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.
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.
It’s almost time to start paying attention the standings.
Typically, I mark that as “around Memorial Day weekend”. I’m trying not to panic yet, but it’s getting increasingly more difficult. I thought we’d turned the corner after taking 3/4 from the Cubs, but the Blue Jays are a much better team than the Cubs, and it showed.
Yeah, I realize everyone else in the NL East is struggling, but someone’s going to pull away at some point, and a Wild Card team likely is not coming from the East. This team has it in them somewhere to 8 out of 10, and that’s what they need to start doing. The worrying thing is that’s really just all facets of the game. The offense, while it is struggling mightily, is on par with the rest of the majors. But the pitching has been a disaster, between injuries (Fried, Soroka) and underperformance (Smyly).
Fortunately(?) the next six are against our erstwhile division-mates, but just over the horizon the Blue Jays will head to Atlanta. Hopefully things are better for us by then.
Well, you can’t win ’em all, but if you win 2/3 or 3/4 then you’re probably in good shape.
That’s what I’m taking away from the last two games of this series. Wednesday night was a bit of a laugher, anyway, a blowout that felt completely appropriate for 3 positions players to pitch in. Thursday wasn’t great. Wilson didn’t have much of a chance, and the back end of the bullpen kept the game mostly out of reach.
That said, we’re still tied for first in the NL East (which may say more about the NL East than anything else), so it’s on to Florida to play Toronto.
That’s a bit more like it.
Monday’s game still didn’t feature effective pitching, but the offense started showing signs of life. I missed most of the game due to meetings, but I saw it on mute and definitely got the gist of it.
Tuesday’s game featured Acuña waking from a relative cold streak to make the difference in the 5th, putting the Braves up 1-0. That would be all they’d need thanks to a second consecutive excellent start from Ian Anderson, who looks like he’s started to figure something out. Just for good measure, though, the rest of the offense got on and got ’em in to win 5-0. An especially nice sequence was in the 8th. Ozzie led off with a rocket of a double to left-center (from the left hand batter’s box, especially encouraging). d’Arnaud did something useful for once, as while he still made an out he moved Albies over to third. Dansby then got ’em in, hitting a solid single to right.
The Braves are now 11-12. We’re almost 15% of the way through the season.