Going into GABP, I thought that we were in for it with our pitching staff and the Reds hitters. But I looked at the Reds hitting numbers and thought that maybe we could get’m while they’re down. Then I looked at Sonny Gray’s pitching stats and thought… why, again, didn’t we trade for this guy???
So the game starts and I can’t watch cuz I’m not home yet. But I look up the stats and Sonny has gone to war. And, badda-bing badda-boom, Sonny KO’d 9 Braves by the fifth inning. The only ray of hope was a Dansby triple that got the Braves a run in the fifth.
Meanwhile, Kevin Gausman did his dead level best to make the Reds look like world beaters. 2 HRs later the Reds had a 3-1 lead going into the sixth. But Sonny should never get on the causeway because the Braves were waiting for him at the tollbooth. In the sixth, Ozzie looked really good as a lefty on a single to CF. Donaldson hit a perfectly placed pop fly double. Freddie whacked a single and the Reds defense fell apart with a bobble by Suarez and a PB. And the Braves led 4-3.
Generally, one thanks the other guy when they give gifts so generously, but the Braves had to go one step further and give them all back. The bottom of the sixth was a traditional, wretched, gut-wrenching pitching performance. Four walks, an error, PB, and sac fly later, the Reds batted around and scored 4 runs meaning they led by more at the end of the sixth than before the Braves’ rally – 7-4.
The Braves didn’t give up. First Fake Dansby (TM) in the 7th and then Real Dansby in the 8th hit RBI doubles that got the Braves within one. The Real Dansby Swanson (TM) then stole 3rd with one out and I could feel the tie score. Tyler Flowers, he of the 3/3 against Phil Hughes, could not hit Hughes and struck out.
OMG, why in the hell did the Braves put Sobotka out there? Somehow, after 2 walks and a hit, Sobotka survived the 8th. The Matt Joyce wonder doubled on the first pitch of the ninth and, again, I can taste it. Unfortunately, after a popped-up bunt by Ozzie, a near 2-run HR (5 freakin’ feet more….GEEZ) by Josh, and an easy grounder to 1B by Freddie later, the Braves lost.
Of course, I have to note that JD (and Freddie, too) struck out three more times. Sometime last week, the Braves had one of the lowest K totals in the league and now, all of a sudden, they have middling numbers.