I’d imagine that the Marlins are probably sick of the Braves after this past series. The Braves won the four-game series and won all three games via walk-off. This time, Lane Adams was the hero as he hit a two-run dinger in the 11th inning to win it for Atlanta. This was after Miami blew an 8-5 lead in the bottom of the ninth. That’s rough, but we’re not complaining!
Matt Adams didn’t make it through Sunday’s extra-innings affair. He exited the game in the fifth inning after he gingerly made it to second base for a double. Fortunately, Mark Bowman is reporting that it may have just been a bad cramp, so Adams may not miss any games due to the ailment.
As Gabriel Burns notes in this piece for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, it had to have been seen as a bit of a strange decision for a veteran like Nick Markakis to come to the Braves right as the team was embarking upon a rebuild. However, Markakis has shown that his motivation at this point in his career isn’t limited towards winning and losing and he’s still on board for what he sees as a rebuild that’s making progress.
The Braves were 63-78 entering Sunday. The rest of September will be devoted to evaluating prospects, making veterans essentially an afterthought. Even with the team out of the playoff race, Markakis doesn’t need to look far for motivation.
“This is a kid’s game that we get paid a lot of money to play,” he said. “If that’s not enough motivation to go out there, then maybe you should look somewhere else. This is a baseball game that can be kind to you and be mean to you. How you take it is your approach every day, and to be able to go out there with a select few and play this game at such a high level, that should be your motivation right there.”
Way back in the offseason, one of the hot topics of Braves-related conversation was whether or not the Braves should trade Julio Teheran. After all, there were plenty of teams who were shopping their starters and that seemed like prime time to cash in on solid production and a team-friendly contract. Fast forward to now and after a sub-par season from Teheran, that ship may have sailed. That hasn’t stopped the crew over at Walk-off Walk from wondering if the Braves should still get what they can for Julio.
This refers to a common refrain from Braves fans - including ones at this blog - that Mike Foltynewicz profiles better as a reliever. But [Aaron] Kirby rightfully points out that both the flame-throwing right-hander and Teheran share many of the same issues. Why does one get talked about moving to the bullpen and the other doesn't? I would say for a variety of reasons, but the biggest is perception. People have long felt Folty's stuff was better suited for the bullpen. Nobody held the same regard for Teheran, who was considered a potential front-of-the-rotation arm.
But five years into his career, is Teheran merely a decent enough rotation filler? Should the Braves consider possibly trading Teheran now rather than pay him at least $20M (including a 2020 buyout) through the 2019 season? While many will scoff at the idea out of practice, it's worth considering.
While we were excited about the Braves putting one over on the Marlins for the third time in four games, the people in Washington D.C. were really excited about it. The Nationals beat the Phillies 3-2, and when you combine that with the Braves’ victory over Miami, that was enough to officially end the “race” for the NL East crown, and the Washington Nationals are the first team to punch their ticket for October. Maybe they’ll last longer than a week this time around?
They just keep on winning! The hottest team in baseball got to play on this week’s edition of Sunday Night Baseball, and they went into the game on a 17-game winning streak. With the whole non-football-watching nation watching, Cleveland extended their streak to 18 games with a 3-2 win over the Orioles. Now that they have the clearly-rebuilding Tigers up next, there’s a very good chance that Cleveland could potentially push this streak past 20 games.