When Irish Eyes Aren’t Smiling: Phillies 4, Braves 0

It’s 11:36 PM on a chilly night in Dublin. (Ireland, not Georgia.) Your intrepid correspondent is in a somewhat dodgy hotel room directly upstairs from a bar where bad covers of “Sultans of Swing,” “Wonderwall,” and “Brown Eyed Girl” bounce off the double-decker buses and directly into the room where my bed tilts right to left about 5 degrees. Doesn’t sound like much tilt, but you’re constantly rolling back right to try and get to equilibrium.

Perfect night for a Braves game.

The Braves are 29-18, besting their original 1966 incarnation by 9 games at this point. In their next game, the Original Braves lost 4-3 to the Giants in Atlanta Stadium: Ken Johnson lost to Ron Herbel before 27,000. (Things I didn’t know: Ron Herbel ended his career in Atlanta in 1971, going 0-1. A lot of guys ended their career in Atlanta back in those days.) The guys hitting 3rd for their respective teams were two guys named Mays and Aaron. Willie McCovey, Joe Torre, and Eddie Mathews rounded out the HOF lineups. In the top of the first, Mays and McCovey went back-to-back, Mays inside the park, to score 3. Jim Davenport hit a homer in the 6th to make it 4-0, but the Braves came back in the bottom of the inning with a two run homer by Hammerin’ Hank, his 17th. (Take that, Albies.)

In the bottom of the 9th, trailing by 2, Aaron reached on an error, Felipe Alou singled, then Torre singled, scoring Aaron. At that point, the Win Probability for the Giants, which had never been below 75% since the first inning, fell to 50%.

But these were not the 2018 Braves: Frank Bolling hit into a forceout at 3rd, Gary Geiger struck out and Woody Woodward flew out to end the game. Dang. 20-28.

Back to now. Jake Arrieta against Luiz Gohara, the Brazilian Sabathia, in his first start of the season. Arrieta makes $25 million per year, Gohara somewhat less. Only 5 MLB players have come from Brazil, one more than from Austria, and I’m going to be pretty upset if Gohara doesn’t prove to be a better player than Yan Gomes.

The Phillies scratched together a couple of runs in the 3rd and 4th and Luiz was done. Sam “I am not the other” Freeman gave up another in the 5th. Moylan with a clean 6th.

The offense started to stir in the 7th. Inciarte singled and was caught stealing. A walk to Camargo and a bloop double by Swanson chased Arrieta, but a Tucker strike out ended it.

Another run in the 8th off Carle.

A quiet 9th…

And so it ends: not with the bang of a walkoff homer but with the whimper of a Dansby Swanson lineout to left amidst the sounds of vomiting teenagers, breaking bottles and the metallic thud of exhausted kegs on cobblestone streets.

The first Wednesday loss….Thursday morning here, but still.

The game is over — La Lutte goes on.

Author: JonathanF

Alive since 1956. Braves fan since 1966. The first ten years were pretty much wasted. Exiled to Yankees/Mets territory in 1974 --- bearable only with TBS followed by MLB.TV.

13 thoughts on “When Irish Eyes Aren’t Smiling: Phillies 4, Braves 0”

  1. Lost 2 of 3 to Phils. Shutout twice and K’d 32 times in the series, 23 times in last two games. Not good heading into Bean Town.

  2. We might win the game on Saturday, but with Teheran pitching Friday and Sale pitching for Sox on Sunday I am not too optimistic.

  3. Agreed with Roger that flip-flopping Acuna and Inciarte might not be a bad idea. Acuna had 4 games in the 6-hole where a 3-hit day made his overall SSS line look pretty good. But in 22 games since, he has a .227/.296/.386 line in 98 PAs. In that time, Ender has a .277/.341/.494 line. I know we don’t want 3 LHBs in a row, but hitting Ender lead-off and Ozzie 2nd would solve that problem.

  4. Dansby of late has looked like 2017 Dansby at the plate. Hopefully he can fix it.

    Suzuki regressing and Acuña going through growing pains also is hurting the offense.

  5. @9 I see two things with Swanson. One is that his wrist was bothering him. The other is he has changed bats. They’re going to have to work with him to get him back to where he was before the wrist thing.

  6. Michael Mader pitched well in his first start for AAA: 6 IP, 1 R, 0 BB, 3 K. Acquired with Anfernee Seymour for Chevanka, he’s 24.

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