Charitably we could put it down to the infection, the ‘inverted hair’- and who knew what they were talking about? Toenails yes, hair? After the heroic histrionics of the past two days the Braves could not quite catch up the 4 run deficit Teheran donated when, given the early lead, he lollygagged away five runs in his first three innings looking anything but sharp in the process. There were to be no more but that was enough. Jose Quintana had apparently lost 7 of his last 8 decisions due to poor run support, averaging about 2 runs a game but Julio obligingly solved that problem for him in this All Colombian Pitch Out. His final line showed an improvement that came too late -6IP,9 hits, 5 runs, just the one walk. He was not himself and if he pitches like that next week in the All Star Game he will embarrass himself and us.
Offensively for the Bravos it was a mixed bag with more good than bad- only Aybar was rubbish reverting sadly to type with 7 K’s in these 2 games. Flowers had to give way early to AJ with what Chip said was a hand strain- or was that a hammy strain, hopefully not.The Changing of that Guard, mid innings, gave rise to the moment of the game, the crowd’s long sustained standing O for the return of AJP. It was patently sincere, unforced, old ladies standing and hollering with the best of them. A cynic, Wilde reminds us, is one who knows the cost of everything(errors), the value of nothing. It was clear from what we heard and saw then what value AJ had brought to that club and its fans in his long years there.
Another who has featured too often in our bad books, Francoeur, hit a 2 run homer late to pull us close. Check his line, please, he’s a significant asset to this team and has been over a period of time, let him enjoy his renaissance.
Beckham had homered in the first, Freddy later, the first leftie to do so against Quintana in something like 20 years so they say. Ender in the last 24 hours has made three outfield catches running vast distances to the ball. It is fascinating to watch him, there is no machismo evident here. Rather his gait seems to copy the other gender, short steps, pitter patter, but reeled off at incredible speed that can take your breath away as he approaches his target. Love watching him.
Oh, one more thing. The Tag of the Game! Freddy, late, pounding after the tiny Eaton ball in hand, catching him somehow with a mighty, thrusting tag that completely flattened him. Embarrassment and smiling apologies all round as FF and Adonis helped him back up.
And so to the rubber game tomorrow. It is finely balanced, the two teams enjoy each other.