The Braves are 3-3 under Snitker. They’ll take that

Atlanta Braves interim manager Brian Snitker stands in the dugout before a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Pittsburgh, Tuesday, May 17, 2016. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Snitker the skipper. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Don’t misinterpret that headline. The Atlanta Braves won’t play .500 ball the rest of the season. They’re still a substandard big-league team. And it’s possible this flurry — if 3-3 can be so deemed — under a new manager is nothing more than what’s known on Wall Street as a dead-cat bounce. (As opposed to a real bounce, or a live cat.)

Still: When you’re 9-28 and you haven’t won a series in a calendar month, 3-3 with a series win constitutes progress, if not quite cause for utter glee. When you’re 9-28, your season is gone. (You’d have to win 19 in a row, which ain’t happening, just to reach .500.) But — apologies for quoting myself here — a managerial change can be less about the manager than about change. Sometimes a slightly different voice can yield slightly different results.

The Braves will gladly settle for being slightly better, which has happened, albeit in the smallest of sample sizes. They just won their first series in a calendar month. (Also consecutive games for the first time in a calendar month.) This isn’t to say they couldn’t have gone 3-3 to close the week with Fredi Gonzalez still managing, but that’s now unknowable. What’s known is that they went 3-3 against two plus.-500 teams with Brian Snitker making out the lineup card and giving Daniel Castro three starts at shortstop — he’d had five this season under the previous manager — and moving Nick Markakis down in the order.

Let no one believe that Castro-at-SS has become to the Braves what Alcides-Escobar-hitting-leadoff has been to the Royals: The three losses post-Fredi came with Castro starting at shortstop. And while Markakis not hitting leadoff might have had a small effect on the rest of the Braves’ lineup, he has gone 4-for-27 since the change — batting second, fourth and fifth — and has seen his batting average dip to .245. He does have three RBIs and his first home run of the season, though.

At this point, the Braves will take whatever whatever they can get however they get it. They’re still probably going to lose 100 games. They’d have to go 51-68 for that not to happen, and I doubt this team can play .432 ball from here on. But here’s what was also known: Over their final 115 games under Fredi G., the Braves were 34-81; that was .296 ball.

Super fun reading:

Now hear this: The Braves’ plan has not failed.

So how are the Phillies 24-17 and the Braves 10-30?

A fascinating podcast sheds light on the Braves’ John Coppolella.

The Braves can now pick a manager who fits.

The Braves fire Fredi Gonzalez, and it had to happen.

The Braves stink. Their young pitchers do not.

The Braves had a pretty good week. They won twice.

An exercise: Could the Braves trade for Mike Trout?

Who’s going as bad as the Braves? Ex-Brave Justin Upton.

Here’s why I’d rather be the Braves than the Hawks.

If the Braves are “battling,” what would their record be if they quit?

The Cubs won seven games last week. The Braves have won seven this season.

One thing the Braves do well — sell high.

Did the Braves sell high on Shelby Miller or what?

Credit the Braves for trying stuff. Lots of stuff, actually.

For the 4-17 Braves, there’s really no choice but to fire Fredi G.

Braves at 4-16: We’ve see it before (though not lately)

The Braves just played a riveting game. Didn’t win, but still …

The Braves can’t respond to losing by rushing their prospects.

10 not-so-fun facts about the not-so-hot Braves.

We ask again: What has happened to Julio Teheran?

A drop and a bullpen flop put a stop to the Braves’ winning streak.

Progress! The Braves are giving us moments.

Fredi G. and the four-out save: It’s getting weird, folks.

Fredi is managing as if he wants to be fired.

At 0-7, the Fredi Gonzalez Watch is officially on.

A word to Braves fans: Don’t get discouraged.

These Braves weren’t built to win. Good thing, seeing that they’re 0-5.

Trust the process? The Braves absolutely do.

Reader Comments 0

15 comments
TideDawg
TideDawg

Sports writers are great. They can cover any sporting event and make it sound world class. Blogging and venting is their specialty sport. Today they write what 30% of the fans want to read....tomorrow they write what another 30% want to read......the next day another 30%. Every angle is covered...Fire Fredi....Don't fire Fredi....Right way to fire Fredi....Wrong way to fire Fredi.....Bring up Albies.....Don't bring up Albies, and on and on for the entire MLB season. They get on the horse that's the favorite. They are lane changers. You're wondering about the other 10%? They don't give a rip what is written. Do I read their articles......of course I do. It's part of the morning coffee ritual.

TOJacket
TOJacket

Have they given him an extension yet?

TideDawg
TideDawg

Two positive things.....I'd rather listen to an interview with Snitker than with FG. Also, it appears that there is a better attitude/enthusiasm in the dugout. That doesn't mean they will play .500 ball for the rest of the season but it does mean there was something lacking in the way FG handled the team.

TideDawg
TideDawg

Yeah! It's only 6 games. Would you feel better if they were 0-6?

Antoine Averill
Antoine Averill

No one care about Cobb county Braves any more . Atlanta should Lobby for thier own baseball team. The metro area have grow large enough to host two major league teams.

Lewwy Stronghold
Lewwy Stronghold

Yeah!! Lets go to the hood and take a chance on getting robbed to see the Braves lose!!

Barry Pendry
Barry Pendry

That’s not true at all...they haven’t supported the Braves for the last 15 years.....They never even sold out a playoff game......The reason they are moving to Cobb Country is their research showed that’s where their biggest fan base is.

Michael Dillinger
Michael Dillinger

This is wrong on so many levels. We couldn't even fill Turner Field on a good day, so the idea that Atlanta could support two MLB teams is asinine.

FineousMcDirtyBird
FineousMcDirtyBird

I'm not sure what Fredi did to you, Mark, but you can give it a damn rest. He was fired, the team still stinks to high Heavan, let it the F go.

DrTruth
DrTruth

2 out of 3 of those wins came against the Phillies, who are the statistical equals of the Braves, more or less.  Nothing to brag about.

The problem with this whole rebuild is nobody is asking why Hart & Coppy can't put a competitive team on the field DURING the rebuild.  Why does it have to be one (rebuild) or the other (competitive team now)?  Because John Hart says so?

Face it, when John Hart tells fans and season ticket holders that the Braves are going to field a competitive team, but the team payroll is 26th out of 30 teams, then Hart's either not serious about what he's been telling everyone or he's just flat out lying.

Telling fans that they have to be patient and endure what is basically a minor league team playing against major league teams until prospects are ready to move up is pretty much calling Braves fans idiots.  With the exception of the Olivera disaster, Hart has been consumed with reducing payroll and even eating contracts of veterans (Bourn, Swisher) instead of expanding payroll to be competitive during the period when prospects are obviously not a drain on payroll dollars.

Watch how much the Braves spend or how much they unload as the trade deadline nears.  That's all you need to know about the near future of this team.


Stinger2
Stinger2

Mark: Who is next? You have been on a roll lately. Mark Richt, Brian Gregory and Fredi are gone thanks (in part at least) to your

strongly worded recommendations to fire them. Of course, you have the right to write anything you want as your bosses permit. The point of my observation is to say simply: I sincerely hope you never have to experience the same situation in your life.

slydawg
slydawg

@Stinger2 And he should continue being "on a roll" until this town can get a coach who cares about winning a championship as much as they care the well-being of the players. It's been too much of the latter that is not balanced out by the former. They just want to do "well", yet I can't remember any of those 3 actually saying the word "competitve", not to mention "national" or "world" championship. Pretty sure they have said it a few times but that's not what folks remember around here unless they recorded every press conference. There is no doubt about the seriousness of their respective trades coming from CPJ or CKS....