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Friday Night Championship Wrestling – Atlanta 3, New York 2

Friday Night Championship Wrestling – Atlanta 3, New York 2

The Sean Newcomb Tag Team Experience was on full display last night, and the results were mostly pleasantly surprising. The Mets stepped into the STP Squared Circle for a mano-y-mano Death Match with Atlanta. Newcomb only went 5 1/3 innings, but he allowed just seven base runners on 6 hits and one walk (which we will get to shortly) and struck out 8 to pitch just well enough to get the pin.

The Good Newcomb opened the game with a couple of strike outs in the first two innings, and looked sharp. The only damage was an Asdrubal Cabrera single to left. But Newcomb was pitching efficiently, not getting into deep counts and not nibbling at the corners. That is the type of starter that can, if not make us forget Andrelton Simmons, can at least every fifth day, take the sting out of the trade.

The Braves opened the scoring in the bottom of the second when Dansby Swanson scored on perhaps the strangest play of the season. With one out, Swanson was on third after a Rio Ruiz single, and David Freitas grounded out to third on a slow roller that scored Lt. Dans. But, Mets catcher Kevin Plawecki interfered with Freitas’ swing when his glove hit the bat. I was sure the incompetent ref was going to look the other way and miss the blatant cheating, but surprisingly, the home plate umpire immediately signalled the interference. He sent Swanson back to third, Ruiz to second, and Freitas to first. But Snit came out, and after a short discussion, he opted to take the result of the play, exchanging the second out of the inning for the run.

However the Bad Newcomb tagged in after the run, and gave it back in the top of the third, when he allowed a lead-off double to Gavin Cecchini, who was sacrificed to third, and driven in on an infield dribbler by Jose Reyes. In the fourth, Cabrera collected another lead-off double, and was driven in two batters later by Dominic Smith. It was at this point, with Good Newk straining in the corner, that Bad Newk managed to score the tag, and Good Newk came in and proceeded to clear the ring striking out the next five Mets hitters in a row.

In the bottom of the 5th Nature Boy Freitas collected a lead-off double of his own. Ender Inciarte singled him home. Ozzie Albies worked the crowd into a frenzy and Mets pitcher Rafael Montero for a walk. Montero wild pitched them to second and third, intentionally walked Freddie Freeman, and gave up the go-ahead sac fly to Lane Adams.

However with one out in the sixth, Cabrera snuck up and hit Good Newk over the head with the steel chair, collecting his third hit of the night, an infield dribbler that Swanson couldn’t do anything with. Plawecki then used a suspicious foreign substance on his bat to collect a screaming single to left. While he was celebrating Bad Newk got the tag, and after a brief rally, getting to an 0-2 count on Smith, he was distracted the Mets’ ring manager, and nibbled his way to a walk. The bases were loaded, with only one out…and Oh..My..God..

Is that Dan Winkler’s music??? YES! It is! Winkler comes in and boom – a tailor made DP – Ozzie to Dansby to Freddie. OK, so it’s not as poetic as Tinker to Evers to Chance, but it sure was sweet at that point.

After that, the Braves’ pen put the Mets into a Figure Four, locking up their offense for the remainder of the game. Jose Ramirez with a perfect inning and a third. Sam Freeman ALMOST letting the Mets reach the bottom rope to break the hold, but managed to pull them back with two on and two out in the 8th to escape damage, and Arodys Vizcaino closing it out in the 9th.

All in all, it was refreshing to see Good triumph over Evil. But tonight, the Mets send in the Belt Holder – Jacob deGrom to pitch. But, To Be The Man, you gotta Beat The Man, so let’s hope R.A. Dickey is up to his old self and bamboozles the Mets.



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Newcomb sharp as Braves hold off Mets

Newcomb sharp as Braves hold off Mets

Sean Newcomb provided a glimpse of how effective he can be with his entire arsenal working, while Rafael Montero was unable to stall the Braves’ two-run fifth inning on their way to a 3-2 win over the Mets on Friday night at SunTrust Park.

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Inciarte eyes 200-hit season with Braves

Inciarte eyes 200-hit season with Braves

Ender Inciarte has already positioned himself to enter the offseason feeling pretty good about the possibility of landing a second consecutive Gold Glove Award. But over this season’s final two weeks, he will be chasing another lofty goal — the seventh 200-hit season in Atlanta Braves history.

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Folty exits early, Albies homers in loss

Folty exits early, Albies homers in loss

After the Nationals dropped the first two games of the series, manager Dusty Baker decided to give many of his regular position players a day off in order to recharge. So Baker turned to a lineup filled with his team’s young talent, which provided a spark in the Nationals’ 5-2 victory on Thursday night against the Braves at Nationals Park.

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Newcomb looks to shut down Mets in opener

Newcomb looks to shut down Mets in opener

Two young pitchers looking to solidify their 2018 standing will square off Friday when the Mets and Braves open a three-game series at SunTrust Park. Mets righty Rafael Montero opposes Braves lefty Sean Newcomb in the opener.

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Switch-hitter Albies making progress vs. RHP

Switch-hitter Albies making progress vs. RHP

Over the first six weeks as a Major Leaguer, Ozzie Albies has quieted those critics who deemed him to be either too small or unprepared to make the necessary adjustments to be consistently successful from the left side of the plate.

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Order Restored to the Universe—Natspos 5, Braves 2

Order Restored to the Universe—Natspos 5, Braves 2

Leading into Thursdays game with the Nationals, our Braves had, remarkably, trounced the Natspos in consecutive games. Tuesday our erstwhile ace Julio shut out the powerful Natspos lineup, while the Braves scored 5 off Gio Gonzales, who has an ERA of around two and a half. Wednesday, even more incredibly, the Braves scored 7 off Max “Cy” Scherzer, whose ERA is even lower than Gio’s. And to top it off, Luiz Gohara, in only his second big league start, pitched six strong innings, only allowing one earned run. (His ERA after his first start was over 13.)
I was starting to wonder if I had somehow fallen down a rabbit hole or through a looking glass to a different world. Perhaps the reality I have always known and relied upon is only an illusion.

For Thursday, Dusty Baker penciled in a lineup that reminded me of one of those Bobby Cox Sunday getaway lineups. The Nationals have four hitters with OPS of over .900: Zimmerman, Rendon, Murphy, and Harper. None of the four were in the lineup. Harper is still on the DL, trying to get back in time for October; the other three were just getting some rest as the Nationals get ready for October. The number 3 hitter in the lineup was Wilmer Difo, he of the career OPS of .714. On the mound was Tanner Roark, whose ERA is about four and a half.

So of course the Natspos beat the Braves. Not much to report here. The Braves could do next to nothing with Roark. The big exception was a two run homer by Albies. The kid is for real. Roark went six, and the Nationals now excellent bullpen (remember how awful they were the first half of the season?) shut the Braves out for the final three.

Foltynewicz started and only went four, giving up three runs on four hits. He apparently sustained a cut on one of his right fingers, causing him to leave the game. It’s a shame, because we really need to see if Folty and the other young pitchers can start to go deeper in games. It’s also a shame because Snit next turned to Matt Wisler, who did what he does in every outing—give up a couple of runs.

Still, the Braves just took 2 of 3 from the Nats and finished the season in Nationals Park with a record of 6-4. If only everyone else played the Gnats the way the Braves do in D.C., the Natspos really would delenda est. The Braves return home Friday for the last homestand of the season.



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Braves 8, Gnats 2

Braves 8, Gnats 2

This is a game you really want to see from a rebuilding team. 21-year old Luiz Gohara gives a strong 6 IP with only 71 pitches, and 23-year old Lucas Sims, 23-year old Daniel Winkler, and 24-year old AJ Minter. The offense was highlighted by 20-year old Ozzie Albies, 27-year old Lane Adams, and players who could play a role in our future like 31-year old Tyler Flowers and 32-year old Matt Kemp.

Gohara pitched well in his second career start, limiting the Nationals to only 2 runs, 1 earned. But most importantly, the previous mentioned pitch count and 6 K/0 BB ratio meant his start was very efficient. He’s currently one of the hardest throwing LH SPs in the game, and if he can pound the strike zone, then he’ll be really good. I do wonder if this workload he’s under (123.2 IP across all levels, up from 69.2 IP last year) catches up to him next year. But the bullpen put in 3 scoreless innings with 6 K’s and no walks. The Nationals may be gearing up for the playoffs, but they were still throwing their ace and they had their full lineup in.

Lane Adams has been a revelation lately. 27 years old, has never been given a shot, but now has a .912 OPS in 77 PAs. This month, in small sample, he’s hitting .375/.524/688.

It’s good to win one or two.



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