The Braves lose two games, but the day wasn’t half-bad

The bright spot on a doubly losing day. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

The Atlanta Braves lost a doubleheader Saturday by the aggregate score of 14-2. Were they anything close to being a contender, we’d be wringing hands and gnashing teeth. But they aren’t, so why bother? A few thoughts on the long day at STP:

By winning twice, the Mets nosed into second place in the National League East. It would be a shock if the Mets don’t finish ahead of the Braves. The latter club is without Freddie Freeman, which is a big deal; the former has been missing much of its roster, which is even bigger.

Noah Syndergaard and closer Jeurys Famila mightn’t pitch again this season. Asdrubal Cabrera, Wilmer Flores, Travis d’Arnaud and Lucas Duda have spent time on the disabled list. Steven Matz made his first big-league start of the season in Game 2 and went seven tidy innings. Yoenis Cespedes played for the first time since April 28 in Game 1 and hit a grand slam off Luke Jackson.

Even if Thor doesn’t return, the Mets could make a push for the second wild card. (As we know, the NL East is awful.) As of Saturday morning, FanGraphs listed the Mets’ playoff odds at 12.8 percent; the Braves, who technically were 1 1/2 games ahead of the Mets, were given odds of 0.3 percent. The New Yorkers have enough talent to make a push; the Cobb Countians do not and will soon start to sell off veterans.

Matt Wisler might never be quite good enough. It wasn’t so long ago that we considered Wisler almost a fixture in the Braves’ admittedly flimsy rotation. His ERA as of May 31, 2016, was 3.16. As of July 28, it 5.16 and he was headed to Gwinnett. He hasn’t been the same since.

He started Game 2 and wasn’t awful. He was one pitch from getting through five innings without yielding a run. Alas, he walked Michael Conforto on a 3-2 pitch with two out. Then Jose Reyes singled to center, a ball Danny Santana — in for Ender Inciarte — bobbled. Wilser fell behind Jay Bruce 2-0 and tried a slow curve. Bruce’s three-run homer tore out a row of seats down the right-field line.

Wisler’s line: Six innings, four earned runs, six hits, three walks, seven strikeouts. He’d looked better than he had in some relief turns here, but he paled in comparison to the young pitcher who’d worked Game 1 for the Braves. Mike Foltynewicz passed Wisler in the Young Pitcher Pecking Order last summer, and Sean Newcomb could soon do the same. Will there ever again be a place for the Wiz in this rotation?

— Not sure what Brian Snitker was doing in Game 1. Jackson had been lucky to escape the eighth inning with only one run allowed. He hit Conforto with a pitch. Cespedes lined a hard single to left. Wilmer Flores drove a ball into the gap in right-center than Inciarte ran down. Against teams that don’t have Inciarte, that one rolls to the wall and it’s 3-0 and the game is gone.

Brandon Phillips’ homer in the bottom of the inning made it 2-1. Snitker allowed Jackson to keep working. I guess he was trying to save his bullpen, which needed five men to cover three innings Friday night and was facing the unknown of what Saturday’s second game might bring, but against an opponent missing its closer — the Mets had to bring Addison Reed, the best of what remains, for the final two outs of the eighth — this was still a winnable game.

Jackson plunked Neil Walker. (That made two HBPs in the span of eight batters.) Juan Lagares doubled to short left. Men on second and third, one out. Snitker had Jackson walk Conforto on purpose to get to Cespedes. Yes, it made it righty-against-righty — Conforto hits left-handed — and set up a double play, but still: Cespedes had just singled off Walker an inning earlier, and he doesn’t bat third for nothing. On cue, he launched a grand slam to left-center. The game was winnable no more.

–The post-Freeman sag has begun. The Braves have scored eight runs in their past four games. The Mets made three errors in Game 1 — two by Cabrera in the first inning — and the Braves couldn’t make anything of them. Matt Adams, who had five hits and three homers in the final two games in Cincinnati last weekend, is 6-for-25 over the past six games. Matt Kemp is 10-for-36 with one RBI in June.

We knew it was bound to happen. Well, here it is.

— On the other hand, Sean Newcomb was really, really goodThat was Saturday’s big news. In the grand scheme of the Braves’ rebuild, it was the only news that mattered.

Reader Comments 0

18 comments
David McCallum
David McCallum

Please don't put too much pressure on this young man. Pitching is a crap shoot. He had a good outing if he bombs the next time out, please don't read much into it. Braves fans, you're bigger concern should be Julio Tehran - forget Bartolo Colon. He's a stop gap. The Mets got fortunate with him last season. 

UnbiasedObserver
UnbiasedObserver

I had been seriously considering attending the game this Sunday vs Marlins with my kids for Fathers Day. Then checked the ticket prices + parking and the value of the product that I get...


Ive decided not to go.    


Goodbye Braves.

UnbiasedObserver
UnbiasedObserver

No one cares much anymore...



When does football season start?

Bug
Bug

the wiz gives you a chance to win even giving up 5 runs a game, which is actually 3 less than the pig with lipstick Colon.

MariellaW.Mattson
MariellaW.Mattson

  our classmate's ex wife makes 83 an hour from home... she's been without a job for nine months. the previous month her check was 14315 working at home 5 hours each day. go to this link

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>www.99rprofits.com

patriotdog
patriotdog

Having sat in STP Friday night (spectacular park, traffic issues were minor) five pitchers were not needed to get through three innings. For some reason, the post Mazzone/Cox coaching staff cannot seem to refrain from abusing their relievers. Once the sixth or seventh inning rolls around, the lefty/righty concern takes on monumental stature not seen in the first five innings.

Baffling. I thought it was McDowell, but clearly it's not.

Vanna Flanders
Vanna Flanders

@patriotdog


our classmate's ex wife makes 61 an hour on the internet... she has been fired from work for 11 months and last month her pay was 20119 working from home a few hours every week. go to this page

●▬▬▬▬ஜ http://bit.ly/2n0UMEஜ▬▬▬▬●

geemani
geemani

The problem on the field is the result of bad management off the field. From scouting, player development and terrible business decisions!

DawgNole
DawgNole

"The Braves lose two games, but the day wasn’t half-bad"

________________

And THAT says it all about the mentality of ATL pro sports.

A Culture of Losing!

Toby Allen04
Toby Allen04

Saw a billboard touting a Braves game in July as "Christmas in July". Yeah, It'll be Christmas all right....for the charlatans at Liberty Media and their wallet-vacuuming real estate venture. More smoke and mirrors to sucker the locals. The 'bright future' will be a perpetual scam by these schysters

DawgNole
DawgNole

@Toby Allen04

They've had that "bright future" for 52 seasons. Only ONCE has it materialized--and that was 22 years ago.

Is this level of abject failure in terms of championship play acceptable in ATL?

One certainly would hope not, but a history with only ONE championship in 170-plus seasons of pro sports competition clearly tells us otherwise.

patriotdog
patriotdog

Don't forget two monumental collapses. '95 Series & '17 Super Bowl.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@patriotdog

I only wish I could forget.

You must mean the '96 WS, though. Braves won it all--for the one and only time in ATL--in '95.

midtown-Mark
midtown-Mark

The players seem to love playing for Snitker which is a good thing.  But he doesn't strike me as being particularly strong in the critical thinking department.  I think baseball is a good part a numbers game and the ability to quickly process probability is a skill that increasingly few managers seem to have.  I thought Bobby Cox was absolutely atrocious in the critical thinking department, but that incredible starting pitching staff covered for a lot of tactical and situational mistakes, at least during the regular season.  Come playoff time, Cox's shortcomings in that area were not so easily covered up by that pitching staff, with the result being the Braves losing several post season series that they probably would have won if not for Cox's atrocious tactical and situational management.  If I was the owner of a baseball team, I would go down to the local chess club and hire a chess master who follows baseball -- and have this chess master be a bench coach who did nothing more than whisper in the ear of the manager when the manager was about to do something dumb.  I honestly think that would be worth 5 net wins a year during the regular season, and in post season, could be the difference between losing a series or winning it.  

kevkat
kevkat

Sean was good but it's only one game, let's not anoint him the next
Clayton Kershaw just yet.  I agree with the Snitker comment, he has made some bad pitching decisions since taking over.  And Wisler's done. Well , maybe keep him down in the minors. But the kid Sean is encouraging.

grh0317
grh0317

It was a disaster as the Braves are AGAIN worthless!