|Ronald Acuna - DH||Daulton Varsho - DH|
|Dansby Swanson - SS||Josh Rojas - 3B|
|Marcell Ozuna - LF||Ketel Marte - 2B|
|Austin Riley - 3B||David Peralta - LF|
|Matt Olson - 1B||Pavin Smith - 1B|
|Travis d'Arnaud - C||Jake McCarthy - RF|
|Ozzie Albies - 2B||Alek Thomas - CF|
|Adam Duvall - RF||Geraldo Perdomo - SS|
|Michael Harris - CF||Jose Herrera - C|
|Spencer Strider - RHP||Zac Gallen - RHP|
It now makes sense why Turambar opted to write the Monday recap. That choice allowed him to avoid the Dodgers entirely, so gives a significant higher chance of the process being other than a hideous slog to defeat. As he also gleefully pointed out this morning - if a text message can be gleeful - “plus Gallen too.” He’s out here playing four-D chess in the schedule, when the rest of us as playing checkers. Hopefully, it’s a tactic which works to perfection, because I think we could all do with a victory, after [copy...paste...] the D-backs’ frailties were sorely exposed by the Dodgers over the course of a four-game series. I think we’re happy to play anyone else. Even the reigning World Series champions.
Oh, look: it’s the reigning World Series champions. Though they haven’t been playing like it, sitting below .500 for the year as they arrive in Phoenix, and not having won more than two games in a row all season. Mind you, they haven’t lost more than two consecutively either, so they come in having played 15 series this year, without a sweep or being swept. So if you were to bet on this series ending 2-1 in somebody’s favor, you would seem likely to come out on top. Unless they have a fire sale, it’s not often a World Series winning team ends up with a losing record the next year, as they’re on pace to do. However their 88 wins was tied for the worst W% by a World Series champ since the 2006 Cardinals, so they have less far to fall.
Despite being below .500 (though the Braves have now overtaken the D-backs in the wild-card race), Atlanta still find themselves in second place in the NL East. It is a division which is increasingly looking like a procession towards the title for the New York Mets, There’s an argument it’s the weakest division in baseball this year. The NL East has a losing record against the Central (17-19), West (36-40) and in interleague play against the American League (11-18). Even if the NL Central has three of the four worst W% in the league, and have a slightly lower win percentage overall (.470 vs. .473), the Brewers and Cardinals do appear to be genuinely decent.
Torey Lovullo notes
Torey Lovullo audio
LOAD MANAGEMENT AND WORKLOADS
I asked Torey his thoughts on how certain teams handle workloads a lot differently from Arizona, notably the Braves. (See Series Preview) . I transcribed his full response. But make sure you get to the third paragraph. If there was any doubt at all the parameters he is working under and who is calling the shots on workloads, this should clear it up for everyone:
“I can’t sit here and tell you that it doesn’t work. They’re the world champions and nobody got hurt. I just trust the people that have studied it and given me the information and supplied me with the cliff note version of how to make sure a team operates at full strength for the entirety of the season.
There are probably some organizational difference and I respect how they do it. I feel comfortable with the way we do it. I think I’ve evolved with some of my thoughts. To be honest with you, Josh Rojas was going to get an off day after he hit three homeruns , but he hit three home runs. I did that to David Peralta the first year we got here and I thought I was doing the right thing, and it turned out to be like.....”who’s this crazy new manager, right “....
I do make adjustments to it. I do have a little more right to negotiate with the medical team. I’ve been here long enough. We work hand in hand. But I am going to follow their overall game plan. I have to. I want to make sure we have every player here healthy in September. I’m going to make sure that the pitchers aren’t overworked. I don’t want any of our pitchers to ever have arm surgery. That’s my goal. I respect the way the Braves do it. I know [Braves GM] Alex Anthopoulos personally. He does a great job. And it’s working for them. It’s just we’re doing things a little bit differently”
Daulton Varsho is in the lineup tonight at DH. He had been out of the lineup a couple days with a right scapula contusion after being hit by a pitch Friday night. His range of motion in the right arm is continuing to improve and they are targeting him to catch tomorrow’s game
Jordan Luplow is still nursing a sore left foot, but will be available off the bench to pinch hit if his pregame work goes well
Carson Kelly’s recovery from a left oblique strain continues to be much slower than expected. He is not schedule to take live AB’s until Saturday now.
Luke Weaver is throwing a bullpen session tomorrow and then is expected to go out on a rehab assignment shortly after.
Keynan Middleton threw a pen today and will go out on a rehab assignment soon as well.
Nick Ahmed had 5 at bats today against Middleton. He continues to build his endurance.
Dave McKay is back with the team. He had been out with Covid