit as he had been hitting since he came.

And he couldn’t, and still can’t. He’s a mess. But it still made no sense how quickly the Braves announced the ‘experiment’ over with Freddie back at first. It was indecently and apparently unfairly fast to Adams after all the assurances that had been given and Freddie’s glowing opinion of his bat. There is one logical explanation of why this seemed so premature – Adams asked for it to be ended, he was not able to handle the responsibility, wanted back to the relative obscurity of the bench and some LF. The Braves agreed, how could they not. And now, of course, he finds he still can’t regain the swing.

Afternoon game tomorrow. Who is going to hit the ball hard? We know what we will get from RA for, sadly, maybe his last innings for us before the greedy Yankees suck him up. If he goes say thank you.

Hate those Cardinals . Hate most of all the bloated red Cardinelles, the geriatric grannies, still searching for that second husband at the ball park. They have their first safely buried now,  the insurance collected, so they can afford the best seats in their search for number two who will, himself, be nicely loaded. Ugh.

 

 

20 Responses to “The Same River, Twice, Again……………Braves 5 Cardinals 6”

  1. 1
    sdp Says:

    Suddenly, we’re 12 games under.

  2. 2
    Rusty S. Says:

    Matt Adams is basically being Matt Adams. http://www.espn.com/mlb/player/_/id/31359/matt-adams

    It’s interesting to think about the reasons why players vary so much over the course of a season, though. It’s not entirely random chance.

  3. 3
    Adam R Says:

    Worrying about how the Braves will deal with Markakis’ sunk cost, which was predictable when we inexplicably handed him that stupid deal, is not the way to get the rosterbation started.

    If you’re going to be optimistic, do it right. Let’s see some posts about signing Mike Moustakas. You even get Greek name continuity.

  4. 4
    coop Says:

    Matt Kemp cannot give us 150 quality games a year. It’s not that he doesn’t want to do this, but simply that he is no longer physically able. Nick Markakis will give what he has left, which is something but not much.

    If Dansby mans short, Johan third and Ozzie second, replacing the two corner outfielders with contributing bats is vital. Acuna fills one, but the second must come from outside our system.

    Rob Cope is right. We need capable corner bats to contend, and we need our young arms to survive their MLB baptism and fulfil the Johns’ promises.

    Thank you, blazon. Well done.

  5. 5
    krussell Says:

    So we’re going to be paying roughly $50M for the two current corner OFers not to play for us the next two years. That’s *if* they decide to promote Acuna and get a LFer via free agency or trade.

    Just a horrible place to be in, for a team that doesn’t look like it will spend money like the teams at the top of the game. All of it self-inflicted. Nobody complains about it. Everyone thinks the rebuild is awesome. The rebuild has no chance, because of this.

  6. 6
    krussell Says:

    This is coming next year:

    http://www.milb.com/r/video?content_id=1720572183&topic_id=&sid=t431&tcid=vpp_copy_1720572183&v=3

    If we hadn’t blocked him with stupefying bad contracts, we’d be spending that $50M at other positions of need.

  7. 7
    Adam R Says:

    The rebuild has no chance, because of this.

    Well, it has no real chance in 2018 as things stand. Both because of our OF sunk costs and because we gave away Andrelton and Alex Wood in order to avoid the appearance of tanking/ensuing payroll death spiral.

    If everything had gone right somehow, we’d be looking at something like:

    C Flowers
    1B Freeman
    2B Swanson/Albies handcuffing each other
    3B Moustakas
    SS Simmons
    LF someone like Jay Bruce or Seth Smith
    CF Inciarte
    RF Acuna

    SP Wood
    SP Cueto
    SP Folty
    SP Teheran
    SP Dickey or someone like him, with Sims/Fried stashed away

  8. 8
    Adam R Says:

    Following up on @7, I’ll add that this is even allowing for the Kimbrel/Melvin trade.

    I also don’t think it’s unreasonable to fear attendance collapse/payroll death spiral. I’d go so far as to say that would’ve been a good reason to sign Markakis or someone like him in the first place (at the time, I advocated for Nori Aoki, who was signed to a 1-year deal and has accrued nearly identical WAR to Markakis’ since 2015). But the length of the Markakis deal was always idiocy. Who was bidding against us?

  9. 9
    Rob Cope Says:

    It’s hard to think the Cardinals were wrong with relegating Adams to the bench when they had a better 1B. We’re seeing that for ourselves.

    I really don’t have a huge problem with Kemp as the left fielder but with a strong left-handed hitting backup. You could even have a three-headed monster of Kemp/Acuna/Kakes each playing about 2/3 of the cumulative LF/RF ABs. Kakes gets in 2/3 of the games between LF and RF with a RHP, Acuna and Kemp play 1/3 each, and they both start against lefties. Not a bad way of easing Acuna into the major leagues.

    The money owed to Kakes, though, is the real problem. It’d be nice if a team valued Markakis as a $5.5M 4th OF/Veteran Presence, and the Braves covered the other $5.5M. You have so much surplus value in Acuna and Inciarte that it makes sense on the aggregate.

    If we don’t pick up Dickey’s option, then we have about $40M less committed next year compared to this year if they can get even half of Markakis’ contract covered. This team can improve a lot with $40M in payroll and 9-10 players on the roster trending upwards in performance. And very players are set to make more next year (Arodys, Folty, Teheran, and other pre-arb guys). We have exactly 2 relievers making more than $1.5M, our rotation is making peanuts, 4 of our starting 8 are making less than $10M combined, and we can trade from surplus prospect talent to offset salary in trades. There’s a lot they can do to get good.

  10. 10
    Rob Cope Says:

    By the way, we are 4-13 since we traded Garcia and 1-5 since trading Sean Rodriguez. You can’t tell me that’s a coincidence and the FO’s moves don’t have an impact on the roster. Most players, I bet, are not rosterbaters and payroll junkies that particularly care what the FO’s end game is; they care about winning and probably moreso than the FO, in their opinions. That has impact.

  11. 11
    Adam R Says:

    Most players, I bet, are not rosterbaters and payroll junkies that particularly care what the FO’s end game is; they care about winning and probably moreso than the FO, in their opinions. That has impact.

    It probably does have impact. We had played some tough teams in the 17 games before we traded Garcia, and we went 8-9, if I’m counting right.

    But that’s just a four-game swing. At our best, we were around a .500 team. All of this matters not.

  12. 12
    Rob Cope Says:

    At our best, we were around a .500 team. All of this matters not.

    Perhaps not, but I think it does considering how frustrated we are about what is going on. The season had a different complexion before those two trades took place, one of which I continue to argue was completely unnecessary and immediately showed its irresponsibility when two minor injuries occurred.

    There are examples of teams doing what the 1990-1991 Braves did. The 2007 Devil Rays won 66 games then won 97 games the next season. The 2014 Cubs won 73 games then 97 the next season. But I would prefer the more traditional route where a team progressively improves. And I think when the FO continues to pull the rug out from under the players, that hurts that. But it’s really fine. I’m looking forward to some improvement from the young pitchers and rosters expanding. I’m counting 11 players that could find themselves on the ML roster in September, so things will be interesting.

  13. 13
    John R. Says:

    @10, We are 1-5 since trading S-Rod. But we were 3-10 in our prior 13 games with him. Did this man crush of yours start the day we traded him? I don’t recall you being all “S-Rod is the key to victory!” before then. Rob, man…come off the ledge.

    As for “impact on the roster”, I don’t recall Freddie’s praise for the team’s moves being linked here:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/12/sports/baseball/braves-freddie-freeman-sets-a-moving-example.html?smid=tw-nytsports&smtyp=cur

  14. 14
    braves14 Says:

    9 — That is probably a good idea with regards to Kemp/Markakis/Acuna sharing time. The Braves did something similar with Andruw when he first came up sharing time with Klesko and Michael Tucker. But I can’t see the Braves doing that today, for some reason. They will probably eat most of Neck’s contract and give him away instead.

  15. 15
    Rob Cope Says:

    I don’t recall you being all “S-Rod is the key to victory!” before then. Rob, man…come off the ledge.

    There is a balance between “key to victory!” and “let’s trade him for nothing!”. I know it wasn’t nothing, but right now and for the foreseeable future it is. There are probably 6-8 players on the roster that we could trade for salary relief and I wouldn’t want to, and none of them are the key to victory.

    To me, this is almost Stockholm Syndrome. Yesterday, Adams, Adams, Santana, and Markakis went a collective 0-10 and as fans we’re debating over whether or not Sean Rodriguez belongs on this team. In the month of August, those players have about a .600 OPS, but yay, money. I don’t get it one bit. Trade him in the off-season.

  16. 16
    oldtimer? Says:

    5 game hitting streak for Ozzie.

  17. 17
    Putter Says:

    Cakes is just useless. Somewhat surprising didn’t hit into a double play with runners on first and third (although he tried) but then misses the cutoff man one again and allows the runner to go to third.

  18. 18
    Putter Says:

    And that is why you are no longer the closer Jim Johnson

  19. 19
    cliff Says:

    Etta James can start singing now.

  20. 20
    Rusty S. Says:

    Recapped.

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