The baseball was bad, but the broadcast was so much worse.
What takes more mental fortitude to suffer through: Three straight walks to start the game, or a painstakingly on-field interview with Adam Duvall.
Which one made you want to turn the game off more: Those vomit inducing virtual fans FOX kept flashing on and off the screen, or the Braves going 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position?
The pumped in crowd noise or the 15 strikeouts? The drab commentary or Freddie Freeman’s bases loaded double play?
It was all dreadful. Nobody would ever mistake Chip Caray for Vin Scully, but it will be really refreshing to hear his voice tomorrow on the series finale. Hopefully the bats can pick up where they left off on Friday, too.
- Ian Anderson didn’t crumble. Seeing a young Braves starter issue three walks in an inning has been an all too regular occurrence this season, but seeing said starter continue to battle and almost get through five innings was a refreshing change. Speaking of changes, his changeup helped him escape first inning trouble, and it again became his most effective two-strike pitch as the night went on. His line ended up mediocre, but the way he battled after a horror show of a start was encouraging.
- Adam Duvall really might end up with the greatest slugging month in Braves history. I don’t even know what the craziest part of that is. Is it the fact that it’s Duvall of all members on this team? That there are still eight more games to play this month? That he’s still hitting in the bottom half of the lineup despite turning into Hank Aaron reincarnated?
It’s so bizarre all the way around that it’s the perfect baseball story for 2020.
- Dansby Swanson hit a 107.7 MPH exit velocity double in the seventh. It was his only hit of the night, but it’s a start to busting out of that slump. The classic “oh yeah, I can still do that” moment, similar to lifting some light weights when you get back in the gym for the first time after six weeks off.
- None of them resulted in a run, but Ronald Acuña Jr. drew three walks tonight. Consider that the antidote to his recent strikeout binge.
- The Braves missed Jacob deGrom in this series, but somehow still ended up facing him anyway. In his postgame press conference, David Peterson is going to unzip the very elaborate costume and reveal that it was, in fact, deGrom on the mound tonight. Peterson was outstanding, and sometimes you just have to tip your cap.
- Wait, you’re telling me Freddie Freeman is not going to have a multi-hit game every single night? Well, that’s not what I signed up for!
- Wait, you’re telling me Shane Green is going to give up runs sometimes? I didn’t sign up for that, either!
Seriously though, Greene regressed to the mean a little bit tonight after an absolutely incredible stretch. His sinker had absolutely nothing tonight, and neither did the “outs” section of the scoreboard once the Mets started teeing off on it. Greene had allowed three earned runs in 23 ⅔ innings tonight, and gave up four in just ⅓ of an inning tonight. Safe to say he had an off night.
- The Braves didn’t play well enough to really deserve a win tonight, but it was one of those games where you can look back at a few inflection points where it could have been different. Cano’s two-run chopper of a single in the first inning would have been an inning-ending double play if it had been hit a little bit further over in either direction. If the Braves cash in with runners on second and third and nobody out in the second, maybe Peterson’s night is shorter. If Freeman drives in a couple runs with the bases loaded in the seventh, the game takes a different bullpen track.
Ifs, ifs, ifs. And whiffs. A total of 13 swinging strikeouts, to be exact.
- The standard of umpiring feels like it has never been lower. I’ll leave it there for now.
- The further the Braves advance in the postseason, the more FOX broadcasts they’ll have. Cue the Wario “I’ve won…but at what cost?” meme.
Former Brave Of The Day:
The outcomes for the seven batters Matt Wisler faced tonight: strikeout, single, strikeout, strikeout, strikeout, strikeout, strikeout.
Quote Of The Game:
“Yesterday’s home runs don’t win today’s games.”
– Babe Ruth
A win tomorrow gives the Braves a winning record on the road for a third consecutive season. Considering all of the challenges associated with road trips this season, that would be a nice little marker. Make it happen.