The Atlanta Braves’ September Swoon continues last night in Philadelphia, as the Bravos lost
another game in the standings to the Minnesota Twins. After firing Fredi Gonzalez, there was hope
that the local nine would stop their late season slides, but, Brian Snitker has shown he just Does Not
Get It, as the Braves continue to play hard.
The game started off well, with Joel DeLaCruz doing his usual Joel DeLaCruz stuff. Ryan Howard,
who by this time MUST be getting tired of raking Braves pitching, doubling in Cesar Hernandez in
the bottom of the first for a quick 1-0 Phils lead, and things were looking up. Things looked even
better in the second, when Darin Ruf led off with a single, went to third on a Freddie Galvis double,
and scored on A.J. Ellis’ three run homer. DeLaCruz was cruzin’ at this point.
Unfortunately for our draft chances, DeLaCruz settled down, and refused to give up any more runs.
The offense was doing its part until the fifth, when the usual Old Reliable, Gordon Beckham, instead
of popping out, or striking out, or hitting a weak grounder to the pitcher, inexplicably doubled to
left. No to worry, as Snitker sent DeLaCruz up to bunt, Snitker Gets It! But, Snitker Did Not Get It,
letting Ender Inciarte hit for himself, instead of pinch hitting John Gant or somebody, and Inciarte’s
infield hit scored Beckham. No worries, we’re still trailing 4-1.
Adonis Garcia tried to ground into a DP, but stupidly hustled and was safe at first. Freddie Freeman,
walked, and that brought up The Worst Trade Since Fred McGriff, Matt Kemp. Kemp proceeded to hit
a no doubter, and just like that it was 4-4 and things were looking down in our race with the Twins.
Neither team could muster any offense in the next two innings, although the Braves did manage to
rescue themselves from a 2 out, men on 2nd and 3rd situation in the 7th, when Kemp showed a
sign he MIGHT be getting this whole tanking experience when he struck out on a slider that was a
foot off the plate. Good job Matty!
In the 8th, the Braves threatened to throw it all away, when Nick Markakis opened with a single.
But, Snitker ordered him to run on a 3-2 count to Tyler Flowers, and..Yes! Saved by Blue! Flowers
was rung up on what was clearly Ball 4, and Markakis was out by two steps! Good Call Snit! But
Jace Peterson walked and stole second, and Beckham continued to be stuck in his own Inexplicability
Zone, and walked. That brought up A.J. Pierzynski, who scared all of us Draftniks, by ripping a liner
to right, but Aaron Altherr hauled it in for out three. Phew that was close.
Mauricio Cabrera came on to pitch the bottom of the 8th, and he started off like he meant business,
allowing Maikel Franco and Howard consecutive singles to put runners on first and second with no
outs. But, for some reason, he struck out Altherr and Ruf on nasty pitches – 103 just off the plate to
Altherr, and a nasty slider at 84 that Ruf couldn’t check his swing on. That brought up Galvis.
Cabrera immediately went to 3-0 on him (Yes!), but Galvis took the 100 MPH “Cripple” for a 3-1
count. Then, on a 3-1 pitch our hopes spiked when Galvis crushed one down the right field line, but
it drifted foul, for just another loud strike. Cabrera then flubbed the full count pitch, striking out
Galvis. hasn’t Snit told the ‘pen the importance on not losing ground to the Twinkies????
After the bottom of the eighth, every Braves fan knew what was gonna happen. Just like the Sweep
of San Diego, the bats took over. Inciarte singled for his third hit of the night. Garcia singled him to
second, Freeman fisted a double down the left field line scoring Ender, Kemp singled home Garcia, Markakis
doubled home Freeman, and Flowers hit a sac fly plating Cakes, and just like that it was 8-4 Braves.
Jim Johnson came on, and gave us a brief ray of hope, surrendering a lead off double to Ellis, but
then showed why he’s recently been Death To Our Hopes – retiring the next three Phillies without any
How are we ever supposed to Win The Top Pick playing like this???