There was an announcement this week: scientists have apparently discovered a new state of matter: topological superconductivity. I don’t have a great Braves tie-in to this discovery, but some have come to expect non-Braves-related intros from me. So if you’re into stable qubits, I’m sure you’re pretty excited right now and you can pretty much stop reading.
Last week, JamesD asked me how many times teams hit six or more home runs in a 9 inning game without winning, as the Braves managed against the Mets, losing 10-8. The answer is 23 times, including 3 teams that hit 7 home runs and lost, which is the record.
So I won’t say it’s common, but it’s happened every year the last four years. And this was the second time for the Braves, but the last time it was the Milwaukee Braves: 2 home runs from Mathews, and homers from Aaron, Adcock, Spahn (despite the homer, he was pinch-hit for later in the game by Charlie Lau), and Frank Thomas (the Much Smaller Hurt) in another 10-8 loss. See? Baseball isn’t that different, except that Braves pitchers used to hit homers every once in a while.
In the only other game to involve the Braves, in 1962, Ernie Banks hit 3, joined by Billy Williams, Bob Will and George Altman, but the Cubs fell to the Braves, 11-9. Lew Burdette got the win in relief.
Speaking of relief, many people like playing bad teams: I hate it, because every loss feels so much worse than a win feels good. Economists have a name for this: (big surprise) loss aversion, and some think it makes people behave irrationally, though I’m partial to the recent research of the improbably named Gerd Gigerenzer, who disagrees. If loss aversion really made you irrational, you would, if given the power, substitute a game with the Dodgers for a game with the Marlins. I don’t care how much you dislike losing to bad teams – nobody would do that. Now, having finally dispensed with physics, history and behavioral economics, we can proceed to the recap.
Roger, yesterday: “Not that it’s a bad thing, but couldn’t we have a game sometime where the Braves just go out and score a bunch and the pitchers shut the other team down and the Braves win in a walk?” Well, I’m not sure that 5-0 is really that much better than 5-1, but the Braves scored early, using their usual powerhouses, Flow and Hech (which sounds like a bad 70’s cop show) to put up 3, and then didn’t give up any. Some obscure player named Acuña added a homer for another couple of runs, and the bullpen (in this case Newk and Tomlin) were Braves-perfect. The downside? Those three hits (two homers and a triple) were the only 3 hits the Braves managed. (40 previous teams have scored 5 runs in 3-hit efforts and won their games, if you care.) Look. The Marlins are just not a good team. But everyone else gets to play them, so we get to play them too. So it’s a one paragraph recap. Even the loquacious stumble from time to time.
We play these guys again tomorrow. We have our ace on the mound. That guarantees nothing, but it does have a lot of promise.
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