Why Kwajalein? A good start leading to a clear victory, never seriously in doubt, but not overwhelming except as a combined forces operation. At Kwajalein Air Corps bombardment, Naval bombardment, the lessons learned from Tarawa, an “island skipping” campaign, and a little experience led to a significant victory.
The good defense of having Gerrit Cole pitching did not stop the Braves post Freddie Freeman offense from pushing from island to island. The shelling started in the 3rd inning with the Pirates getting 1. Without a bad throw from Dansby Swanson, they probably don’t get that. Bottom half came the answer. First a double by the Lieutenant. Then, a popped up bunt by Mike Foltenewicz. Then Ender Inciarte poked one past 3rd that hit the cut out on the stands and he was thrown out trying to stretch out a double, but Swanson scored. Then, the 16 inch guns of the fleet opened up. As the 16 or so bags of powder went off, Brandon Phillips hit one into left center about 15 rows up. So, a lead.
In the fifth it extended to 5 to 1 with the big blow being a 2 out 2 run homer from the recently acquired Matt Adams.
Folty was pretty good through 5. In the 6th, he started wobbling. After Folty gave up 1 more, Jason Motte came in with no outs and runners on the corners. Strike out (after falling behind 3 – 0), strike out, ground out. A real hero.
That ended the story because after the terrible stories of Bataan and Wake Island, the relief corps has really turned it around.
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