She’s back again, with her unique baseball language and lack of brevity. I love her. I have never — not even once — used the word, “toesies.”
Hi Braves Journal! Stu’s wife Kate up for the post again tonight. If you missed my previous long-winded classics, please refer here and here (specifically this post outlines my reasoning for calling Paul Maholm the “Mississippi Hawaiian.”) JD is studying for the Series 6 before this next baby pops out and makes our life crazy. I’m thinking the Braves regular season will be over before baby 2 arrives, so let’s hope for a successful postseason and birth, eh? Only 30 games left.
Oh it is it the Mississippi Hawaiian again! I’m so excited to cover my new favorite pitcher – after Mike Minor and Hudson of course. I’m quite aware of the lack of facial hair on the Mississippi Hawaiian. Maybe too hot for all that face hair?
First pitch has an exuberant announcement from the ump. I don’t know what to do with that nonsense. Who’s the star of this show, ump? Michael Bourn, wasn’t he a Brave? He starts off the game tonight. But he gets a quick out at first. (Is that awkward to be a former Brave and then come back to Turner Field? Just wondering.) Nick Swisher is up… why do I know this guy? Has he been in the tabloids or something? Is he a looker or something? Maybe married to Alyssa Milano at some point? I’ll have to check with JD. Swisher hits out to center field and gets on base. South Paw Jason Kipnis is up, but he hits an out to center field. Carlos Santana has walked 72 times this year. So I guess #73 can be recorded for his first up to bat tonight. (Just a note, if anyone knows Fredi Gonzalez on a personal basis, can someone ask him to put on some sunscreen? I’m worried about him and his face.) Asdrubal Cabrera gets a quick out by hitting to Simmons. Everyone should know better to not hit to Simmons. The guy is a pistol.
Jordan Schafer quickly bunts and fouls. I don’t understand bunts. I know there is something way more complex about them, but I don’t get it. He gets on base anyway via a walk. And whoa, out of nowhere, Schafer successfully steals second. Upton is apparently continuing his dry spell with a quick out. And Freddie Freeman has a long at bat to only get struck out. What’s with Chris Johnson’s facial hair? When he smiles, he looks like the mask from “V for Vendetta,” which is actually pretty cool. He hits the first pitch to get a quick out.
Aviles’s strikes make the ump’s loud calls very obnoxious and obvious. #annoying Aviles gets a quick out at first though. Brantley makes a very nice hit over between third and second, but Simmons is ridiculous. I mean, the guy is awesome. I’m not even a baseball connoisseur, but Simmons is really cool. Stubbs is a quick strike out, props to the Mississippi Hawaiian on that series.
McCann hits a nice base hit out to left field, and he makes it to first. Struggla up to bat after his stint on the DL. Struggla and his new eyes make a strike out. There is booing. Not sure if it’s because of Struggla’s, well, struggles, or if it’s about BJ, who’s up next. I’m not a fan of booing, though. Upton makes a pop-up out, and the booing continues, so I’m assuming this is for Upton. Maybe they are booing the vocal, self-centered ump? Simmons is up now. And he hits a beautiful double out to far left field. Guys, if Simmons isn’t the Braves’ MVP this year, I don’t know who is. McCann and his Usain Bolt-like running makes it to third. Mississippi Hawaiian does a really good job staying at the plate for awhile, eventually walking. Bases are loaded for Schafer, who keeps getting pitches thrown to his little Schafer toesies (as they are called in our house) by some crazy throws from Masterson. Schafer hits a line drive base hit, sending McCann and Simmons home. Score is 0-2. After attempting to bunt, Jupton hits a nice one out to center field, and the bases are loaded. But Freddie strikes out. Still, a nice scoring half inning.
Masterson hits one down the third base line, sending Simmons into a tryout for Cirque de Soleil. I don’t think anyone was expecting that hit from the pitcher. Bourn sends a quick hit out to the center field, and now there are two on base. Nick Swisher is up, and JD informs me that Swisher was a prominent character in the Moneyball book, which I promise I plan on reading during maternity leave, honey. Excellent double play with Swisher facilitated by the Mississippi Hawaiian. Very nice. Kipnis gets a quick out at first. Indians still scoreless.
Johnson makes the first out hitting to the short stop. In other news, “turf toe” is such a weird term. McCann hits a quick pop-up out. Struggla walks to first. During this Struggla at bat, the guys (Joe, Dale, and the annoying one) talk about Chipper, who is at the game. Interesting fact: he gave up Twitter. I’m sure you’re as bummed as I am. Upton strikes out.
Santana starts the fourth inning and then hits a big one out to right center field, and BJ Upton makes a very pretty slide and catch that makes his laundress sad but everyone else very happy. Cabrera makes a quick hit right to Schafer’s glove. Aviles unloaded a big home run out to the far left field seats. The Mississippi Hawaiian is not pleased. Brantley hits a line drive up the middle and makes it to first, and then he steals second. Therefore, the Mississippi Hawaiian decides to walk Stubbs to get to the pitcher. Masterson hits a line drive right to Schafer and gets an out. Whew. All are stranded on base.
A good start to the bottom of the 4th in that Simmons walks. The Mississippi Hawaiian bunts sacrificially. Ok, I can see the merit of the bunt now. The Tomahawk Chop is going, and thankfully that drowns out the ump a bit. Schafer hits a quick out to first, but Simmons makes it to third. JUpton gets all the way to a full count, only to strike out.
Bourn up to bat, quick out straight to Struggla. Swisher stays awhile at the plate but eventually gets out after a hit at short. At this juncture, the Mississippi Hawaiian has thrown 74 pitches. Kipnis (whose name kinda sounds like he should be in the “Hunger Games” series) hits a “slow-roller to short” (according to Chip), and the top of the fifth is done.
Freddie doesn’t do much this at bat and gets an out at first. Johnson hits the first pitch, and he and his turf toe almost barely beat out the out at first. But not quite. McCann bunts very interestingly… but why? He makes it to first easily. I think this is ironic? Struggla strikes out and makes that fun little bunt no good.
Santana hits a line drive to CF to lead off the sixth. Cabrera thoroughly wears out the Mississippi Hawaiian with all of his deferrals at the plate. And then he hits a double-play. At least that ended well. Aviles hits a long hit out to Justin Upton, and we’re finished with the top of the sixth.
BJ Upton leads off and then gets hit by a ball, on the hip I think. The stat is that Masterson has hit 16 guys this year. I find this to be a weird stat. Simmons pops up and gets out 1. Wait a minute, Elliot Johnson is in. I thought he was a coach or a manager or something. BJ gets out stealing first, and then Elliot promptly gets a quick out. Someone tell me who this Elliot Johnson is!
David Carpenter relieves the Mississippi Hawaiian on the mound to start the seventh inning. Brantley is the first batter of the seventh, and he quickly gets a base hit to left field. Stubbs is up, and I continue to be baffled by this way-too-loud ump. How does he have any vocal chords left? Poor McCann. Broken bat for Stubbs, but he gets Brantley to second even though he’s out at first. Carson does an elaborate stretching exercise while McDowell heads to the mound for a scouting report on Carson. But Carson quickly strikes out at Carpenter’s very fast pitches. And now Carpenter is subbed out. I so don’t understand why these pitchers sub out so much. Now Michael Downs is in to pitch for Bourn, who hits a high fly ball out to left.
Schafer gets a hit out to center field fairly quickly into the Braves’ turn. JUpton strikes out. Sigh. Freddie is up… will someone confirm if his intro song is a Justin Timberlake song? If so, Freddie scores points in my book.
Now is a good time to talk about what is important to me when I go to games at Turner Field: batter intro songs, the Home Depot tool race, the food, how hot it is at the game (I only do night games), the organ music/songs, if people can successfully do the wave, how quickly the grounds crew can clean up the field, standing up at the seventh inning stretch, and the fireworks at the end. I don’t get to see or hear any of this while watching on TV, so I hope all of you know what a sacrifice this is to watch the whole game without all my favorite game-time perks.
Under closer inspection, it looks like Schafer was hit on his back under his armpit while attempting to steal second. That looks hecka painful. Freddie is in the middle of his batting when Schafer tries to steal second. The ump calls him out, but the crowd and Joe/Dale/Chip guys think otherwise. Freddie hits a long high pop up to end the inning.
Avilan pitching. Swisher gets on base to start off. Kipnis makes an unexpected single because Struggla couldn’t make the out. Two Indians on base. Santana hits a foul pop-up that Freddie grabs to make an out. Swisher and Kipnis still linger on base. Carson up again, and he reminds me of Moonlight Graham a little: awkwardly cute in the big leagues tonight. Carson walks so the bases are loaded. Aviles hits a sacrifice fly to bring Swisher in for a run. Score is now tied, 2-2. Brantley hits a foul ball that McCann catches, so he throws it to Struggla who runs out the runner and gets an out. Cabrera gets tagged out on the base path. Now that’s embarrassing.
Chris Johnson starts the Braves off, taking a long time to eventually strike out. This apparently wears out reliever Shaw, and the Indians bring in Rich Hill. McCann pops up for out #2. And then Rich Hill is gone. I don’t understand these wasted resources. Lonnie Chisenhall comes in at 3rd base, and Joe Smith is the new pitcher. Struggla up to bat, and then breaks it, but he gets an infield hit and makes it to first. BJ is next, and hits a pretty one to right. Struggla makes it to third. This makes me excited because I’m getting sleepy. (Cut me some slack! I’m 8 months pregnant!) Simmons is up to the plate, and dang he gets an out.
Craig Kimbrel is in. I like this guy: methodical, has the same spot on his hat bill where he’ll squeeze, the hanging arm thing, all professional and serious business. I respect his style. Brantley up first and Kimbrel is on fire! Brantley makes a big hit out to center field and Upton makes a nice catch. Whew. Stubbs hits a quickie ball to short and is out at first. Chisenhall has his time up to bat, and he is struck out. Kimbrell throws 8 pitches… very nice.
Joey Terd-terrible-elementary-school-last-name-vich is up to bat. He strikes out. Come on, guys, I’m sleepy! Schafer is next and his uniform is in desperate need of bleach. He makes a great bouncing hit to Kipnis and Schafer outruns the throw of Kipnis and is safe at first. JUpton to the plate, and Schafer makes a heck of a steal to second with a super quick release from first. JUpton hits a fly ball center to get out. Freeman comes up to the plate, and my hope of getting to bed at a reasonable hour slowly diminishing as they walk him to first. Chris Johnson’s turn and he hits a foul ball that was almost a sneaky homerun. Johnson then hits a very nice straight-line bullet out to left field and Schafer runs home to win the game. I’m so excited I could jump into that huddle. Chris Johnson is my new favorite.
I hope all of you are thankful I didn’t drop any Wild Thing/ Major League jokes (best movies ever). It was a good game, and I’m glad to have assisted you with this recap. Here’s to hoping the postseason is full of wins and little laboring and delivering. :)