Brian Snitker made his major league managerial debut this evening, and got a chance to see first hand just what a terrible AAA team the Braves major league team would make. He’s used to both his team and his team’s competition being superior to the bunch he’s stuck with now. No one deserves his fate.
A lot of offense means ballgames that never end, and this game felt like the longest regulation game in the history of forever (clearly, I would make a terrible Yankees or Red Sox fan). Chip ‘n Joe spent most of it mourning over the loss of Fredi and trying to verbally reconcile in their own minds how something like this could happen so suddenly to such a great guy (to be fair, it definitely sounds like Fredi is a great guy, well-liked by all who know him. To be equally fair, I never heard our esteemed broadcasters mention the words “late season collapses”.) John II* joined the broadcast in the 2nd inning to reassure Braves fans that we are, in fact, in a rebuild, and that rebuilds are hard and not fun, that today was especially not fun because Fredi is a great guy, but the organization needed to move in a different direction, and one day this wretchedness that is Braves “baseball”, too, shall pass, and the team shall be great again and all this pain and agony forgotten. (note: this is a liberal paraphrase of what he actually said. It is, however, what he meant.)
Somewhere in the endless narrative over the state of the union of the Atlanta Braves, the teams on the field ended up with 36 combined hits, 21 combined runs, and 329 combined pitches thrown.
Aaron Blair started the game and made it into the 2nd inning before he got yanked. That was quite the accomplishment considering he gave up 7 runs in the 1st. The Pirates did not slack off, and picked up two runs in the 2nd and 5th innings and tacked on another in the 7th.
In honor of their new skipper, the Braves offense did not roll over and play dead, and managed to sneak runs across the plate in the 3rd, 5th, 6th, and 7th innings. They continued to rise to the occasion, though, to reassure us that these are the same ol’ bums they’ve always been this season— they were careful to ground into a double play whenever it started to appear as though they wanted to make this affair a real ballgame. Despite their best attempts to squash every rally, they made it to within 3 runs of the Pirates (thanks in part to Mallex Smith and his two not-up-for-review home runs on the evening) and made the line score look a little less lopsided.
The Braves are now 0-1 in the post-Gonzalez era. A 133-29 record for this year is still possible. Get ‘er done, Snitker!
(I know he only played the last few innings of this game and had no bearing on the final score, but this will never not be true:)
Aybar delenda est.
*The JohnsTM is a wonderful name for our joint front office executives, but when necessity demands they be referenced on their own, I nominate our trinity be broken down in this way:
John I: Schuerholz, since he was here first and, you have to believe, can override anything he pleases in this organization.
John II: Hart, since he rose to power next, and seems to still hold the second in command position.
John III: Coppolella, the lowest in the pecking order and seems to be allowed to do whatever Johns I and II permit him to do, and no more.