The codgerati amongst us all remember when the Braves nemesis was the Dodgers. From 1969-1993 the East Division had two teams from the Central Time Zone and the West Division had two teams from the Eastern Time Zone. No, this didn’t make any sense. But it meant that the Braves had the most travel of any team and we spent a lot of time on the West Coast, and the Giants and the Padres were rarely top-drawer (to be fair, the Braves were rarely top-drawer) and the Dodgers were usually pretty good. Thus, hate.
At least we only make one trip a year now to LA. (Well, we made two last year, but I like to forget the second trip.) And the fact that Dodgers are better than we are is an objective fact, but it doesn’t really explain why we play them as badly as we do.
I’ve spent some time in LA, and I’ve never liked it. I only went to one game in Chavez Ravine, and it was the day OJ was in the slow-speed chase down the highway to Brentwood. I ate a Dodger Dog, which was not particularly good. I really like Randy Newman, but I Hate LA. (I do like the fact that that song is an ironic paean to brain-dead cluelessness, but that Angelenos, appropriately, don’t get the irony.)
Anyway, the lambs politely took their turn for slaughter last night. Folty pitched well, except when he didn’t. Home runs to Hernandez and Muncy were just about countered by an Acuna return to form, but then runs started scoring on wild pitches and such, and it was 5-2 and looking bleak.
But after two easy outs in the 7th, two dribblers down the third base line by Culby and Albies were followed up by a solid JD single to bring SoCal phenom Freddie Freeman to the plate representing the go-ahead run against Scott Alexander. His 3-2 single brought in Albies and the now it was Acuna against Floro (he of the 0.00 ERA) with two on trailing 5-4. But Acuna bounced out to short. Still, there’s hope.
But as Dante said: Abandon Hope, All Ye Who Enter Here. (Actually, he said: Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch’intrate) And who entered here was AJ Minter. Walk, Single, Stolen Base, Fabulous Sprawling Play By Swanson to Temporarily Save A Run, Intentional Pass, Dribbler Down the First Base Line Scoring A Run, Single Scoring Another Run and Minter’s Night Is Over and the 3 run lead is restored. Enter Webb when hope is lost. Two outs follow. Minter enters the game with a 7.59 ERA and leaves with his ERA raised to a nice even 9. It’s never good when your runs per inning is equal to Mariano Rivera’s WHIP for his career.
Webb, having had the courtesy not to Grybo any runs for Minter in the 7th, gave up a long two-run homer to Turner in the 8th. The Braves had to bat in the 9th, because it doesn’t rain in LA during baseball season. Nothing doing. 9-4.
Forget it, Jake. It’s Chinatown.