Johnny B’s Washington Nationals took on Snit’s boys today at the Ted. Game went to extras. Braves won in ten, 7-6. Braves winning streak hits one. It’s a miracle. Arizona awaits our surging warriors as perhaps our chief competitor for the 2017 number one draft pick.
The Braves shuffled their defensive alignment to end the home stand. Jace Peterson in center and Nick Markakis at first played well defensively. Though they won, the Nats did not, committing five errors. Every time the Braves played themselves out of the game, the Washingtonians played them back in. It was clown baseball, bro.
Joel De La Cruz cruised through two, then barfed it up in the third. Gio Gonzalez started the uprising with a single. The Braves were obviously trying to slow down Trea Turner by putting the Nats pitcher on base in front of him. Turner walked, Danny Espinosa got plunked, and the bases were loaded for Daniel Murphy with no outs. Murphy plated Gonzalez when his grounder to second forced Espinosa. Murphy beat the double play try at first, so the league’s leading hitter and potential MVP got to trot home as the Nats Clown Prince Bryce Harper belted a massive three run home run to right. Washington led 4-0. Jace Peterson kept it that close by running through the centerfield wall to rob Chris Heisey of extra bases and stanch all bleeding save his own.
The Braves counterpunched with a three spot in the bottom of the frame. Leadoff man du jour Dansby Swanson walked, and Adonis Garcia lined a single to right center to send the hope for the future to third. Our slugging first baseman doubled off the wall in left center to score both runners. Nick took third on Danny Espinosa’s second error of the day, the first a bobble of a bad hop grounder and this one a throw the Nats catcher couldn’t handle. As Chip said, you can’t spell Espinosa without an “E”. Our current most obvious waste of roster space Gordon Beckham singled to score Markakis with our third run; and all of a sudden, we’ve got a game again, down a run at 4-3;. Hope is rekindled.
De la Cruz pitched into the sixth, then self-immolated, dousing hope’s flame. After retiring the leadoff man, Joel walked Zimmerman and gave up a well-struck home run to Chris Heisey. The game stood at 6-3 when Gonzalez’ second single of the game sent Joel to the showers. It has now been 755 games since a Braves starter has pitched into the seventh.
The Braves closed to 6-4 when Anthony Recker doubled and eventually scored on Murphy’s throwing error. Then Matt Kemp’s eighth inning homer on a hanging curve cut the deficit to 6-5. That hopeful spark still flickered. Jeff Francoeur fed hope’s flame with a dribbler up the middle; and Nats reliever Yusmeiro Alberto Petit misplayed Recker’s attempted sacrifice bunt, firing the ball into the stands. With runners at second and third and nobody out, the Nats intentionally walked the bases to pitch to Gordon Beckham. The skies opened and play was suspended, as a new Nats hurler climbed the bump.
Rain doesn’t last forever, but there’re puddles in front of Bryce. Beck comes through with a game- tying GIDP. We’ve got the go-ahead at third. Ender’s up, but the Washington Miscreants walk him intentionally. Is the future now?
Not yet. I saw Ted Williams make an out once. It was a long time ago. Past’s not future, and future’s not yet. Dansby makes contact. He also makes an out. Some days the story doesn’t write itself. Sometimes you’ve got to report the facts.
Jim Johnson on the bump. Anthony Rendon lifts a can of corn to Ender. Two more miles, Jim. The merely mortal Trea Turner’s next. Turner’s mortal, and he’s up to no good. Blue’s in cahoots with him. The ump’s plate’s the size of a matchbox. Jim gets an out on strike five.
One more. Gotta Have an “E” approaches the dish, works Jim to deuces, then full. Sixth pitch’s fouled to the home plate seats. The seventh follows, but the eighth gains a swing and a miss. And a miss. Strike three gets past Recker to the screen, and Easy “E” scampers to first. Ubiquitous Murphy. Again.
Got him! Swing and a miss! Go get ’em, boys. You got a plane to catch.
Not yet. We may play forever. An occasional runner gets on but is stranded. Finally, with two outs in the bottom of the tenth, Jace Peterson! Jace! Have a great flight, my children.
Defense wins game, Uncle Joe Simpson says, and even the mighty Nationals are challenged to overcome five errors. Defense rocks, but a walk off home run’s pretty cool too. Great game, Jace.
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