It was great to see Josh Donaldson at Rogers Centre. It was really good to be reminded of all the good moments that he provided us.
So there are managerial decisions I don’t understand almost every game, but tonight’s was particularly puzzling:
Jordan Romano started the seventh inning. We are up 2-0. Jordan got a ground out, gave up a single and a walk (there was a bad call by the plate umpire leading to the walk) and then a Ronald Acuna strikeout.
Out of the dugout pops Charlie Montoyo. Into the game comes Derek Law. Now Law has been pretty good for the last month and a half, but....in my mind Jordan is the better pitcher and he is looking pretty good. He’s only thrown 18 pitches. I’m totally against the move.
Law immediately gives up a double down the line to Ozzie Albies. It would have tied the game but, going down the right field line, it bounced into the seats. So only one run score.
Next Charlie decides to walk Freddie Freeman, so Law can face Josh Donaldson with the bases load. I hate walks to load the bases. It puts a ton of pressure on the pitcher. A walk would tie the game. And it is Josh. Of course, Law works his way to a full count. He’s going to have to groove one to Josh. Thankfully, Josh popped it up and ended the inning. So let’s give that one to Montoyo, it worked.
I was looking forward to watching Mike Soroka pitch and, he wasn’t sharp, but he went 6 innings and only allowed 2 runs. 6 innings, 8 hits, no walks and only 1 strikeout. And that seemed like an off night.
He had a fair bit of trouble in the first inning. Bo Bichette, leading off, grounds one in front of Donaldson and Josh threw it into the first row down the right field line. A Cavan Biggio single put runners on the corners and a Vladimir Guerrero single scored a run. After a Rowdy Tellez pop out and a Randal Grichuk strikeout, Justin Smoak singled Biggio home. We didn’t score again against Soroka, but we did get a fair number of base runners.
We wouldn’t score again until the seventh, on a Smoak home run, which got us to a two-run lead again. We should have scored more that inning. Sean Newcomb walked the bases loaded, but we couldn’t score any of them. Vlad hit a weak ground out with the bases loaded.
We had 10 hits on the night. Biggio, Vlad, Smoak and Reese McGuire had 2 each. Bo and Rowdy had one each.
We had 2 runners thrown out trying to stretch a single into a double, both by Acuna. Biggio was very close, I thought he was safe, but perhaps his hand hit the shortstop’s foot instead of the bag. Rowdy was out by a good 15 feet.
The Braves showed off some good defense (mostly Acuna) and bad defense (three errors, Donaldson, SS Darsby Swanson (both throwing) and catcher Tyler Flowers whiffing on a popup, having it go off his glove.
Charlie used a bunch of pitchers tonight:
- Wilmer Font was exceptional as the opener. Just 1 hit, with 4 strikeouts in 2 innings.
- Zack Godley followed, going 3 scoreless innings. He got very lucky in the third inning, giving up 3 hard hit fly balls but getting 3 nice plays in the outfield. Fifth inning he had a couple of very softly hit infield singles. Baseball is weird. He gets the win.
- Tim Mayza got the first 2 outs of the sixth inning, giving up a single.
- Jason Adam got the last out of the sixth inning, but wasn’t allowed to start the seventh. I don’t understand Charlie’s moves a lot of the time.
- The seventh inning was talked about above. Law stayed in the game for the eighth. He got 2 quick outs and then gave up a walk. Then went 3-1 to the next batter, but came back for the strikeouts. He’s giving up too many walks, but he’s not giving up the big hit.
- Ken Giles pitched the ninth. He gave up a leadoff single but that was it. He had 2 strikeouts. That’s his 17th save of the season. Everyone between Giles and Godley earn a hold.
Jays of the Day: Godley (.170 WPA), Font (.098), Smoak (.178, 2 for 3, 2 RBI and a walk). Honorable mention to Reese for his 2 for 2 and a walk, plus calling a 1 run game with 7 pitchers throwing. Pretty amazing.
Suckage: Grichuk (-.107 for an 0 for 4), Fisher (-.083, 0 for 3, but did make a good catch) and Tellez (.082,1 for 4, but was thrown out at second on the hit, and messed up a play at first). Also suckage awards for two fans who reached into the field to catch a ball. One along the third base side who took a ball away from Vlad (while wearing a Vlad shirt). Thankfully, after review, it was called fan interference. And one in right field, but Billy McKinney was able to make the play despite the drunk Braves fan trying to get in the way.
We had 470 comments in a very friendly GameThread. DangYouToHeck led us to victory. Great job sir.