So a night game allows me a doubleheader. This afternoon I ventured down to City Park in New Rochelle, NY for a 3:30 start and watched my alma mater, Yale, defeat the Iona Gaels 9-0. I will not recap the game in any detail, but any other Yalies who want to know what happened can PM me. Yale’s manager for the last 18 seasons, former Cardinal John Stuper, used six pitchers to prepare for the rest of the Ivy league season and, perhaps, a second straight trip to the NCAAs. It’s now 5 years since our NCAA Hockey Championship, and I suspect our next gonfalon won’t be in baseball. It does remind me though that Yale has a national championship in baseball: the 1948 team captained by George Bush. RIP Barbara, and Boola-Boola.
Two post-game Bourbons courtesy of a friend who is an Iona employee and a quick trip for grocery store sushi and I arrive back home just in time for the start of the other game. This retirement thing could just work. I will not rehash the day’s off-the-field activity: signing Jose Bautista, DL-ing Anibal Sanchez on an outfield jogging injury, the addition of Jesse Biddle, or the call-up of Johan “Sebastian” Camargo so that Bautista can have 3rd base at Gwinnett to himself.
After game 16, the 1966 Braves were, like the 2018 edition, 9-7. In the next game they beat the Astros 4-3 with a two-out walkoff homer by Hank Aaron. That guy was good. Joe Morgan was 0-4, but I’m sure there was some Sabermetric explanation for it. The Braves at the end of that game had three players OPSing over 1.000: Aaron, Alou and Torre.
So the Phillies started a famous Spanish painter against the loose-shouldered Brandon McCarthy. The early innings had Ender Inciarte over the wall to take a home run away in the first, and a nice pick and throw by Ryan Flaherty in the 4th, but otherwise was an exercise in pitching efficiency. Two out singles by Freddie Freeman and Nick Markakis led to naught with a noisy (from Chip) Kurt Suzuki flyout.
The Phillies take a lead when Velasquez gets a two-out single in the 5th. The Braves lead off the bottom with a Preston Tucker walk and a Dansby Swanson single. And then, a 3-run hemi-semi-demi folk hero homer from Ryan Flaherty, the 36th of his career, but the first since June 22, 2016. Nice try, Ryan, but Camargo has already been called up. The home run killed the rally, though it might not have had Ozzie Albies not been picked off first on a replay.
Trouble in the top of the sixth, but Shane Carle relieves McCarthy and retires Hoskins and Williams. More trouble in the 7th when Ozzie boots a double play. Santana hits into a double play that scores a run to narrow the lead to 3-2.
Hibernation mode interrupted with a Dansby shot in the 7th. And speaking of double headers, Camargo pulls off the rare two-team double-header by playing a day game in Gwinnett and pinch hitting in the seventh. He struck out.
So now it’s the new nervous time – late innings and the bullpen with a small lead. Dan Winkler pitches the 8th – uneventful. We like uneventful. The bottom of the inning was not uneventful. Freddie hit on the wrist and walks straight off the field. Details will I’m sure come later, but it didn’t look good.
Unhibernation begins. Hits from Neck and Suzy lead to a run. A Flaherty hit adds another.
I’d say a five run lead going to the bottom of the ninth was plenty, but I saw the horror on Waveland on Saturday. In walks Minter. The ninth begins with a walk, a wild pitch and a double. But this is Wednesday – my day. K-K-F8 to end it. Pray for Freddie and bring on the Metsies.