After whiffing on the recap last week, I’m anxious to put one out expeditiously this week. So, naturally, it’s the day after Labor Day and school starts and work is backed up. By the time I leave at 7pm and make my way through traffic, I’ve missed the first inning. The first was the most important one. Now the first inning is not the most interesting for the reason you think. I was glad to see the Braves jump all over the “opener” for tonight to the tune of four straight hits to lead off. What makes it the most interesting is watching our Ronald break out of his slump in the only way he could – with a first inning smash off the Braves’ first pitch of the game. The hit wasn’t a HR – merely a triple – but there is nothing more important than Ronald’s getting back to being Ronald.
So with a two run 1st inning lead, the Braves turned the game over to Folty. If that makes you shiver with antici…………..pation, that’s probably not a good thing. There was no single inning where I was comfortable with where Folty was at. The bottom line was 5 innings, 0 runs, 2 hits, 3 walks, and 2Ks. This sounds good and is good for tonight’s game, but a better team would have ripped him to shreds. The Blue Jays just don’t walk. A team that can take a pitch would have had twice as many walks and probably would have scored a couple of crooked numbers. Tonight was a “no” on Folty.
While Folty was wiggling his way through five innings, the Braves offense went into hibernation mode. The Blue Jays helped them wake up in the bottom of the fifth with a couple of walks and a wild pitch. Josh Donaldson doubled them both in after he quit salivating over the opportunity. With a 4-0 lead, Snit brought in Bryse Wilson. The Braves obviously planned this and it confuses the heck out of me. I’m not sure why they would have scratched Wilson in the IL playoffs to pitch a couple of middle innings. Whatever the reason, Wilson failed to deliver. In the 6th, he immediately gave up a leadoff double. He got the next three on flyouts and I thought he might make it. Unfortunately, three XBHs later in the 7th, it was 4-2 and Wilson was done. Probably done for a playoff roster spot too.
The good news is that Newk came in and squashed the rally with a ground out and a K. He then pitched a perfect 8th. Best performance by Newk in quite a while. The Blue Jays helped all over again by walking the bases loaded with no outs in the bottom half of the 8th. Another drooling Braves hitter came up – this time TFlow – and doubled home all three. The Braves made this interesting as Dansby tried really hard to pass Joyce on the basepath. In fact, I thought Dansby might have been able to round the bases twice before Joyce got to 3rd. Ultimately, Dansby put on the brakes and both scored right behind each other.
With a 7-2 lead, Blevins came in and pitched a perfect ninth for the win. So our best relievers had the night off and another day off before facing the gNats. Speaking of which, the DeGrom/Scherzer matchup was kind of a dud. Both pitchers gave up four runs which will help M-m-m-m-Mike Soroka get closer to an ERA title. Unfortunately, the Mets shMets managed to blow a 6-run 9th inning lead after scoring 5 in the top of the 9th. These teams scored a combined 15 runs in the 8th/9th and 12 runs in the 9th alone. The gNats won on a Zuke walkoff 3-run HR and the Braves lost a primo opportunity to gain a game on the gNats. I hope our pitchers are ready for the upcoming onslaught.