Atlanta Braves Playoff Roster

Atlanta Braves Playoff Roster

I don’t believe in curses.

I’ll say it again. I don’t believe in superstitious, silly, stupid, bloody curses. So if you do and you think that I’m cursing our team merely for talking about my take for the Atlanta Braves playoff roster, don’t read this. In fact, if you, by happenstance, find that you’ve clumsily clicked and opened this article on your device, and you’re superstitious, burn your device, bury it, dig it up in 7 years, then burn it again, then re-bury. Repeat process till old age takes you.

For me, last night sealed the deal. Not the playoffs per se, but the feeling that I can finally talk about who I think should be on the 25-man roster for the playoffs. There’ll be no unneeded “veteran presents”, no Nick Markakis chauffeurs, and no ABSOLUTELY NO LUKE JACKSON! I’ll take this one step at a time, starting with the pitching staff (along with roles) and move to the catchers, infield, outfield, then bench.  Let’s do this!

Atlanta Braves Playoff Roster: Pitchers

4 Starting Pitchers

  1. Mike Foltynewicz
  2. Kevin Gausman
  3. Sean Newcomb
  4. Julio Teheran

Thought Process: Since coming over from the Orioles, Kevin Gausman has been the ace of the staff but small sample be damned in the playoffs and Game 1 goes to Folty.  He’s flat out dominant right now with an ERA of 1.84 since August (so he’s got the small sample nod, too), and has gotten better as the season’s progressed.

Gausman gets the nod on Game 2. He’s been a rejuvenated talent on this team and if he can continue his ground ball ways, he’s going to be great in front of this elite infield defense.

Guesswork from Here….

Ask me next week and my answer might be Touki Toussaint, but at this point I’m going with Newcomb and Teheran as Game 3 and 4 pitchers. For me, Touki and Anibal Sanchez might be best used in a relief role that could call on them to go 3-4 innings should one of the starters falter. Then again, if Newk or Julio crap the bed sometime this week, things might change.

8 Bullpen Pitchers

  1. A.J. Minter
  2. Arodys Vizcaino
  3. Jonny Venters
  4. Brad Brach
  5. Touki Toussaint
  6. Jesse Biddle
  7. Anibal Sanchez
  8. Dan Winkler

Thought Process: While I’d love for the Braves to role the dice and put someone like Kyle Wright in the bullpen, I don’t think he’s going to get the opportunity these next few weeks under Snitker’s clubhouse, especially with the return of Vizcaino, who’s the obvious wild card at the moment.

The 8th spot was between Shane Carle, Dan Winkler, and Chad Sobotka and while he’s been pretty bad lately, Dan Winkler has some of the best stuff on the team and deserves the nod. I have no doubt he’ll return to form with rest. It could very well be that someone like Carle or Sobotka edges out Touki, but Touki’s stuff is light years better than those 2 and most on this list.

Atlanta Braves Playoff Roster: The Lineup

  1. Ronald Acuna
  2. Johan Camargo
  3. Freddie Freeman
    Ronald Acuna | Jeff Morris @JeffMorrisAB
  4. Nick Markakis
  5. Tyler Flowers
  6. Ender Inciarte
  7. Ozzie Albies
  8. Dansby Swanson

Thought Process: Albies could force a change if his bat is coming around and many things can happen between now and 3 weeks from now. The lineup could shift, but make no mistake that unless someone gets hurt, these will be the 8 people in the playoff lineup.

Atlanta Braves Playoff Roster: The Bench

  1. Kurt Suzuki
  2. Lucas Duda
  3. Charlie Culberson
  4. Rene Rivera
  5. Lane Adams

Thought Process: There could very well be some sort of loophole the Braves can find that allows Preston Tucker to man the roster for the playoffs, and if that happens, he’s likely to take Rivera’s place. If that doesn’t occur, I think Rivera is the play the Braves make in order to utilize Suzuki or Flowers off the bench. It’s not ideal to only carry one LH bench bat off the bench, especially in the playoffs, but unless the Braves carry Rio Ruiz, I don’t see a way around it for now.

Adam Duvall is the obvious omission at this point and truly it only takes one hot week at the end of the year to change someone’s mind, but I just don’t see it happening. He’s a shadow of his former self at the plate and at this point, the trade looks like a loss that the Braves just cut bait with this offseason.

20 Comments

Ryan…I’m getting ready to head to AT&T Park to watch The Braves HOPEFULLY SWEEP The Giants (game starts in 2 1/2 hours).

When I get back and get settled, I’ll post my thoughts on who I think The Braves should select for their 25 man Playoff Roster.

However, a lot can happen in the next 17 games! Players can get hurt or become ineffective or someone can rise up (like Vizcaino) and pitch his way onto the 25 man PR!

Still, I’ll make my ‘best’ guess later today!

Touki would be a starter if newk or Julio were trending down–but since both could be doing better—Touki as a multiple inning reliever is pretty awesome too.

Looking at the names of the pen and its just super sad.

#1 this winter is not Harper/Machado/Grandall–its 3 good/great pen arms and a closer. Enough with the good stories of how the Braves saw this guy at target and thought….he could pitch…..enough. If San Diego can build a pen….please.

As far as the Bench

Is Adams avail? I thought he was brought in after Aug 31st–cool if he is. If not, Duval will be there. I believe after Atlanta beats Philly at home and wins the division–Duval and Adams may play alot of games after the 3rd at bat for Neck so they can work out the kinks in Duval and get Adams as much playing time as possible.

Would Sanchez be in the pen? Could we leave him off? I know he will be in the pen…wouldn’t it be sad if the Braves need long relief in the 1st game or any?

Its so fun to be in Post Season baseball—I try and not look at the Boston roster…or their pen… we just look like a rebuilding team against them.

Soon the lasting pain of Post Season!!!

First, seems like you made on executive decision to keep 12 pitchers ans 13 hitters. Not sure that’s how the Braves will roll since it’s been reversed all year long. Second, your characterization of Winkler as #8 is totally off base. He is, by any standard, #2. He and Minter share the most appearances of any reliever (followed by Sam Freeman). He had one bad game recently (and a spotless July – no runs the whole month) and everyone seems down on him. Except he walks fewer batters per nine than anyone else on the team and has the highest K/BB ratio. I am stunned how people are so down on him. Other than that I have no argument with your pitchers. If they take 13 pitchers then Carle is likely #9 in the pen. My next man up after that would have to be Fried. In fact, other than Biddle, there doesn’t seem to be a lefty long man. You have to take Touki – two months ago I would have said Fried. Having a guy like Touki in the pen reminds me of those darn ’69 Mets who, in the 3rd game of the first NLCS had some rookie who later became a HOF’er (but was low man on the Mets totem pole having only appeared in 20 games and like 10 starts) pitch 7 innings in relief to close out the Braves best chance at getting to the WS between 1958 and 1991.

For the hitters, the lineup is obvious. The bench…… ugh. Have to take Zuk and Duda and Charlie Clutch. I guess Adams is really the only option for a PR/Def replacement. Rivera is always available if one of the catchers gets injured. I guess that brings the choice down to Rivera vs Carle (as you mention) or 25th man.

Also, I don’t think Duvall is a lost cause. Needs an offseason to recover. They will not cut bait because his additional control was essential to the deal. He is still Plan B in case we can’t land a stud OF.

First off, let me say that I’ve been a HUGE fan of Winkler since the moment he was acquired and have made that known on all media outlets, however I’m not sure what you’re looking at in regards to Winkler. He didn’t have a spotless July. He gave up 6 runs and let 2 of 3 inherited runners to score. Dating back to June 14th, he’s had a 4.88 ERA in 31 appearances and has allowed nearly 50% of his inherited runners to score. He needs rest, but he also needs some good games because, for relievers, it’s all about recent outings and he hasn’t been right for 3 months.

I agree on your take with Duvall, especially since the Braves have put some distance between themselves and Philly. Hope he gets to start a lot in these final games.

Just made it home from watching The Braves SWEEP The Giants by winning Game 3 of this series (2-1). I sat with a few Braves fans (I was in Section 109, Row J behind The Braves dugout), however surrounded by Giants fans (who were HELLA PISSED with the replay outcome in the top of the 9th inning when the go ahead run scored!).

I was wearing my F**C Trump hat (for most of the game, there wasnt much opportunity to cheer either team….got razzed some when The Braves BLEW that bases loaded NO OUTS 7th inning scoring opportunity). I ran up to the screen and (being 2 feet away from Adam Duval, who was taking his practice swings while the pitching change was made…initially, Preston Tucker was called on to pinch hit for Annibal Sanchez, however the lefty Tony Watson was called on by Bruce Bochy, which prompted Snitker to call on Duval) said “come on Duval, this is YOUR TIME to make everyone forget your struggles since The Braves traded for you (I said it real fast, lol).

However, Duval must not have been listening to me..because he popped out in the infield….then both Acuna and Albies BOTH struck out to end the threat!

When The Braves scored in the top of the 9th inning…I went to a lady who was wearing an Ender Inciarte jersey and asked her to stand up while I started heckling The Giants fans around me by saying “hey….this is the number of The Giants LOSING STREAK when this game ends” (Inciarte wears #11, lol). The Giants were 68-68 when they began this 11 game losing streak.

Anyway, it was a fun time to be at AT&T Park today (mostly overcast….very little wind..nice day overall).

And to potentially top it off….Washington is up 3-0 over Philly in the top of the 2nd inning! Can a 7 1/2 game lead await us come Friday?

By the way, about 40 minutes before Opening Pitch…I got a pick of Shane Carle wearing a ‘Relievers are people too’ t-shirt. His high school coach was near The Braves dugout waiting for him…I had went up there after getting some snacks….and chatted for a couple of minutes with Carle. He said that the bullpen was rested after Folty’s complete game last night.

I must say, I was surprised that Minter didnt come out and pitch the 9th inning to get the save. He didnt pitch yesterday (even if he warmed up some yesterday, it shouldnt have precluded him from being available today)….he only threw 14 pitches to get the save on Monday..didnt pitch on Sunday….only threw 4 pitches on Saturday. Sure, Venters ended up getting the save today…however, why wasnt Minter available (ESPECIALLY with the off day tomorrow)?

Ryan…here’s my 25 man Playoff Roster:

Starting Pitchers:

1. Folty
2. Gausmann
3. Newcomb
4. Sanchez

If Sanchez is indeed the 4th starter…then that would mean that Teheran is off the playoff roster (he has little value as a reliever, he simply doesnt have the kind of ‘swing and miss’ stuff that a reliever needs coming out of the bullpen come playoff time).

Bullpen

1. Minter
2. Vizcaino
3. Winkler
4. Brach
5. Venters
6. Biddle
7. Carle
8. Tousiant (however I feel that Snitker will press AA to add Sam Freeman)

The first 6 are pretty easy to list. If Vizcaino shows in the last 16 games of the season that he’s the Vizcaino of old…he’ll share closing duties with Minter (depending on matchups late in the game). However, if Vizcaino suffers a setback after getting activated…then I’d add Sam Freeman (begrudgingly, lol).

However, I’d LOVE for Kyle Wright to be given a chance (if The Braves can clinch by next weekend’s Phillies series) to show what he can do in high leverage/one inning situations (dont make him throw 30-40 pitches in an 2 inning outing! Let Wright air it out and throw 12-15 pitches in an inning..then see how he does on ‘back to back’ days).

Starting 8:

1. Acuna…LF
2. Camargo…3rd
3. Freeman…1st
4. Markakis…RF
5. Flowers….C
6. Albies….2nd
7. Inciarte…CF
8. Swanson….SS

Obvious no brainers, lol

Bench players:

1. Suzuki
2. Culberson
3. Duda
4. Duval
5. Lane Adams

I know, Adam Duval isnt exactly a popular choice to go with here. However, IF The Braves can clinch early….Duval will be given A LOT of playing time the last week of the season…in order to give him some at-bats to HIT HIS WAY out of the funk he is in. I know that he’s been struggling…however they NEED a right handed power bat available to come off the bench come the post season….ALSO late in a game, they are going to have to pinch hit for Inciarte against a tough lefty IF they are behind in the game! Inciarte CANNOT hit tough lefties! NO WAY would it make sense to just let Inciarte hit a tough lefty late in the game like that! If Duval keeps failing…that’s something that we’ll have to address in the offseason. However not having a right handed bat on the bench in a scenario like that…would be like giving up, because Inciarte generally has UGLY at-bats against tough lefties.

Rene Rivera cannot hit. If Flowers/Suzuki has to pinch hit and the other one gets injured later on….Charlie Culberson is the emergency catcher (Snitker will have to be aware of that when utilizing his pinch hitters.

Personally, I think it’s a little bit too early to be considering the rotation for the post-season. Aside from Folty, I don’t think you can simply “lock in” any of the others are guarantees. At least, not for me, you can’t. For me, you’ll have to wait until the end of the regular season and see who is right and who isn’t. The playoffs are about hot hands and a hot hand can change the fortunes of a team in drawn out series.

However, if the season ended today, I think you have to include Julio in the rotation. Since the trade deadline he’s been hot. You can’t deny that. 7 starts, 44.1 IP, just 24 hits allowed. 2.65 ERA, 0.91 WHIP. Would be kind of silly to leave that off the playoff roster based on the prior months of struggles,

Just the same as it would be kind of silly to automatically include Sean Newcomb, who since the trade deadline has looked like he’s simply out of gas (aside from his most recent start, which is was great to see and alleviated some concern). Since August, Newcomb has logged 7 starts, 35.2 IP, allowed 43 hits, 5.80 ERA, 1.68 WHIP. If you take that last start against the Giants out (keep in mind, it was against the Giants) those numbers get even worse across the previous 6 starts.

For me, the playoff rotation would be Foltynewicz, Sanchez, Gausman and Julio. In that order. Split up the harder throwers with the softer tossers. Don’t think it really makes a difference, but managers seem to like the idea of it…so perhaps it can play a psychological factor on the opposition for some reason or another.

As for the ousted Newcomb, that’s not to say I’d leave him off the roster. He still owns lefties and I would hate to leave that curveball off my playoff roster when I think I could still utilize him in extreme tight spots….or in an extra-inning marathon game to save other bullpen arms. Same could be said about Touki, who I’d add to my bullpen as well, but to utilize his curve as a late-inning weapon. Otherwise, my only “casualties” of the roster re-crunch woul be Sam Freeman and Shane Carle, but as the looks of things, no one would be entirely shocked to see them left off.

Then comes the bench. I like Paul’s bench a lot. I may be inclined to go with what he suggested, and in a perfect world, having time to get Duvall some starts and get his head halfway screwed back on straight, I’d go with that bench. However, in the scenario where the season ended today, I’d have to utilize Duvall’s spot and get the exception for and carry Rene Rivera. If Duvall’s not going to touch a ball with his bat for two months, I can’t justify carrying him on the playoff roster. The outfield slot would likely go to Lane Adams for his base-running, but Rivera would allow me to utilize Flowers or Suzuki, whichever isn’t starting, as a pinch-hitter late in games without worry of burning my backup catcher as a pinch hitter.

Positional roster:

CA – Tyler Flowers
1B – Freddie Freeman
2B – Ozzie Albies
3B – Johan Camargo
SS – Dansby Swanson
LF – Ronald Acuna Jr
CF – Ender Inciarte
RF – Nick Markakis

IF – Charlie Culberson
OF – Lane Adams
PH – Kurt Suzuki
PH – Lucas Duda
CA – Rene Rivera

Once again. Ask me at the end of the season. Players have another two weeks to earn or lose their spots. That rotation and bullpen could look entirely different if Teheran drops back off or if other injuries or ineffectiveness take place.

Bryce…After reading your post and thinking about it…I’m inclined to agree with your starting rotation assessment (with Newcomb not being in the starting 4) for The Playoffs…IF….The Playoffs started today.

However, I’m factoring on the possibility that Newcomb will pitch better in his last 3 starts of the season. If he does…it’ll be tough to go with a starting 4 in The Playoffs..that DOES NOT include at least 1 lefty starter…ESPECIALLY if Newcomb pitches like he did in San Francisco..in his last 3 starts of the season (I know, The Giants arent exactly The 1927 Yankees offensively, lol…however Newcomb had 8 strikeouts with no walks. The NO WALKS are HUGELY IMPORTANT for Newcomb! I feel that he has it in him to eventually get that walk rate down. While he doesnt have quite the fastball that Randy Johnson had…early in Johnson’s career, he was wild/struggled with the walks. However later in his career, Johnson learned how to lower his walk rate..which, with his incredible stuff, allowed him to turn into an ace. Again, while I dont think that Newcomb is quite on Johnson’s level…Newcomb does have GREAT STUFF! If he’s able to lower the walk rate CONSISTENTLY, which he has at times in 2018 had starts where he didnt walk a lot of hitters…I feel that Newcomb can turn into a potential LETHAL righty-lefty #1-#2 combo with Folty).

I just am not confident with having Teheran pitch playoff baseball…without struggling with locating his pitches (ESPECIALLY against good offensive teams). When forced to ‘throw strikes’ Teheran generally gets LIT UP. He does not have the type of ‘swing and miss’ stuff that plays well in playoff games. That’s a big reason why I feel that Teheran is a candidte to be traded come The 2018 Free Agent Offseason. With Teheran’s 2nd half ‘rebound’…The Braves should be able to trade him WITHOUT having to eat ANY of his contract (in fact, I feel that The Braves should be able to get one or two ‘lottery ticket-type Minor Leaguers who are still in the lower levels of The Minors. Oakland, The Royals, Minnesota…even San Diego, will be looking for Starting Pitching after The Season ends! Teheran is only owed $11 mil in 2019, with a $12 mil team option with a $1 mil buyout in 2020. If Teheran pitches decent during 2019-2020…he’ll only be owed $23 mil COMBINED in those years. A team like Oakland..who plays in a BIG pitcher’s park AND who’ll be looking for starting pitching who can stay healthy, which Teheran can…..wont be itching to trade for Teheran)! If The Braves DIDNT have the PLETHORA of young, high upside starting pitching prospects that are pretty much MLB ready, then I’d be more than ok with keeping Teheran. However The Braves have younger/cheaper/potentially more productive Starting Pitching candidates to pick from…making Teheran expendable (and using the $10.5 mil difference in salary to address OTHER TEAM NEEDS during The 2018 Free Agent Offseason)!

Rene Rivera being on The 2018 Post Season Roster…is pretty much wasting a roster spot. He simply CANNOT/has NEVER shown any ability to hit MLB pitching, lol! Duval, even though he is struggling…has in the past exhibited the ability to put the ball in the cheap seats! Let’s see how Duval performs IF The Braves clinch early and can give him some extended playing time during the last week of the season! We can revisit this on the last day of the season!

Ideally, The Braves should be able to get their current magic number of 10 over The Phillies (and 8 over The Nationals) down to 4 by the time The Phillies come to Atlanta for a 4 game series that starts next Thursday.

The Braves are playing Washington for 3 games, then The Cardinals come to town for 3 games. The Braves should be able to win AT LEAST 3 of those games (preferably at least 4 of them). While Scherzer is pitching against us tonight….Rodriguez and Roark are scheduled to pitch this weekend (plus their bullpen is highly suspect). I’m expecting The Braves to win 2 of 3 against Washington.

St. Louis is currently playing a CRUCIAL/TOUGH 4 game series at home against The Dodgers…which will HOPEFULLY tax their bullpen/give them a tough fight this weekend! Having to go immediately to Atlanta for a 3 game series (ESPECIALLY when they have to play The Sunday Night ESPN game at 8pm EST….should favor The Braves! At worst, we win 1 of 3 against The Cardinals…HOWEVER I expect us to win AT LEAST 2 of those games!

Now Philly has 3 games this weekend against the woeful Marlins (they are currently up 8-0 over The Marlins in the bottom of the 5th inning). I expect The Phillies to sweep The Marlins this weekend. Then The Mets come to Philly for 3 games starting on Monday. Amazingly, The Phillies are scheduled to MISS OUT on facing BOTH deGroom AND Synderguard! I would not be surprised if The Phillies swept The Mets as well.

In other words, The Braves CANNOT ‘let up’ right now! The Phillies could very well go on a 6 game winning streak PRIOR to coming to Atlanta next Thursday! If that happens…then we have to keep winning games to lower our current magic number of 10.

Meanwhile Tyler Flowers just hit a single that trickled off the glove of Rendon…giving The Braves a 4-2 lead with 2 outs in the bottom of the 3rd inning! Scherzer’s pitch count is up to 72 pitches after only 3 innings! We should be into that Nationals bullpen by the 6th inning..which would be GREAT!

As I stated earlier, I would LOVE to see The Magic Number down to 4 by the time The Phillies come to Atlanta! If that happens..then all we would have to do..is win 2 of those 4 games….and Philly would HAVE to watch The Braves CELEBRATE the clinching of The NL East right in front of them…in front of our home fans! That..would be HELLA SWEET!

Clinching the division before the home stand is over (wouldnt it be nice to do it BEFORE the last home game of The Season..which would allow our home fans to see a Triple A version of The Braves start that last home game..allowing our starters to rest)….would allow Snitker to start Adam Duval and Lucas Duda (among others)..giving pinch hitters who will be counted on to provide some crucial playoff pinch hitting at-bats….some extended playing time during the last week of the season. In addition to giving our starters some much needed rest AND Snitker the ability to rest the bullpen AND arrange our Playoff Starting Rotation….it would hopefully allow Snitker the opportunity to give starting nods to the likes of Bryce Wilson, Max Fried and even Kolby Allard (if anything..to give him some confidence come the offseason IF he can have a productive start to end the season).

Meanwhile, The Nationals just tied it up 4-4 in the top of the 4th inning. This is two starts in a row that Gausmann has looked like “The Orioles Version of Kevin Gausmann”! He got lucky to get out of the top of 4th inning after Difo slid off the 3rd base bag when he tagged up to advance to 3rd on a flyout by Scherzer. We need to get Scherzer’s pitch count up and get him out of the game!

I get what you’re saying on Newcomb. I’ve probably been his biggest supporter since the day we acquired him. His start in San Fran was very encouraging, but the Giants didn’t exactly challenge any of our pitchers this weekend. Not even the suspect/tired bullpen when they were called upon. In reality, Newk is probably a lock for the rotation, but if I were making decisions, he’d have to re-earn my trust over the last two weeks.

As for Teheran, his hot streak does contain some cupcake matchups like Newcomb’s Giants start. However, it’s not all smoke and mirrors and stat-twisting. Teheran’s hot streak includes excellent starts against Milwaukee, Colorado and Arizona. He’s been showing he can be a reliable piece in the rotation. If he finishes the year hot, he has to be in consideration to start.

Finally, regarding Rivera. I agree that including him is more or less a wasted roster spot. However, if the season ended right now, Adam Duvall is just as much a wasted roster spot as Rivera. If the Braves are going to straight up throw away a roster spot like that, it has to be to allow the team to use whomever is not starting between Flowers and Suzuki as a pinch-hitter off the bench. Adam Duvall, currently, does not do that. The problem with your most dangerous right-handed pinch-hit option being your backup catcher is that you can’t just employ him at any time without worry. Sure. Culberson’s your emergency guy. I saw that. However, you don’t want to be relying on your emergency guy being your backup catcher in the 7th inning of a game you just tied by using your primary backup catcher as a pinch-hitter. Especially when said emergency catcher is your next best right-handed pinch-hitter after that. Overall, I agree with you that Duvall needs to be given a chance to start some games and get right. The team will be better if he can hit the shi+ out of some baseballs over the next couple of weeks and re-establish his power presence at the plate.

But yeah…as we both agree, two weeks is a long time for guys to play themselves into and out of the conversation. This discussion topic needs to be taken up again at the end of the month with two more weeks of data to look over.

Bryce…that’s why it’s HELLA IMPORTANT that The Braves DO NOT let up…and clinch as early as possible! Winning tonight would be a step in that direction (Braves up 6-4 in the bottom of the 5th inning…and Scherzer is out of the game!). We CANNOT give this game away…especially with Philly up 11-1 in the 7th inning over The Marlins (and likely to sweep The Fish this weekend).

While I’m not suggesting they let up by any means, I do not think it is important to keep the foot down so hard on the gas that the pedal is down to the proverbial metal.

Let’s not assume a win just yet. Including today’s game….if the Braves were to go 4-12 down the stretch, they’d finish 86-76. To catch and overtake the Braves, the Phillies would have to go 13-4.

The Phillies are not going to go 13-4. Nor are the Braves going to finish 4-12. This division was sealed about mid-way through the respective Nats/Phils and Braves/Giants sweeps earlier this week.

But, I get it. It ain’t over til it’s over and all that non-sense about mathematics. I just know in my heart and mind that the Phillies, with that bullpen and even half their rotation running out of gas, this division race is over.

Now…if you want to start talking about running down the Cubs for top seed, that’s a different story. We have to pull off what the Phillies can’t do and finish 12-4 or somewhere along those lines to run them down. I’ve got my fingers crossed, but 2nd seed and the division is fine by me this year.

Bryce…I DO NOT want to see The Braves catch The Cubs. Milwaukee is likely to NOT ONLY host The Wild Card Game..but win it! I’d rather that The Cubs get the #1 seed..and face Milwaukee in The NLDS. The Braves will end up hosting (as the likely #2 seed) either Colorado or The Dodgers (both teams are more flawed than Milwaukee).

True, The Braves, with tonight’s win, have a magic # of 9 now…still up 7 1/2 over The Phillies with 15 games left. However, in theory, if Philly were to sweep The Braves NOT ONLY the 4 game series in Atlanta..BUT ALSO the last 3 games of the The Season in Philly..that would, in theory, leave them only 1/2 game behind Atlanta. With 2 games left against the lowly Marlins AND 3 left against The Mets (while missing out on BOTH Synderguard AND deGroom)…while The Braves have to face The Nationals 2 more times (the Braves hold the starting pitching edges in both games) and The Cardinals for 3 games early next week…The Phillies would have a chance to gain grown on The Braves (depending on how The Braves do in the next 5 games).

However, where The Phillies will (I feel) end up falling short (assuming they INCREDIBLY win their next 5 games at home AND sweep Atlanta during those 4 games in Atlanta)..will be the potentially BRUTAL 4 game series that they have to play IN COLORADO (who is competing HELLA HARD to make The Playoffs) for a 4 game series (right after The Atlanta Series ends) at the beginning of the final week of the season (where bullpens go TO DIE)….then they will have fly cross country back to Philly to host The Braves on the last Friday of the season WITHOUT an off day (while The Braves will only have to travel from New York to Philly after they play The Mets on Thursday…ALSO, The Braves have an off day on that last Monday..while The Phillies have NO MORE off days the rest of the season!).

So I agree, it is HIGHLY UNLIKELY that The Phillies catch The Braves. However, they can make it A NUISANCE for The Braves to clinch The Division (possibly delaying us clinching the division until after the final home stand of the season IF we suddenly forget how to win games during the next week or so, lol..which would SUCK). It would be SO NICE to have the home fans see The Braves celebrate on the field (again, it would be GREAT to see The Braves field a lineup of BACKUPS on that Sunday….having already clinching The Division)!

I’ve looked at potential Philly losses before they come to Atlanta. Some BUM I’ve never heard of with a TERRIBLE ERA is facing them tomorrow. On Sunday, URINE (The Marlins pitcher who hit Acuna) is starting for them. On Monday, Zach Wheeler is facing The Phillies (he’s pitched well in the 2nd half)…however Matz and Vargas are starting the final 2 games of the series against Philly.

It looks like only 1 ‘possible’ loss for The Phillies in the next 5 games…which would mean that The Braves would have to win 4 of the next 5 games..in order for a split of the 4 game Philly series to give us The Division Title. However if we only win 2 of the next 5 games (assuming that Philly only loses one of the next 5 games), we’ll need to win 3 of 4 against Philly next week in order to clinch at home.

Hopefully we’ll win each of the next 2 games against Washington…which would give us a Magic # of 7 EVEN if Philly sweeps The Marlins..going into Monday.

Its the Braves division.
Philly has a hard time with the mets and Marlins.
I wouldn’t be surprised if philly wins 3 of 6.
The Braves will clinch on the 1st game of the philly series.
The catcher rene has to be on the roster in case of an injury. (per cox)
Duvall will be fine.

Andy….have you see the pitching matchups for The Phillies last 2 games against BOTH Florida AND the 3 game series against The Mets? They HEAVILY favor Philly! One of my above posts..details those matchups.

Rivera is A WASTE of a roster spot. We need all 5 bench players to be able to pinch hit/play if needed. Lane Adams is HELLA FAST….we need him to be an option if we are down by 1 run late (or tied and a runner gets on who is slow)!

One more reason why I FREAKING HATE Brian Snitker as manager of The Braves:

Teheran has walked the bases loaded in the bottom of the 4th with 1 out. The pitcher, Hellickson, was up. Teheran get an 0-2 count on him..when Hellickson has to leave the game after hurting his hand swinging at a pitch.

The Nationals bring up a left handed pinch hitter, Stevenson, to hit….YET FREAKING SNITKER leaves Teheran (who was close to 80 pitches thrown) to face him! WHY NOT bring in a lefty like Sam Freeman…ESPECIALLY with Adam Eaton, a lefty hitter, coming up after Stevenson?

Teheran gets LUCKY and strikes out Stevenson (after running the count FULL)…then proceeds to walk Eaton on 4 straight pitches..to walk in a run to give Washington a 2-1 lead.

I ‘guess’ that Snitker’s thinking is that Teheran can face the righty hitter Trea Turner (DESPITE him KILLING us over his short career)…and will take him out IF Turner gets on…and bring in Sam Freeman to face Bryce Harper.

Teheran ends up striking out Turner…HOWEVER with A BULLPEN FULL OF PITCHERS (both lefties and righties)…Snitker should have taken Teheran out when Stevenson came in to pinch hit! Teheran getting ‘lucky’ to get out of the inning with only one run scored against him…DOES NOT make Snitker look like ‘a genius’ manager! From a % standpoint down the line….that move will come back to BITE Snitker/The Braves (kind of like how drawing for an inside straight will CONSISTENTLY turn you into a losing poker player. Sure, there are times where you’ll ‘hit it’ and think of yourself as being ‘a genius’, lol….however from a % standpoint, you’ll lose money CONSISTENTLY chasing when the %s are against you!).

Now we’re in The Nationals bullpen for the final 6 innings of at-bats that we have left. However if Snitker leaves Teheran in for the top of the 5th inning (he’s over 90 pitches now..and LABORING like crazy, with the 6 freaking walks through 4 innings). Harper, Rendon and Soto are scheduled to come up in the top of the 5th.

Why even have those September callups in the bullpen..IF Snitker is going to manage like he ONLY has a 25 man roster? Other than Kyle Wright (who hasnt pitched since The Boston Series)..and Bryce Wilson (also The Boston Series)….we have a bullpen full of September callups who HAVE NOT been pitching any! I guess that Max Fried cant pitch in any high leverage situations against lefty hitters?

What a NOODLE-LIKE/CUCKOLD LIKE/PATHETIC showing by our offense (and basically THE WHOLE Braves Team)..today! I’m like “Harry Doyle” from ‘Major League’: (“Only TWO GOD DAMN HITS”?)!

From the ‘Hall of Fame’ trio of Jeremy Hellickson, Jefry Rodriguez and Matt Grace…NOTTTTTTTTTT!!!!!!!!!!!!……The Braves managed ONLY TWO GOD DAMN HITS (NONE after Suzuki’s leadoff single to start the bottom of the 2nd inning)…..losing 7-1 in EMBARRASSING fashion!

After today’s performance..there is NO FREAKING WAY that Julio Teheran should ever be starting a Playoff game (or even be on The 25 man Playoff Roster)…for a team who wants a chance to get out of the 1st round of The Playoffs! Teheran NIBBLES (especially against left handed hitters) ALL THE TIME! Against a team who has any kind of ‘dangerous’ lineup…if he’s not getting the home plate umpire to call strikes of pitchers that are 5-6 inches off the plate…Teheran is EITHER going to walk a lot of guys OR he’s going to get HIT HELLA HARD!

Why dont reporters who cover The Braves…ask questions like ‘hey Snitker, why didnt you take Teheran out in the top of the 4th inning, when lefty hitting Stevenson was brought in to pinch hit for Hellickson (1 out with the bases loaded…ALSO with lefty hitting Adam Eaton up next)? Teheran had just walked the bases loaded, the score was 1-1. I guess that only Yankees and Red Sox beat reporters are ‘obligated’ to ask anything other than SOFTBALL/HOMER type questions to the home town manager!

I’ll give you AN EXAMPLE of the difference between a rookie who IS A REAL MANGER (Alex Cora of The Boston Red Sox) who makes decisions that 1. gives his team a chance to win games AND 2. who knows how to take advantage of HIGH LEVERAGE SITUATIONS……..and a OLD ASS/Bobby Cox CLONE (Snitker) whose OUTDATED decision making is costing his team opportunities to win games:

1. In Game 1 of The Boston Series in Atlanta a few weeks ago, with the score 0-0 in the bottom of the 4th inning, The Braves had runners on 1st and 3rd with 1 out. Nathan Evoldi had only given up 2 hits, however he had walked 4 hitters and was at 86 pitches. With the bottom of The Braves coming up (Swanson and Touki)….Cora could have left Evoldi in to try and get out of the inning (after all, Boston, by a FAR MARGIN, has the best record in The Majors…it wasnt like they ‘absolutely had’ to win that game, lol).

HOWEVER, Cora decided to pull Evoldi and bring in Brandon Workman to get out of the inning…which he did getting Touki and Acuna to pop out (after he walked Dansby). Cora recognized that Evoldi was LABORING/that The Braves hitters were going to get to him (he was walking guys..and when you are forced to throw strikes…you’re going to eventually GET LIT UP).

In the top of the 5th inning, Snitker left Touki after he allowed 3 hard hit doubles in a row. A hard hit fly ball allowed Swihart to advance to 3rd…and Snitker STILL allowed Touki to stay in and face Mookie Betts..who roped a single to center to give Boston a 3-0 lead (no way were The Braves coming back..even after they came back to make it 3-2…because Snitker TOTALLY mismanged the top of the 8th inning…when he allowed a tiring Jesse Biddle to face a righty hitting Ian Kinsler, who struggles against righties while RAKING lefties…… allowing Boston to score 2 more runs..who put it out of reach with 3 more in the top of the 9th). When it comes to Snitker..why even have the expanded rosters…IF he’s going to manage like he only has a 25 man roster?

A rookie manager like Alex Cora..has THE STONES to take out a veteran pitcher like Nathan Evoldi in a situation like I just described..YET Brian Freaking Snitker has A CRACK-LIKE ADDICTIVE NEED to leave pitchers in too long (like he did today with Julio Teheran)!

Whether it is Snitker leaving in Luke Jackson to face 2 lefties hitters (after he gave up a 2 run single to righty hitting Nick Ahmed), turning what was a 2-0 lead into a 4-2 deficit in the last game of The Arizona Series in the bottom of the 6th inning (just because The Braves offense BITCH SLAPPED Arizona’s bullpen in the top of the 9th inning…DOES NOT make Snitker’s look like ‘a managerial genius’, lol)…OR the countless times he’s let Sam Freeman face 3 righties in a row in high leverage situations…I have ZERO CONFIDENCE that Snitker WILL NOT be outmanaged by whoever we end up facing in The NLDS.

I’m A DIEHARD Braves fan (been one since 1982)…however to see this season potentially WASTED due to Snitker’s INSANE bullpen usage (in addition to deciding to allow Adam Duval to face right handed pitching in a high leverage situation….as well as his CRACK LIKE ADDICTIVE NEED to bring in Ryan Flaherty as a pinch hitter in a number of situations where The Braves REALLY NEEDED a pinch hit PRIOR to Flahety’s earlier DFA) come playoff time..is a FRUSTRATING prospect!

The ONLY ‘consolation’ when it comes to the possibility of Snitker getting outmanaged come Playoff time AND it resulting in The Braves losing…would be AA having AN EXCUSE to fire Snitker (or move him to ‘an executive position’ in order to replace him)…and hire a MODERN, younger manager who is more in touch with how to PROPERLY put his players in position to excel/succeed…AND take advantage of high leverage situations/lefty-lefty and righty-righty situations! I absolutely HATE having to put potentially losing come Playoff time..in ‘a positive light’!

If Acuna and Camargo arent hitting homers/carrying The Braves offense..then THE ONLY WAY that The Braves can win…is to get A BUNCH OF HITS in a row!

In other words, our #3-#4 hitters ARE NOT hitting ANY HOMERS! In the month of September, Freddie Freeman (in 48 at-bats) AND Nick Markakis (also 48 at-bats) have ONLY hit A COMBINED 1 homer (by Freddie on September 5th). That’s only 1 homer in 96 September COMBINED at-bats, by our #3-#4 hitters.

In August, Freddie (in 113 at-bats) and Markakis (in 116 at-bats) hit A COMBINED 4 homers (2 by each of them)! That’s ONLY 4 homers in a COMBINED 229 at-bats in August..from our #3-#4 hitters.

If you combine August and September, then Freddie (in 161 at-bats) AND Markakis (in 164 at-bats) have hit A COMBINED 5 homers..in A COMBINED 325 at-bats…from our #3-#4 hitters!

That SHIT…IS NOT going to cut it! Unless Freddie is hurt….WTF is going on with him? However I BLAME Snitker MORE when it comes to Markakis…because Snitker KEEPS trotting him out in the #4 spot of the order (instead of switching Markakis and Ronald Acuna). Markakis has VALUE as a leadoff hitter with his ability to draw walks.

Come Playoff time…our opponents are going to be SALIVATING at the prospect of being able to face #3-#4 hitters in our lineup…who are ABSOLUTELY NO THREAT to hit homers! Yet, I’m ‘the ASSHOLE” who has the nerve to point out and be critical of the manager of the team that he’s ‘supposed’ to ‘blindly’ be rooting for!

This team has TALENT….and with there being NO DOMINANT team in The NL this year….has an opportunity to go deep in The Playoffs (dare I say, GO TO THE WORLD SERIES?). However, I just dont see that happening, with Brian Snitker as manager! There is NO DOUBT that he’s going to get OUTMANAGED in some critical situations when it comes to dealing with high leverage situations (as well as how he chooses to manage The Bullpen). And that is A SHAME…because I really feel that this Braves team ‘has it in them’ to do some Playoff damage!

Am I the ONLY MOFO who feels this way?

By the way, I ALSO think that Chuck Hernandez needs to be FIRED too! NONE of our pitchers can hold on runners…AND the freaking WALKS….unreal!

WTF is Hernandez doing (other than grabbing the asses of our pitchers when he walks to the mound to talk to them after they’ve gotten into one SELF INFLICTED JAM AFTER ANOTHER with the INSATIABLE WALKS)?

Hernandez SHOULD NOT have anything to do with the development/teaching/guidance of our young pitching prospects! He’s a freaking joke!

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