Cardinals Demoralize Braves Early, Decrease NLCS Chances Late

If this afternoon’s contest between the Cardinals and Braves was a game you were interested in watching, hopefully you tuned in early; if you’re a fan of the Braves, or competitive baseball, there wasn’t much worth watching after that. Here was the Cardinals’ top of the first inning:

Top of the First Inning in Game 5 of NLDS
Batter Pitcher Score Play STL WE
D Fowler M Foltynewicz 0-0 Dexter Fowler walked. 53.50%
K Wong M Foltynewicz 0-0 Kolten Wong sacrificed to pitcher (Bunt Grounder). Dexter Fowler advanced to 2B. 51.70%
P Goldschmidt M Foltynewicz 0-0 Paul Goldschmidt singled to shortstop (Grounder). Dexter Fowler advanced to 3B. 56.20%
M Ozuna M Foltynewicz 0-0 Marcell Ozuna singled to right (Liner). Dexter Fowler scored. Paul Goldschmidt advanced to 2B. 62.70%
Y Molina M Foltynewicz 0-1 Yadier Molina reached on error to first (Grounder). Paul Goldschmidt advanced to 3B. Marcell Ozuna advanced to 2B on error. Error by Freddie Freeman. 67.80%
M Carpenter M Foltynewicz 0-1 Matt Carpenter walked. Paul Goldschmidt scored. Marcell Ozuna advanced to 3B. Yadier Molina advanced to 2B. 75.30%
T Edman M Foltynewicz 0-2 Tommy Edman doubled to right (Grounder). Marcell Ozuna scored. Yadier Molina scored. Matt Carpenter advanced to 3B. 86.30%
P DeJong M Foltynewicz 0-4 Paul DeJong was intentionally walked. 86.60%
J Flaherty M Fried 0-4 Jack Flaherty walked. Matt Carpenter scored. Tommy Edman advanced to 3B. Paul DeJong advanced to 2B. 90.60%
D Fowler M Fried 0-5 Dexter Fowler doubled to left (Grounder). Tommy Edman scored. Paul DeJong scored. Jack Flaherty advanced to 3B. 95.40%
K Wong M Fried 0-7 Kolten Wong doubled to center (Liner). Jack Flaherty scored. Dexter Fowler scored. 97.30%
P Goldschmidt M Fried 0-9 Paul Goldschmidt flied out to right. Kolten Wong advanced to 3B. 97.10%
M Ozuna M Fried 0-9 Marcell Ozuna reached on dropped third strike (wp). 97.20%
K Wong M Fried 0-9 Kolten Wong advanced on a wild pitch to score. 97.90%
Y Molina M Fried 0-10 Yadier Molina grounded out to third. 97.90%

Things could have gone differently for Mike Foltynewicz. There was an infield single by Paul Goldschmidt; Freddie Freeman committed an error. If Goldschmidt had hit that grounder at an infielder instead of in the hole, or if Freeman had caught Yadier Molina’s gounder, the Braves escape with a 1-0 deficit in the first. That isn’t what happened, though. After a walk and a double, Foltynewicz was done down by four and Max Fried came in to face the pitcher with the bases loaded. Fried walked Jack Flaherty, more damage was done, and by the time the inning finally, mercifully concluded, the Braves’ were in a massive hole, though not until after a wild pitch allowed Marcell Ozuna to reach, and Kolten Wong to score.

The next few innings involved more Cardinals runs and a defensive substitution before the Cardinals ever even took the field (Bader in center field with Carpenter out at third), and a debate about what to do with Flaherty ensued. With the Cardinals up 10-0 after one inning, Flaherty could conceivably have been held out of the game and started Game 1 of the NLCS. He went out and pitched the first inning and looked slightly rusty. He got out of the frame unscathed. He hit for himself again in the second and had a quick bottom of the inning, having thrown 33 total pitches through two. He then hit for himself in the third inning and went back out to the mound with a 13-0 lead. After finishing the third with 47 pitches, he continued on.

There was a little bit of drama when Flaherty plunked Ronald Acuña Jr. in the fifth inning. Given that Carlos Martinez was upset about how Acuña had looked at him when he rounded the bases on a homer in Game 1, and Acuña’s throat-slashing gesture at the end of Game 3 (Molina responded in kind after Game 4), hitting Acuna with a pitch in a blowout is a bad look whether it was intentional or not, and if intentional, it’s a dangerous, unnecessary play MLB should to do more to curb. Controversy (such as it was) aside, Flaherty got the club out of the fifth and the sixth and after 104 pitches, eight strikeouts, one walk and one run, his night was done.

The logic behind pulling Flaherty is pretty easy to sort out. Starting him in Game 1 and Game 5 is better than Game 3 and Game 7 since Game 5 is more likely to occur and if there were to be a Game 7, Flaherty could potentially pitch in relief. The counter is that perhaps that difference isn’t all that big, and as Flaherty is the Cardinals best pitcher, he ensures that the Cardinals hold on to that 13-run lead.

After Game 4, I wrote the following:

This hasn’t been a series where no lead is safe, but rather one where small leads have been precarious because they often are. These two clubs went back and forth in three of the four games. Game 5 promises a rematch of Game 2, which the Braves took wire to wire thanks to a great performance from Mike Foltynewicz. He bested Jack Flaherty last Friday in a series that has not gone as scripted for either club. Flaherty will get another opportunity to try to shut down the Braves’ offense, while the Cardinals’ offense, which has been mostly lifeless this series, will get another crack at solving Foltynewicz. Both clubs are certain to get their opportunities, and the team that takes advantage will celebrate on Wednesday night.

Some leads are safe. 10-0 in the first and 13-0 in the third certainly qualify. The Cardinals offense took advantage, and now the Braves are left thinking about the chances they squandered earlier in the series. The Cardinals move on the NLCS for the first time since 2014, when they lost to the Giants after Michael Wacha entered a tight game despite not having pitched in weeks. There are reports of Wacha making the NLCS roster, but a repeat of 2014 is unlikely. For now, the Cardinals celebrate. On Friday, they’ll hope their bats can stay alive and that Carlos Martinez and the bullpen fare better than they did against the Braves. If they can’t, St. Louis may be left thinking about their own opportunities squandered as their best pitcher threw 108 pitches with the win in the bag.

We hoped you liked reading Cardinals Demoralize Braves Early, Decrease NLCS Chances Late by Craig Edwards!

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Craig Edwards can be found on twitter @craigjedwards.

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CC AFC
Member
Member
CC AFC

The schadenfreude of this all happening while a large contingent of Barves fans were defiantly tomahawk chopping was (pizza chef finger kiss)

BillClinton
Member
BillClinton

If the Braves ever become legit contenders and not just one of those young teams who make the playoffs a few years as they come together, that stupid chop will make their fans instantly the most hated in the league.

johnforthegiants
Member
johnforthegiants

I beg to differ. The chop has been around for a loooong time, including when the braves were one of the favorites to win it all, and my reaction was always ‘wow, i wish the giants had something which was that cool’.

olethros
Member
olethros

The chop has been around since the mid-90s, which I guess is sort of a long time, but certainly not worthy of the extra ‘o’s. It has also always been criticized as racist, and such casual racism is far less acceptable today than it was even in the 90s.

It’s also annoying as shit, it’s like someone looked at the wave and said “that’s nice, but can we make it even worse?”

Anthony Princeton
Member
Anthony Princeton

I’m offended by white people being offended for non whites. Non whites are perfectly capable of formulating thoughts and expressing themselves. The soft bigotry of low expectations is far to prevalent. How exactly is the chop racist? Is it done to mock Native Americans? Is it done to intimidate Native Americans? So the braves don’t hand out foam tomahawks anymore. Maybe they can start handing out casino chips or packs of cigarettes? What a boring, sterile world this would be if every single offended person was pandered to. Super Mario and Luigi are offensive to Italians. The Fighting Irish Leprechaun is offensive to Irish.

From Indians.org. Um, is “Indians.org” problematic? Is there a white person that can weigh in here?

“Original native American tomahawks were used as tools or weapons and were made from stone. But native American tomahawks were also used to confirm friendships and even establish treaties. In this case, native American tomahawks were a little more fancy than the ones in everyday use. Perhaps these native American tomahawks were made from silver or pewter and engraved ornately and were owned by those chiefs who were considered to be prominent.

As time passed native American tomahawks were made from brass or iron. Native American tomahawks were examples of native American artwork, as well.

Use the word tomahawk anywhere, and immediately images of the old west pop in to mind. Native American tomahawks were in the possession of most Indians, and each individual decorated his own to suit his personal taste. The popularity of the native American tomahawk can be seen by the many portraits of tribal chiefs and other prestigious native Americans. Rarely will you see such artwork without the subject proudly displaying a native American tomahawk. Many of these were decorated with rawhide, brass, painted, or anything could have been used, even stonework, like turquoise and onyx inlays.

Perhaps the most common embellishments on native American tomahawks were medicine bundles, thought to bring about supernatural victories during battles. Another common decorum on native American tomahawks was eagle feathers, earned for acts of bravery.

Perhaps the owner of native American tomahawks would also clip a little hair from the mane or tail off his pony and affix it to his tomahawk.

Not commonly realized is the fact that the white man proficiently used native American tomahawks, as well. Native American tomahawks made excellent every day tools. Native American tomahawks were light weight, and could effectively be used with just one hand.

The most important native American tomahawks in history were the ones outfitted with a pipe bowl. It was made from a hollowed out handle on native American tomahawks.

High priced furs were traded for native American tomahawks pipe bowls and were owned mostly by prestigious leaders.

Native American tomahawks were effective weapons because they could be used in close up hand to hand combat, or they could be thrown at the enemy from a distance. Native American tomahawks were also used in celebrations and ceremonies.

A common misunderstanding of native American tomahawks, perhaps due to their Hollywood depiction is that the axe like instruments were used to do scalping. Scalping was the practice of removing the hair once an enemy was dead, and sometimes even while he was still living, so it is reasonable to believe that sharp knifes were used to do this instead of native American tomahawks. It is certainly possible that tomahawks were used to do at least some scalping if the scalper got in a pinch.

These days the word tomahawk has become associated with much more than just native American tomahawks. Submarines and cruise missiles have commonly been named after the native American tomahawks.”

EonADS
Member
EonADS

…how many years do you think Native Americans have spent trying to get the MLB to change the Braves and Indians names, and the chop? They /have/ formed and expressed their own discontent about this. For years. Decades. This isn’t a “white people” thing in the slightest.

dukewinslow
Member
dukewinslow

…..citation needed. I’m fine with getting rid of the chop if they do some market research/surveys like the Post did with the team in Washington. But do what the data tell you, and if the data tell you people who should care don’t, don’t pretend that the Braves should bow to a vocal minority who don’t reflect the preferences of the larger group. My experiences with Resball in Alaska suggest that NA/first nations are a lot less, uh, “woke” about it than most of the voices online, and some (a significant plurality in the post survey) actually like this stuff (which genuinely surprises me).

CC AFC
Member
Member
CC AFC

Fangraphs alumnus Sheryl Ring has plenty of citations to Native American groups expressing pain and hurt over the use of tomahawk chop, so here’s your citation:

https://www.beyondtheboxscore.com/2019/10/8/20903421/atlanta-braves-tomahawk-chop-racist-chief-wahoo-mlb-lds

In addition, the “data” idea is absurd. This isn’t a tax issue where you say “we just want to come out net positive.” The opinion of the non-targeted group, which far outnumber the targeted group because ya know, one of the groups was the victim of genocide, are not equal things.

Native Americans, including a current player, have said that they are offended and literally all that anyone else has to do is stop doing the tomahawk chop and do ANY other chant. It is the bare minimum decency anyone could possibly show to just do whatever other chant you could want. The behavior of the group of Braves fans who saw a Native American player expressing his pain and then responding by doing that thing that caused him pain even more was despicable. They deserved to see their team eat it.

dukewinslow
Member
dukewinslow

Using Sheryl Ring, the Sheryl Ring who thought that someone calling Soto a kid was an actionable defamation claim (just to name an example of when she’s been most wrong, and not bringing in her laughable but debatable attempt at contractual analysis, but I have more), as a source is just misguided. She was wrong on the facts there, and on the law, and unless it was absolutely open and shut she was pretty much wrong where you wondered if she was trolling real lawyers like Popehat for clicks.

I mean actual survey data, which you can collect. I find the chant objectionable, I also realize that I don’t speak for the people affected by the issue. I’m a firm believer in actually finding out if most people who are affected by this have an opinion, and not overcorrecting in response to fringe activists and causing even MORE problems (n.b.: I think the chant is a core thing, not a fringe thing, and should be killed). However, I refuse to make a policy recommendation without knowing more about how most of the affected people feel about the issue, especially after the washington thing.
The level of argument here has decayed to an argument by authority, which isn’t going to convince anyone of anything. But that probably wasn’t the point.

fivec
Member
fivec

[The tomahawk chop is harmful to Native and Indigenous people, full-stop. The science, as they say, is settled. We know this. It is a fact.]

Insanely credulous take from Sheryl. What is a fact, and is settled, is that there is a severe replication crisis in the social sciences. Taking studies with a clear agenda such as the ones she cites without a massive grain of salt shows a disturbing lack of healthy skepticism.

It is clear that the tomahawk chop offends some Native Americans, and I wish that weren’t the case. The magnitude and ubiquity of the offense is not at all clear, however, and asking that a team and its fans dismantle part of their identity because half of one percent of Native Americans, say, have expressed their dismay at the continued use of the chant is craven at worst, unthinking at best.

CC AFC
Member
Member
CC AFC

Native American heritage is part of Native American identity NOT part of braves fans’ identities and it’s not theirs to complain about “dismantling their identity.”

dukewinslow
Member
dukewinslow

Unfortunately, you’ve navigated to fangraphs, where we use data to support arguments in favor of, well, policies. I’m not sure if there’s a “make arguments based on crit theory victimhood olympics website that wishcasts for a group of people who you’ve not talked to” dot com (anecdata dot com sadly does not exist, but I’ll set it up to Fiske Gelman I think), but I THINK deadspin is still up and running for the next couple of weeks at least.

Other people have at least, you know, supported their position with some pertinent examples of how NA folks might well feel. You just went straight to insults of, btw, people who likely share your position.

fivec
Member
fivec

The chop is part of Braves fandom’s identity, like it or not. That’s not up for debate. There’s a reason why so many Braves fans have displayed such a strong negative reaction to suggestions that the chop is racist and should be phased out, and it’s not because they’re distraught over the possibility that they’ll no longer be able to publicly demean people of Native American extraction to their heart’s content. They feel like their identity is being threatened.

That doesn’t mean that their reaction is well reasoned, but it also doesn’t mean that it should be dismissed as malicious or backwards. Given that the chop is obviously meaningful to a significant portion of fans, shouldn’t we at least take the temperature of Native American populations to see where the majority stand on the issue rather than relying on the word of fringe groups or a few vocal players as a basis for a change that would certainly upset many?

Christopher
Member
Christopher

As soon as you back up an argument with something written by Sheryl Ring, by far the worst writer in the history of fangraphs, you lose all credibility. Again, you, sir, are a moron

random Colorado guy
Member
random Colorado guy

“Citation needed” works both ways. You think it’s something pretty new? Then show when it first appeared, with a reference saying it hadn’t been done before. Better, drop the “citation needed” nonsense and own your mistake.

I’m partly of Native American extraction (not just American Indian but also Canadian First Nations, and spread among enough different tribes/nations that I don’t maintain a tribal affiliation), and the chop annoys me a great deal more than Chief Wahoo. If you get into the history of the Cleveland Indians, Chief Wahoo was intended to convey respect, not disrespect, for former Cleveland player (and Penobscot) Louis Sockalexis, taken all too soon by alcohol and disease after a promising start to his career. The chop doesn’t convey respect for anybody, or anything. It’s just obnoxious.

User79
Member
User79

So generally, the racial issue here is cultural misappropriation. You ask if the chant is intended to mock or intimidate. Perhaps it is a form of mocking. But I would suggest you look into the issues around cultural misappropriation.

https://www.apnews.com/ef1a47e7ec1374b4363cfd0f149f6f2b

Based on that article from 1996, it certainly appears that at least some Native American groups have been offended for a while.

docgooden85
Member
Member
docgooden85

I grew up as a Braves fan in Georgia and I hate that tomahawk chop. It’s gross and dumb.

Christopher
Member
Christopher

You, sir, are a moron