Happy to be back!
Last year’s recaps, trying to parallel the 2018 season with the 1966 season, was a lot of fun, but exhausting to actually do. I still want to drop in old-time stuff this year, but I plan to be a little more serendipitous about it.
So I’ve watched the last two games on ESPN. I’ve learned three things from the experience:
- David Ross is really gabby. Many of his insights are fresh, but a lot of them are personal interest stories that are really uninteresting, like the time he tied Johan Camargo’s tie before Tim Hudson’s Braves HOF induction dinner. The fact that he played a long time for both of these teams may be part of the problem. He’s great when he calms down.
- Tim Kurkjian has an annoying laugh and a long list of obscure records to relate (“Most career homeruns in the division series era without ever making a playoff appearance.” (It’s 462. Look it up.) Other than that, he’s pretty good.
- I miss Boog Sciambi A lot.
This was Julio’s second start. The Braves blew a chance in the first when Jason Heyward misplayed Ozzie Albies’ single into a leadoff triple, but nothing more. Teheran’s second inning was a dink-and-dunk four singles allowed, but only one run scored owing to a caught stealing from speedster Kyle Schwarber.
In the third, both Dansby and Ozzie went oppo to take a 2-1 lead. That’s two homers for Swanson in 5 games, so pencil him in for 60, assuming a few days off. It was also the first opposite field home run of Dansby’s career. Joe Simpson would have had an orgasm if it had just managed to stay in the park.
Then Teheran started being good Julio. He got through the 5th with 91 pitches thrown, 3 walks, 7 strikeouts and 6 singles allowed, four of them in the second inning. In came Venters who sandwiched a gigantic shot from William Contreras’ brother between two walks (including Jon Lester’s second walk of the game) to cede the lead. A single from Heyward ended Jonny’s night. Wes Parsons came in and got Zobrist to hit a weak ball to left which almost led to Dansby breaking his wrist and struck out Bryant to end the inning.
The 7th was Biddle’s. He was lucky to give up only one, which scored on a head-up dash home by Rizzo on a ball in the dirt.
Now we come to the 8th. There were two miracles. Miracle 1: a clean inning from Luke Jackson. To be fair, it had a Heyward double play in it. Miracle 2: some other team’s relievers start walking people. Three straight from Cishek, followed by a bases-clearing double off Rosario for Camargo’s first hit of the year. Johan then scores on a sac fly from Dansby. Brad Brach walks two more guys to load the bases, but Freddie bounces out to end the inning. There’s a lesson here, boys and girls. If your relievers walk people it’s hard to hold leads.
Vizzy in for his first save opportunity against the heart of the order. Bryant: 5-3; BB to Rizzo on an extended at bat, Baez; K; Schwarber: K. Easy peasey. Sweep tomorrow.
Fingers crossed for Bobby Cox.