Bullpen by dartboard
I understand using a high leverage reliever early if you believe the game is on the line at that point. The game wasn’t on the line when Snitker brought Shane Greene in for sixth inning of game one. The Braves carried Tomlin for precisely that kind of relief appearance but didn’t use him.
Chris Martin’s eighth inning departure due to injury saw the Braves call on Luke Jackson. Jackson did good work for a few weeks before the All-Star break, but using him in an inning with the potential for increased leverage was the wrong call. That’s the perfect spot for Greene, but they burned him earlier.
Jackson immediately gave up a homer to Paul Goldschmidt, then got two quick outs, loaded the bases, and Snitker called on Mark Melancon for a four-out save, a doomed scenario from the start. The situation called for a strikeout pitcher, Melancon is not that pitcher.
A contact pitcher against Matt Carpenter, a batter who in his career is one of the best hitters in the NL in those situations, is a mistake.
Carpenter had an injury that led to an unproductive 2019 at the plate, but in his career batted .400/.503/.903/1.403 with a .210 ISO in high leverage situations. It ended badly, so did the ninth and the series.
All of that aside, the Braves would be playing in the NLCS had the middle of the order bats delivered.
Where have all the power bats gone, long time waiting
The Atlanta Braves lineup’s been incredibly streaky and late-inning centric all season. On the season, the Braves were #19 in baseball and eighth in the NL with RISP based on wRC+ in the first six innings; the monthly numbers show the rollercoaster ride.
|Innings 1-6||Innings 7-9|
There’s always discussion about whether a team’s lack of offense before the postseason is a problem. It always felt like a problem this September, and the lineup’s performance it the series looked a lot like the last two weeks of the season as our big guns misfired.
Throughout the series, Freeman said his elbow didn’t interfere with his at-bats. If you believe that I have some oceanfront property in Death Valley I’m sure you’ll buy.
The Atlanta Braves set out to increase depth this season, but when it was needed the most, they had none. The team had no true first baseman in the system capable of playing every day and not looking someone playing a position he knew only by acquaintance.
When Ender Inciarte went down, the Braves chose not to replace him with a major league caliber outfielder, opting instead for Rafael Ortega, who ran into a grand slam homer by accident but batted .205/.271/.305, good for a –0.4 rWAR.