The famous short story writer, pen name “O’Henry”, became famous for the “surprise ending.” When I was reading his stuff in school in the late 60’s to mid 70’s I remember thinking “why is this a surprise ending?” Well, the “unexpected plot twist” had become the “every plot always tries to fool you twist.” Like does it REALLY surprise you when the daughter on Law & Order turns out to be the real killer of Mom’s lover?
I can identify 3 salient principles as to why this type of result seems to be normal for the Atlanta Braves. 1. We have much wretched “starting” pitching which makes it easy to be behind. 2. We may have the most 1 to 7 or so shut down bullpen ever. 3. Snit and the young un’s maintain a positive attitude and never concede.
Dany Gilbert Kiti Toussaint is the riddle which umpires cannot solve. For quite a few stuff pitchers, it appears that umpires can’t follow the extreme break in the pitches and therefore call what should be a strike as a ball. With the StatCast, Trackman, etc. set ups in Minor League parks and MLB parks somebody has run that and found that, “yes, extreme breaking balls are called balls too often and it is worse in the minors. Well, Monsieur Toussaint takes this to another level. When things are outside the realm of human experience, we don’t believe they happened. Like, when I am outside and feel a “whoosh” go by, I do not realize it is Flash and Superman racing to the end of the galaxy and back, I figure it must be a burst of wind. Thus are mere mortal umpires challenged.
Well M. Toussaint let three in and it would have been worse if Austin Riley hadn’t made a great diving catch and extended the dive to the bag at 3rd for a double play. Grant Dayton came in and put out the next fire. Then Boxcar Ynoa put on a quite dazzling display.
Meanwhile, our old friend Anibal Sanchez tried hard to give up more runs than Touki. Aren’t you glad you don’t owe 2 more 8 million seasons after this one? Sanchez is toast so badly burned you think it is pumpernickel. So, that let the Braves offense keep it fairly close.
So, you go to the 9th down 5 to 3 and then Soto launches one and the gNats win probability goes to around 95% (don’t know the exact number, but hang with me). Well, Adam DuVall launches one to cut it to one and then Captain Dans (he deserves a promotion) launches another to walk it off. Just as O’Henry drew it up.