Not that anyone cares, but I had to change houses to see this game. Last night I had to listen to John Sterling’s sterling call of the game on radio. Ububba and I discussed this once a long time ago (back when it was possible for fans to attend baseball games) but Atlanta dodged a bullet when Sterling finally left Atlanta (the Braves and Hawks) for the bright lights of Broadway. He is a fixture in New York for reasons that completely escape me, but then I didn’t much care for him in Atlanta.
Anyway, to avoid a second radio night, I moved to Red Sox country to avoid the arcane blackout rules of MLB. Anyway, I was actually grateful to hear Chip tonight, and he was really no good at all.
These two teams sit atop their respective Eastern Divisions, but neither is healthy; the Braves are missing Albies and Acuña while the Yankees are missing Stanton and Judge – that’s a lot of combined OPS. (Judge has ‘lower body tightness,’ which sounds to me like a good thing, actually. My body lost all tightness some years ago.) The Yankees pitched Masahiro Tanaka who took an ugly shot off the head in spring training and is just starting to get stretched out. Meanwhile, on the other side the Braves started the only player in major league history whose name is an anagram of Ay — Roach Anus. Ynoa was shaky in the first, loading the bases but wriggling out. In the top of the 2nd Camargo stood admiring a right field upper deck shot but finally agreed to round the bases when the ball came to rest. That meant two runs, but solo homers from Gary Sánchez and Clint Frazier eliminated both the lead and any notion that Huascar was set to surprise us. Two more singles ended his outing in the second inning. At this point the Braves went with the only player in MLB history whose name is an anagram for Lazy Met Trek. A walk once again loaded the bases and once again the Yankees left the bases loaded, tieing the record for most LOB after two innings. (Let’s go to the Retrosheet database: On May 4, 1973, the Braves left 27 men on base in Philadelphia, but that was a 20 inning game. But on September 21, 1956, the Yankees left 20 men on base against the Red Sox in a 9 inning game. We’re well on the way.)
Well, it’s hard to set a record for men left on base if you keep scoring. The bottom of the fourth saw DJ LeMahieu score on an Aaron Hicks double which ended Matzek’s night. Then Tomlin Grybo’d Hicks in making it 4-2 after 4. Tomlin then gave up two runs of his own in 5th, departing with two more left on base. (10 LOB after 5. The game is now 6-2 and the diminishing probabilities of this dubious record is the only thing I’m focusing on. The Yankees can still set the record, but they probably need to play the 9th…. Which will require the Braves bats to come to life.)
Will Smith pitched a clean 6th which wrecked any record LOB possibilities. So, nothing to do now but win this…. But a proto-rally fizzles in the 7th. The 8th is no better… But then a rally in the 9th starts with one out. A Dansby double is followed by a d’Arnaud single and a Freddie walk brings the tying run to the plate with one out. Ozuna lined out and Duvall was the last hope. No hope.
11-9 is an acceptable record after 1/3rd of the season. We need health; we need some starting pitching other than Fried; and we need a day off. The last one I can guarantee we’ll get.