Braves Diary (34/162)

That was almost certainly the best game the Braves have played all season.

Sure, it didn’t feel that way when Andrew McCutchen put the first pitch of the game into the seats. But Ynoa settled in and got the next three outs (on the way to another gem of a performance: 6 IP, 6K, 1BB, 1R, and another hit for good measure).

Then the Braves put in an A-B-C baseball performance in the bottom of the first:

  • Acuña walked, then stole second
  • Freddie singled to center, scoring Acuña and tying the game at 1
  • Ozzie Albies, on a swing that he didn’t really even follow through on, split the right centerfield gap. Freddie scores easily from second and Ozzie slides into third without a throw. 2-1.
  • Dansby got ’em in… with a homer to deep left center. 4-1.

Freddie would get another RBI on a homer, and Austin Riley would get a hit and an RBI, but the damage was done.

Oh, and Tyler Matzek made the play of the game on this comebacker:

Next up for the Braves are an off day followed by 13 games in 13 days, including a quick jaunt to Milwaukee. Rest up, Bravos, you’ll need it.

Braves Diary (32 & 33/162)

Friday night was a disaster, so we don’t need to get into that.

Saturday night looked like it could be a disaster. I missed the first 9 innings, so I when saw that Acuña got hit again and left the game I was a bit worried. He will hopefully be fine (nothing is broken, at least). And then Pablo Sandoval did it again, tying the game in the bottom of the ninth.

I started watching from the 11th on, and it seemed that the Braves really wanted to lose. Instead, Jacob Webb, who had a costly throwing error and then a costly loss of focus that let in two runs in the top of the 12th, got the win. (Again, pitcher wins: possibly kind of dumb!) Instead, it was the Phillies who erred, literally, in the bottom of the inning, for a stirring 4-run rally that saw the Braves pull out a win.

It’s on to the rubber game of the series on Sunday Night Baseball.

Braves Diary (31/162)

Sweep!

I adhere to the Bobby Cox mantra of trying to win two of three, so a sweep is always just gravy on top. And to see a sort of “b-team” lineup that missed Freddie Freeman (getting a day off as he was hopefully just pressing in his currently funk) and a 39-year-old defensive whiz catcher behind the plate instead of the hot rookie Conteras was great enough.

Drew Smyly actually pitching like a guy we’re paying $11 million to pitch well, though, that may have been the best part of all. He pitched into the 7th and allowed only one unearned run. It’s hard to say that today was something was a last chance, but he needed to have one good start, and he will need to continue to put together a few more good starts for me to feel any lasting relief. But for now, though, it’s back to Cobb County for these Braves against a hot Phillies team.

Braves Diary (29 & 30/162)

Back-to-back grand slams, that’s a fun way to win baseball games.

Naturally, it was a pitcher who did the deed on Tuesday: wunderkind Huascar Ynoa. Yes, you read that correctly (provided you weren’t somehow already aware of it). It was so amazing I had to stop what I was doing so I could tell people about it. He also pitched seven very strong innings. Can’t complain.

Last night, Max Fried made his best start of 2021 by looking more like he did in 2020. But the slam in this case came from a somewhat more expected source: Marcell Ozuna. Hopefully it’s a harbinger of things to come. While Freddie Freeman is still Freddie Freeman, he hasn’t been hitting either, and to see him walked in front of Ozuna is still somewhat surprising. Ozuna has to make teams pay in that scenario, and this time, he did.

Today’s game will be on YouTube of all places, and then it’s back to Atlanta to take on the suddenly hot Phillies.