So, Home Opener, and the first Friday Night game to recap. Let’s do a Running Diary.
7:05 – I tune in to Braves Live late, after watching the live news reporting on the Spieth-caused grass fires in the Augusta region.
7:07 – Jerome Jurenivich pulls a metaphor ligament stretching to compare the looming rain delay to a Mike Hargrove at bat.
7:09 – Jonny Gomes is glad to “have the Braves across my chest, the A on my hat, and the giant fork sticking out of my back.” I only made up one of those.
7:12 – Gomes is interviewed by Paul Byrd about his at bat ritual. He mentions giving his helmet several good tugs before hitting. I thought this was supposed to be a family show.
7:16 – After that Gomes interview, I don’t think I want to try any sort of Blimpie’s sandwich with ‘boomboom’ sauce.
7:19 – Kristina Fitzpatrick interviews Paul Byrd, and mentions there ‘might’ be a rain delay. Meanwhile Lake Lanier is swallowing short left field.
7:24 – Jerome threatens us with Chip and Joe after the commercial break. Quick, get Fox Sports on the line and tell them I will agree with their terms, anything!
7:30 – Apparently, I was too late.
7:31 – “Here comes Bream…he is…Safe! Braves win! Braves win! Braves win! Braves win!” Man, it just got really dusty here at Casa Seat Painter.
7:32 – Hey! It’s ‘The Jeter’ from ‘Rissa’s Magnum Opus!
7:33 – Joe isn’t sure if you can start better than 3-0 after your first three games.
7:38 – Chip and Joe interview John Hart. The interview is marred by Hart’s constant nervous glances over his shoulder to see if a deranged Craig Kimbrel fan is stalking him.
7:40 – Hart: “We’re not a power club. We’re not a speed club…to win we have to bunt…” Joe just started tugging hard on Jonny Gomes’ helmet.
7:41 – Hart gives Fredi a ‘tip of the hat’ for the Braves spring training play, setting a record for the earliest ‘Vote of Confidence’ in MLB history.
7:42 – Joe has decided that in fact you can’t start better than 3-0. Hey it took him just nine minutes.
7:48 – A grounds crew sighting! And Sid Bream! Now we’re getting somewhere.
7:50 – Chip compares AJP, Gomes, and KJ to Pendleton, Bream, and Belliard for the ’91 Braves. Ladies and gentlemen, your 2015 World Series champion Atlanta Braves! Remember, you heard it here first.
7:52 – Some corporate lackey is interviewed by Jenn Hildreth about WFF. He teases us with a Very Special First Pitch to come. And hints that Jason Grilli might have a cool new entrance video. Meanwhile, frustrated prom dates all over the greater Atlanta metropolitan area are nodding their heads knowingly.
7:56 – Jenn Hildreth has alligator teeth. Eek!
8:03 – And the tarp is off!
8:10 – Chip informs us that tonight’s Special Guest Announcer will be Chipper. I hope we get “Drunk Twitter Chipper.” (TM)
8:12 – Chip just called Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium “beautiful.” If you like sterile concrete bowls then he could be right.
8:13 – Dale Murphy looks like he could still bat third for the Braves.
8:14 – It’s time for the Parade of Legends. Hammering Hank, Knucksie, Murph, Bream, The Crime Dog, Bobby, and Chipper are here. Where the heck are Glavine, Maddux, Smoltz or Darrell Evans???
8:29 – The First Pitch is tossed out by John Schuerholz, who surprisingly tosses Fredi a baseball and not Frank Wren’s head. Bobby stands in with a bat and whiffs on a hanging change-up. Up in the booth, Joe is telling Chip that Bobby needs to try to go to the opposite way more.
8:32 – LET’S GIVE A WARM ATLANTA WELCOME TO…the new york mets. Even the announcer is dissing the mutts.
8:40 – After announcing everyone employed by Liberty Media…err…the Braves, we finally get to our lineup.
8:54 – Dorn hauls in David Wright’s wicked liner. Jake’s threat must be working.
8:58 – MAYBIN!
9:03 – Gomes singles in Markakis, who had reached on an error and moved to second base on a Freeman single. Maybe Maybin didn’t kill the rally?
9:12 – Jenn Hildreth interviews Bill Bartholomy. If I were him, I’d be nervous Ms. Alligator Teeth was getting ready to take a chomp out of my arm.
9:16 – Simmons doubles to lead off the second. Stults drops a sac bunt. Somewhere, Jonny Gomes helmet is getting a workout. Simmons nailed at the plate in a collision with d’Arnaud. No runs scored. Rally officially dead.
9:24 – Fox shows us The Jeter again, since Simmons and d’Arnaud ran into each other last half inning. Can’t ever see that play too many times.
9:25 – THE JETER 2:ELECTRIC BUGALOO! d’Arnaud is getting ready to call in the GBI to arrest Simba for blatant thievery.
9:37 – Pressure on the defense! Bethancourt draws the second error from Wilmer Flores, the non-Simmons schlub the Mets ran out at short, allowing Gomes to score. Meanwhile Eric Stults asks the umpires if his team is allowed to score this many runs. Braves 3, Mets 0.
9:46 – David Wright, 2 run Rally Killer.
9:47 – One pitch later, we’re tied,courtesy of John Mayberry, Jr.
9:53 – Nice scoop by Freeman on a DP. But Stults isn’t fooling anyone this inning. After two more hits, Flores finally makes the last out. Not a good night for Wilmer.
10:03 – Chipper in da house! Stults lets Jonathon Niese single to lead off the 5th.
10:11 – Chipper immediately takes the suspense out of the AFLAC Trivia Question. “I got the first hit in Turner Field.”
10:14 – Chipper admits he has a man crush on David Wright. Get in line Hoss, you ain’t the only one.
10:19 – Simba lines out to leave the bases loaded. He’s proving he’s no Chris Johnson.
10:20 – No, I don’t know what the hell I meant by that either.
10:22 – Cody Martin in to start the 6th for the Braves, continuing a three game string of 5 inning starts. Martin has got a sort-of Teheran hesitation in his wind-up, which he uses to K Murphy and Lagares.
10:35 – So….bored…No one except Wright and Dorn are hitting.
10:51 – Good work by Brandon Cunniff and Luis Avilan in the 7th. As Chips’ grand-dad would say about this time of the game, “Let’s get some runs! Hic!”
10:56 – For the third time in a row, Markakis and Freeman lead off an inning and go down meekly. The first two times, the Braves rallied for a run, and then left the bases loaded. Can we threaten again with two outs???
11:00 – Nope.
11:04 – Filthy pitch from Jim Johnson to K Granderson. Somewhere Iron Eyes Cody is starting to cry.
11:06 – Wright – grrr. Now we know how Mets fans felt about Chipper.
11:08 – Iron Eyes Cody is starting to feel really verklempt after that Johnson pitch to Mayberry.
11:09 – Iron Eyes Cody: Dehydrated.
11:13 – Dorn bloops *his* third hit of the evening to left center off Ruben Montero. Lagares dives for it, and misplays the single into a double when he knocks it away. Jace Peterson in to pinch run.
11:15 – Gomes helmet is finally getting a rest after that bad AB by Bethancourt.
11:19 – That was weird. Simba grounds to Wright, but rather than take the out at first, Wright tries to nab Peterson at third, but can’t make the tag. Simmons alertly takes second when the Mets don’t cover. NOT a good defensive showing by the New York Nine so far.
11:21 – Callaspo intentionally walked to load them up. Setting up Maybin to be the hero, or the goat, with one out. Time for some ABC baseball!
11:25 – It’s goat. Up to Gosselin.
11:28 – After falling behind 1 and 2, Gosselin battles back to a full count.
11:28 – Fouled off! And my nails are bitten away. And not by Jenn Hildreth.
11:29 – YES! 2 run single to center! Gosselin doing his best Folk Hero impression! I actually have to give Maybin some credit. He fought Montero for 10 pitches or so before striking out. And then Gosselin battles through eight pitches, Montero was up to his 37th pitch of the inning when Gosselin singled.
11:33 – Joe Simpson just said the same thing about Maybin. In other news, tomorrow morning I will be checking into Small Ball Rehab Center.
11:36 – “The Grilli is fired up!” Thanks Chip.
11:38 – Although the blue propane flame for Jason Grilli’s entrance video is kind of clever.
11:42 – Daniel Murphy works a ten pitch walk off Grilli. I have to believe that one of those foul balls would have been a swing and a miss against the Kraken. Lagares then barely beats out a double play. One down, two to go.
11:47 – d’Arnaud hits it where Simba isn’t. Unfortunately that is behind home plate, and Bethancourt hauls it in.
11:48 – Lucas Duda vs. Jason Grilli. Does it get any better than this? Don’t answer that.
11:51 – Full count to Duda….
11:52 – Full count to Duda….
11:52:30 – Full count to Duda….
11:53 – 3-2 slider freezes Duda! Braves Win! Braves Win!
Win, win, win. Ho-hum, just another day at the ball yard. And I may recover by the time I have to recap next Friday’s game.