Baseball America announces Freddie Freeman as Player Of the Year

Baseball America announced yesterday that Freddie Freeman is their MLB Player Player Of The Year. Like I’ve mentioned before Freeman should be making room in his trophy cabinet as I’m sure the awards are going to keep coming. Hey it happens when you have one of your best seasons in your career.

For a guy who started out with COVID, got over that and was ready for opening day. He may have been in a mini-slump at the start of the season he went 8-42, .190 for the first 13 games of the season. He then turned on the gas, and lit up the National League, he led the league in XBHs.

In case you were wondering here is the award schedule from the BBWAA

The finalists for each award will be announced on November 3rd. So we have to wait a while for it to be announced that MVFree wins the MVP.

Swanson, Acuna Jr. and Fried up for Gold Gloves

Rawlings and SABR announced today their three finalists for this years Golden Gloves in the American League and National League. Three Braves find themselves on the list, Shortstop Dansby Swanson, Centerfielder Ronald Acuna Jr and Pitcher Max Fried.

Freddie Freeman named Player of the Year

By a vote of his peers, MVFree takes home not only Player of the Year, he was named the National Leagues outstanding player. Both awards are well deserved as Freeman crafted what is going to turn out to be a MVP season.

And I don’t think the awards will stop here. He was snubbed though today as Rawlings and SABR announced the Gold Glove Finalists for 2020, he was not among the three finalists for first base.

Braves by the numbers: A Primer

I love numbers, whether it be wOBA, ISO, OPS+ and more. Another fascination I have is jersey numbers. I don’t know why but I’ve always been obsessed with who wears what number, sometimes there’s a story there. I have personalized jerseys sitting in my closet, including a Brian McCann jersey that I used his clubhouse nickname instead of his actual name. I get some weird looks, because they don’t know the joke.

So we’ll be going down the line of the jersey numbers of your favorite and mine, the Atlanta Braves.

Here is my criteria in selecting players.

  1. Must have more than 1 player to have worn that number.
  2. I’ll pick (in some cases) one player from each decade. We’ll compare numbers and proclaim the best at the number. If there’s a mix of notable pitchers and players (looking at you #15), they will be included.
  3. They have to have been at the club more than 3 years. As an example, Ozzie Albies qualifies because this is his third year.

So not a lot of hard fast rules, also not every number will we be comparing players. Instead in some cases, we might pick out the most notable player that wore that number. Either way, it’s going to be a lot of fun.

We kick off the series on Monday, October 26 2020. We plan on doing this as a weekly project, so buckle up!

Ronald Acuña Jr. played injured

To the surprise of absolutely no one, according to Dave O’Brien of the Athletic Acuña played with a bum wrist. how much he was effected? During the regular season he posted a wRC+ of 159 which fell in the postseason to 93.You could tell he wasn’t comfortable at the plate in the NLDS and NLCS.

Now the question is, will this be just a rest issue for the offseason or will he possibly need surgery? It wouldn’t surprise me if it’s the latter. At least AA confirmed what most of us knew already.

2020 Final Report Card: Offense

The vaunted Braves offense. It couldn’t have been better this season as the Braves put up solid numbers. Atlanta lead the in OBP and OPS, and were second in the major only to the Mets in batting average (.278), league average was .245(!). And they led the league in total bases with 1,001.

The second best offense in the National League, just behind the Los Angeles Dodgers, who as you know are in the World Series.

Braves Offense: B

Atlanta Braves offense in 2020

Now let’s get to the player grades!

Ronald Acuna Jr.: C+

.250/.406/.581/.987 155 OPS+, 159 wRC+, 2.4 fWAR 14 HR 29 RBI

Acuna had at least one issue this season, having to do with this wrist. It kept him off the field for a while. But when he came back he just wasn’t the same. You could tell towards the end of the season and into the postseason. Hopefully with the offseason comes rest for his wrist.

Even playing injured he came third on the team in OPS+ and third in wRC+. Ahead of him are with soon to be MVP Freddie Freeman and the Big Bear Marcell Ozuna. We’ll see a bounce back in 2021 as long as that wrist is healthy.

The Day After, the day after: The Ghost Of Lonnie Smith

This week it would marks 29 years from the 1991 World Series against the Minnesota Twins. Lonnie Smith would blunder on the basepaths which would swing momentum and would give the game to the Twins. Jack Morris would get the win, and Charlie Leibrandt would suffer the loss.

The reason I bring that up is that if it weren’t for baserunning errors we maybe talking about Game 1 and who the Brave would start. But they’re not.

If you weren’t around for the 91 World Series, here’s what I’m talking about. It is this play that my father cast eternal doom on the outfielder. I’m talking the hatred of a thousand suns here.

Sorry for any flashbacks you may incure.

Smith should have scored.

Looking back those two blunders on the basepaths I think led to enough of a swing towards the Dodgers that it all they needed. Ozuna not tagging up, is inexcusable. And that Game 7 blunder with Riley and Swanson was the stuff of nightmares. I believe it was there in the top of the fourth inning that the pendulum swung in favor of the Dodgers.

Dodgers counter with Dustin May

It was just announced, that Manager Dave Roberts has selected Dustin May to start game 7 against the Braves’ Ian Anderson. As you can see below other than May, the only change from last night, is moving Will Smith back behind the plate, Austin Barnes to the bench. After an injury Chris Taylor has returned to the Dodgers lineup to play 2d base.

I keep preaching it and lordy I hope they hear me, work the f’n count. Seriously they can hopefully chase him. But as I mentioned earlier, production out of the bottom three in the order is key.

Here’s the scouting report on May: BDS Scouting Report: Dustin May

Braves turn to Ian Anderson in Game 7

Well folks it’s win or go home tonight.

In game two he pitched four innings of 1 run shutout ball. He also fanned five and walked five. His WHIP stands at 0.86 and his BABIP is a cool .194, so I don’t need to tell you he’s been a bright spot during the regular season and now he continues that role into the Postseason.

Here’s Ian Anderson missing some bats, from game 1.

Last night wasn’t a good night for the Braves, even though the only runs were given up in the first inning, three to be exact. After that Max Fried pretty much locked it down for the rest of the night. He allowed just 8 hits and 3 runs while striking out 5 walking 4. Darren O’Day and Chris Martin finished things up without allowing a run.

It seems that the bottom three in the order: Riley, Markakis and Pache have been silent the last couple nights and if the Braves are to advance, they need more production out of those three. For the night the Braves were just 2-11 with runners in scoring position.

As of this writing, we have no clue who’s going to start for the Dodgers. Most likely is going to be Tony Gonsolin, I mean he’s going on regular rest so I wouldn’t see why not Dave Roberts wouldn’t send him out for game 7. Though he did mention it’s all hands on deck, so the Braves could even end up seeing Clayton Kershaw at some point in the evening.

Game Info

Location: Globe Life Field, Arlington TX
First Pitch: 5:15 pt/8:15 et
Radio: 680 AM / 93.7 FM The Fan, WNNX 100.5, Braves Radio Network

Braves, Max Fried look to eliminate Dodgers

Look out folks we have ourselves a pitching re-match!

Walker Buehler will be taking the bump for the Dodgers and Braves Ace Max Fried will get the ball. After yesterday’s lost the BRaves are still up in the series 3 games to 1. The Braves got more than they bargained for in AJ Minter who started for the Braves last night. Minter struck out seven and made the record books as the first pitcher to make their starting debut in the postseason.

Fried put on a A+ performance in game 1, he tossed 6 innings of 1 run, four hit ball before he turned it over to the bullpen. He stuck out 9 while only issuing one base on balls. Buehler struggled with his command all night, walking 5 while striking out 5 in 5 innings.

Looking forward to tonight, the Braves are going to have to do what they did early on in game 5 – work the count. Make Buehler throw a lot of pitches and chase him in four or five. Get into that suspect Dodger bullpen. I’ve said from the outset that it was going to come down to bullpens. And really that’s where we’re at.

Game information

Location: Globe Life Field, Arlington, TX
Game Time: 1:38 pst/4:38 est
Radio: 680 AM / 93.7 FM The Fan, WNNX 100.5, Braves Radio Network