Coming into this season I knew my Braves fandom would be stretched in ways I, as a D.S. fan (became a fan During the Streak), had never been stretched before. I didn’t realize just how much it would change me, though.
I used to believe when the Braves were losing that games weren’t over until they were over. I was wrong. I now understand that to be true only if the Braves are winning.
I used to believe that the Braves losing four games in a row was brutal. I was wrong. I now understand that the Braves managing to win a game every week is one of life’s small victories.
I used to think the Braves were inept if they had runners in scoring position and failed to score. I was wrong. I now understand to reach true ineptness a team has to challenge the ’62 Mets in losses after the All-Star break.
I used to think every Braves lead after the 7th inning should be safe and was disappointed if that was not the case (*cough* Dan Kolb *cough*). I was wrong. I now understand that leads preserved by the bullpen are precious and a rarity full of value.
I used to think the conclusion of any given game could only be predicted if you were a true pessimist. I was wrong. I now understand it only takes a realist to be able to claim psychic powers (see disclaimer below).
On the heels of the most improbable win in recent memory (I kid, I kid, I know all four of the Braves wins in the past five weeks have been improbable), the coach turned back into a pumpkin, the horses turned back into mice, and when all was said and done our heroine was left running down the street wearing only one slipper and torn rags. Picturesque this was not.
The Blue Jays entered the game with a chip on their shoulder. I don’t think they took too kindly to having their vaunted offense stymied by the
acclaimed woeful Braves pitching staff in the first game of the series. Before the dust had settled and they saw what had occurred, the Jays had taken a 4-run lead off of I’m-Never-Going-to-Win-Again Shelby Miller and put the game out of reach.
When the Braves finally had the chance to dig into the batter’s box against David Price, they made him throw a grand total of five pitches to four batters in the 1st inning, and somehow managed to get a run out of it. Just another footnote in this patented Braves Bizarro Season. One run to keep from being shutout is quite the moral victory in a Shelby Miller start, and the Braves bats celebrated by taking the rest of the evening off.
Shelby, meanwhile, just didn’t have it and lasted a grand total of 3.2 innings. He was lucky to only give up 5 runs, but, really, it doesn’t matter. He is going to retire in 10 years still stuck on 31 career wins. He may wish more than anyone else that Jason Heyward was still a Brave.
What did we learn from the evening?
—The Braves always lose when they are the free game of the day on MLB.tv. Always.
—The Braves always lose when Shelby Miller is on the mound. Always.
—The Braves always lose the day after they manage to win a game. Always.
—The Braves always lose when their bullpen has to get more than six outs. Always.
—The Braves always lose. Always.
—Oh, and Hector Olivera is a platoon player. As has been noted several times on this blog, our star third baseman of the future has been riding the pine more times than not since he has joined the big league club. Tonight mention was made of him sitting so much recently because the Braves have been facing so many southpaws. Either Olivera will magically learn how to hit major league left-handed pitching while sitting on the bench, or Alex Wood has grounds for being pretty offended that his old team thought his value plus the value of a top prospect was worth a platoon player. I have to wonder if The Johns have any say-so in Olivera’s playing time, or if this is all Fredi pulling out his “guys have to earn their way into my lineup” card.
In conclusion, I’ve got nothing. Except I miss Kris Medlen. But other than that, I’ve got nothing.
Disclaimer: This recap was written in the 5th inning of the game it is recapping. How did I do?