Corregidor. This is a rock mountain in the channel leading from the South China Sea into Manila Bay. After the Magellan exploration, the Spanish returned to colonize the Philippines. They built the first fortresses on the rocky island. Even by 16th century cannon, that made it hard for a wooden ship to enter Manila Bay.
The first big trade thing that happened in Manila was that it was the “silver concentration point” for purchasing Eastern spices and such. The silver mined in Mexico (centered around Taxco) was shipped overland to a nice port on the Pacific (Acapulco) and then to Manila.
Our World War II reference is to the fall of the Philippines. The U. S. had succeeded Spain in control of the Philippines after the Spanish American War. An independence schedule had been adopted. And then, the Japanese struck.
The grand plan had been that, in case of war, the American forces would withdraw to the Bataan Peninsula and Corregidor (just south of the peninsula). Then, led by the “irresistible force” of U. S. battleships, a relief column would come. Well, the Pearl Harbor attack kind of proved that wouldn’t work. So, despite gun emplacements, barracks, hospitals, fuel, food and ammunition all below ground in protected tunnels, after a long hold out, the defense of Corregidor was surrendered.
What has that got to do with Monday’s baseball game? Well, the Braves have been reeling from hit after hit. And, they were able to defend effectively for a fairly long time. But then, what seemed to be inevitable (the collapse) came.
Julio Teheran was almost brilliant. This in the worst park for pitchers in MLB. To slow down homers, the fences are deep. Then, that means the outfielders have to cover the whole Pacific (which first the U. S. and then Japan found is quite difficult). Julio went 7 innings, got 8 K’s, gave up 4 hits and 3 walks, and gave up NO runs. But for the Braves of late 2017, all good things must come to an end.
As the first batter of the game, Ender Inciarte hit a ball into left field that was misplayed. So, he began his circuit of the bases. Ron Washington waved Ender on to the plate. But, the relay caught Ender as his 15.1 second sprint wasn’t fast enough. I remember a game a old Mile High where both Deion Sanders and Fred McGriff hit inside the park home runs. My memory (remember, this is 25 years ago) is that Deion’s time around the bases was 13.9 and Fred’s was 16 something. Ron, with no outs you hold the runner at third.
Chad Bettis was making his first Major League start after diagnosis and treatment for testicular cancer (I remind you of this so you can have some added cringe to your day because by now, the plight of the Braves has gone on too long for an emotional reaction to a setback). Despite pedestrian minor league rehab numbers, he pretty well kept the Braves in check. 7 innings with no walks and 6 hits and 2 strikeouts, no runs. With Matt Kemp coming off the DL Friday (I guess if he doesn’t hurt himself getting in the whirlpool), we will find out if the saber crowd is wrong and one above average bat can “protect” and “inspire” an offense from 2 runs a game to 5 runs a game. And then, if that works, somebody will take Kemp off our hands and Braves can make a long term solution.
Our old friend Mike Dunn came on in relief and got the win. That came because Rex Brothers (whom I have to admit I thought would help us), gave up 2 hits and a walk without getting any outs. Then Jason Motte (who I ALSO thought could help us), allowed 2 of those to score to get 3 total home in one inning.
The moral of our story: When it is raining bombs and artillery shells, you can only hide in a Rockie cave for so long before you have to put up the white flag. Or, as some say in baseball, tip your cap.
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