I interrupt this weekly set of baseball musings to celebrate my alma mater for a paragraph. Yale, defending NCAA champions in lacrosse, has advanced to the Final Four this weekend in Philadelphia. They take on Penn State, with the winner facing the winner of Duke and Virginia. Penn State is ranked first in the country, but their only loss this season so far has been to Yale. The semis are on Saturday and the championship game is on Monday. Unlike Yale’s women’s soccer team, the coach doesn’t waste scarce recruiting spots on wealthy alumni children whose only knowledge of lacrosse is a Holiday Inn Express stay in LaCrosse, WI. Boola Boola. This concludes today’s public service announcement.
One more late night West Coast game, or as timo calls it, Breakfast with the Braves. The Braves led off the scoring in the top of the 2nd with a rare (with all due respect to Tony Cloninger) pitcher’s RBI when Max Fried hustled down the line to avoid a double play, scoring City Limits Riley from 3rd. The second run scored when a third strike got by Buster Posey (who was out back when, by the way.) At this point, tired of scoring on sloppy play by the Giants, Dansby “Hell to the Chief” Swanson and Freddie went back-to-back to tack on four more. At this point, former Notre Dame (the college, not the cathedral) wide receiver Jeff Samardzjia had thrown 55 pitches and given up 6 runs, but as Mac was fond of pointing out, none of them were “earned.”
The Giants got on the board in the 4th with a single off the wall by Posey, who was correctly called out trying to take second. Is he ever safe at second? Other than this small hiccup, however, Fried was dealing. I think I mentioned this a couple of weeks ago, but my granddaughter will be old enough to date him just around the time he’s eligible for free agency. I give my blessing.
A second Giants run came in the 6th on a solo homer from Tyler Austin of Conyers. The next batter, Longoria, drew Fried’s second walk. Posey then became Fried’s last batter. Posey was out, on Riley’s best defensive play to date.
Note to Chip (ever constructive): it is inconsistent to argue that a 6-2 lead is far from secure and, five minutes later, to say that the 6-0 lead began a “rout.” Pick your cliché and stick with it.
Derek Holland came in and promptly walked Acuna and yielded a single to Dansby “Chiefly Great” Swanson. Two subsequent outs brought up Austin’s Power. He hasn’t been a Brave long enough to understand hibernation mode, so he hit a three run homer that never got more than about 15 feet in the air, and… ahem… the rout was on.
So when you acquire a new player, you definitely want to test his mettle with a high leverage situation. Newest Brave Anthony Swarzak came in with a seven run lead: Swarzak Space. He is wearing #38. The last Brave to wear that number was Arodys Vizcaino. That tempts fate, but he had a 1-2-3 opening salvo.
Swarzak Space gave way to Winkler Woom. (Be veewy veewy careful, Dan.) 1-2-3. The ninth then landed on Tomlin Terrain: he got the first two, but then gave up two singles before bringing the ceremonies to a conclusion.
Get away day game tomorrow. Future Brave MadBum takes on former Oriole Gausman.