The Braves picked up their fourth consecutive victory over the Mets in dramatic fashion last night. In the bottom of the seventh inning, the Braves had a chance to tie the game at three when Emilio Bonifacio tried to score on a sacrifice fly. He appeared to beat the throw home on a close play, but was called out and the call was "confirmed" on replay. The Braves were livid, and Brian Snitker was thrown out. However, Adonis Garcia stepped up in the very next inning and blasted a two-run shot into the left field seats to put the Braves ahead for good.
The trade machine is heating up when it comes to the Braves. Julio Teheran has always been a big name for trade talks, and that’s only going to heat up as he continues to pitch well this season. Meanwhile, Bud Norris is attracting trade interest from the Marlins, and Arodys Vizcaino might be the one player who’s receiving the most interest from teams in the market for a reliever. Things are going to get very interesting as we get closer to the deadline, folks.
The Braves are currently on a run of good baseball, as it seems as if they’ve levelled out from being "historically bad" to just being "bad," which is still progress as far as this team is concerned. The levelling out has come under the watch of Brian Snitker, who is clearly enjoying life as manager of the Braves after spending his entire professional career working for the organization.
Snitker understands that losing is part of the process the Braves have engaged right now. And yet, a man who has described the best part of his jobs in the minors as going through July, the hottest days and a game every day, doesn't seem to mind. Not when his entire working life has come without needing to write a resume or go to a job interview.
"I couldn't have been more proud the other day when we won in, what was it, 12 or 13 innings," Snitker said of a 13-inning, 9-8 win over the similarly rebuilding Reds that lasted 5 hours, 18 minutes. "We loaded the bases twice in that game with nobody out, and finally scored. The character that the team showed, how they didn't get down, stuck with it and won that game. It would've been easy to quit.
In the latest edition of "Hoo boy, traffic in Cobb County for Braves games will be a hot mess" news, Cobb County’s latest idea for alleviating traffic for Braves games is to have them get off of the interstate and cut through the streats of Sandy Springs in order to get to the game. Needless to say, officials in Fulton County’s Sandy Springs are are livid about this news.
Sandy Springs Mayor Rusty Paul — a proponent of MARTA expansions and other mobility options from the 21st Century — said Cobb leaders haven’t even done him the solid of returning his phone calls on the topic of managing traffic; instead, they dispatched a lightning rod (Jim Wilgus, Cobb’s interim transportation director) to the meeting with news that game-day traffic will be asked to exit the interstate before Cobb’s Cumberland and snake through Sandy Springs, according to the newspaper.
The Rangers are currently lighting the world on fire. They’ve got the AL’s best record, and they’re also 10 games clear of the Astros for first place in the AL West. Meanwhile, it’s an even year so that explains why the Giants are currently 20 games over .500. Both teams are having great seasons so far, but are they as good as their records say they are? Our friends at Beyond the Box Score aren’t huge believers in these two teams.
What can’t be so easily waved off is the Rangers’ and Giants’ defensive performances. Both teams are elite with the gloves this season, with players like Beltré, Desmond, Brandon Crawford, Matt Duffy, and Buster Posey all putting up great numbers by most metrics. The irony, of course, is that by Park-Adjusted Defensive Efficiency, both the Dodgers and the Mariners are either on par with or better than their division rivals on defense. The Rangers and Giants aren’t gaining too much of a competitive advantage in the only arena where they can properly claim greatness — an arena that can be notoriously unstable in small samples.
All of this may not matter by the end of the season. Both teams have built such sturdy leads in their respective divisions that even if they just played .500 ball for the rest of the year, they’d probably still make the playoffs. Once you’re there, anything can happen.
Meanwhile in the AL East, the Blue Jays are currently sitting in 3rd place, but they’re only 2.5 games behind the Orioles. That particular race is far from over, but the crew over at Bluebird Banter decided to take stock of the Jays’ record at this point in the past few seasons and they believe that the Jays are entering a "dangerous" period when it comes to their season and any postseason hopes.