Red Sox 9, Braves 1

The Braves satisfied the FDA’s minimum daily recommended allowance of Major League Baseball, and have moved on to the next phase of their lives.

Ronald Acuna Jr., Travis d’Arnaud, and Austin Riley sat out as the Braves dropped a second meaningless game to the Red Sox to finish the regular season at 35 – 25. The Braves were in striking distance until the top of the 7th, when Chris Martin tweaked a groin while facing his first batter. Luke Jackson took his spot, and allowed 5 runs to make it 8 – 1.

Bryce Wilson started and despite allowing 5 hits and 2 walks in 3 innings, escaped with only a single run allowed. From that point, the bullpen tune-ups began. Will Smith, Darren O’Day, Shane Greene, Mark Melancon, and Josh Tomlin joined Jackson in the parade. Smith, O’Day, and Tomlin all allowed solo home runs.

Marcell Ozuna hit his 18th home run to account for the Braves scoring, and to take the NL home run crown. Ozuna also led the league in RBI’s, and was 3rd in batting average. Freddie Freeman went 1 – 4 to finish 2nd in the league in both batting average and RBI’s.

The Braves will take on the Cincinnati Reds Wednesday at Truist Field in the wild card round. Trevor Bauer, Luis Castillo, and Sonny Gray led the Reds to a 30 – 29 record.

Hopefully a couple of days off will help the Braves heal, as Acuna reported wrist irritation Sunday, Riley has been nursing a quadriceps, and Martin is listed as day-to-day. Max Fried had a positive workout Sunday, and his ankle should be o.k. for game 1.

I’m reminded this season of Ray Bradbury’s short story “Frost and Fire,” in which a people become trapped on a Mercury-like planet where radiation causes them to age, reproduce, and die all in an 8 day lifespan. What’s more, the blistering daytime heat and the bitter nighttime cold make it possible to come outside only at dusk and dawn. As the Braves conclude their metaphorical 8 days of summer, I hope you’ve all been able to find a few hours of enjoyment from it.

Now on to the crapshoot.

Author: Rusty S.

Rusty S. is a Braves Journal reader since 2005 and an occasional innings-eater. It was my understanding that there would be no expectations.

49 thoughts on “Red Sox 9, Braves 1”

  1. I’m glad to have had an entertaining baseball season after the doldrums of March, April, May, and June. I never want to experience that again.

    All in all, it’s been a pretty healthy season for MLB. Things were really sketchy after the first weekend with the Marlins and their garbage. But it was smooth sailing pretty much the rest of the way. I hope that bodes well for 2021.

  2. These past few days of offense and defense have reminded me of Mark Twain’s brief sketch “1601”:

    In ye heat of ye talk it befel yt one did breake wind, yielding an exceding mightie and distresfull stink, whereat all did laugh full sore, and then—

    Ye Queene.—Verily in mine eight and sixty yeres have I not heard the fellow to this fart. Meseemeth, by ye grete sound and clamour of it, it was male; yet ye belly it did lurk behinde shoulde now fall lean and flat against ye spine of him yt hath bene delivered of so stately and so waste a bulk, where as ye guts of them yt doe quiff-splitters bear, stand comely still and rounde. Prithee let ye author confess ye offspring.

    [Then was there a silence, and each did turn him toward the worshipful Sr Walter Ralegh, that browned, embattled, bloody swashbuckler, who rising up did smile, and simpering say,]

    Sr W.—Most gracious maisty, ’twas I that did it, but indeed it was so poor and frail a note, compared with such as I am wont to furnish, yt in sooth I was ashamed to call the weakling mine in so august a presence. It was nothing—less than nothing, madam—I did it but to clear my nether throat; but had I come prepared, then had I delivered something worthy. Bear with me, please your grace, till I can make amends.

    [Then delivered he himself of such a godless and rock-shivering blast that all were fain to stop their ears, and following it did come so dense and foul a stink that that which went before did seem a poor and trifling thing beside it. Then saith he, feigning that he blushed and was confused, I perceive that I am weak to-day, and cannot justice do unto my powers; and sat him down as who should say, There, it is not much yet he that hath an arse to spare, let him fellow that, an’ he think he can. By God, an’ I were ye queene, I would e’en tip this swaggering braggart out o’ the court, and let him air his grandeurs and break his intolerable wind before ye deaf and such as suffocation pleaseth.]

  3. In the interest of the good folks who help the Braves pay the bills, I should correct that the wild-card series will be held at Truist Park, not Truist Field.

  4. So…. would love to have drawn a better match-up. 3 good starting pitchers scare me. But I also like that Ian and Kyle get to ease into playoff baseball against a lineup that doesn’t scare a ton of people. The Reds are in the bottom third of offenses, so if Ian and Kyle can’t handle this lineup, then we’re probably not going anywhere anyway.

  5. Thanks for giving some love to Ray Bradbury. He was a dear friend (and my business partner was his editor) and I miss him terribly. He bought me my first ever Guinness.

  6. By the way, I’ve been lurking here for years. I come for the writing. If any of y’all start writing Science fiction/fantasy/mystery/thriller novels that have the potential to come film or TV franchises, talk to me first.

  7. Yes, Game 1 is at noon Wednesday on ESPN.

    Another reason to never do this playoff format again is that these times for the Wild Card Series suck (and to be clear, I’m not just talking about our series). I guess the networks could possibly work with them a little better with more notice, but for this year…woof. The ratings are going to be complete trash for everything except the Yankees and Dodgers series, which will be firmly planted at 7 and 10 p.m., respectively.

  8. So, I mean no disrespect whatsoever to the Dawgs and Falcons fans out there, but man, the state of Georgia has been cursed. And I think the Braves are gonna have to be the team to give the state of Georgia their glory this year because the Falcons aren’t gonna do it, and Georgia losing Jamie Newman, I think, is going to hurt their title chances. Not saying they won’t beat Florida, so this is not a Gator fan just talking trash, but I think if you were hoping that this would be a big year for Georgia sports, I think only the Braves are left to bring that to you.

  9. Don’t even get me started on the Falcons. I’m not normally one who actively argues for outright shitcanning a coach in the middle of the season (or, you know, three games into a season), but in this case, I’m gonna have to make an exception.

  10. Let’s say that right now I have more confidence in the Braves offense than I do UGA QB Stetson Bennett (who was great against a bad team, fwiw), but… the Dogs’ D is the real deal.

    This year’s UGA team may very well be like last year’s — an Eastern title, but w/o a formidable offense, perhaps no more than that. Next week’s game in Athens vs. Auburn should reveal a lot more than we saw on Saturday.

    And as it relates to the Braves & this WC tilt vs. Cincy… “bad match-up” maybe, but still call me optimistic. (If I can’t be optimistic about this lineup, then there’s just no point in watching.) As they say, that’s why they play the games. And, of course, I’d love nothing better than bashing Trevor Bauer all over the ballpark.

  11. Well 16 of 30 ESPN “experts” picked the Reds to win the series. Only 1 of 30 picked Atl to reach the World Series.

    Honestly it’s a great series on paper and game 1 with probable Cy Young winner Bauer against probable MVP Freeman will be fun to watch. It’s a shame most of the country won’t get to see it.

    That said I am really looking forward to 8 playoff games in the same day.

    EDIT: The Athletic picks are in as well with 5 of 10 picking the Reds.

  12. Thanks, as always, blazon, assuming I have been consigned to the hellish diaspora of “numbers” and “hypotheses.” My best response comes from Garry Trudeau: https://www.gocomics.com/doonesbury/1971/11/30

    Oh, and FWIW, I’m joining ububba in he chorus of the optimists. We’re as ready to play craps as anybody except maybe the Dodgers.

  13. Thanks for the welcome, y’all, but I’ve been lurking for years. I donated to the by Mac an iPad campaign and coined the latter half of the Boxcar Wino name (I am equal parts delighted and ashamed that it caught on). Also, I think I met up with some of y’all back in the olden days — about 20 years ago — at a Brew Pub in Buckhead.

  14. If I were a national pundit, I would pick the Braves to lose every playoff series, regardless of matchup, until proven otherwise. I would expect to see a significant amount of folks picking the Marlins over us if we were playing them, even though there’s virtually no reason to think we’d lose to them on paper.

  15. @16…

    I too. And it’s not beyond belief that some kind soul will catch them out en route to their assumed victory and do our work for us.

    @18

    Chief. astonishing turnaround. And honest too! Welcome to your rightful place in the continuum.(Arse/L’pool in less than an hour, silly peacock)

  16. I just played the MLB.com-win-$100K bracket-challenge playoff pool.

    Of course, I picked the Braves to finish on top, beating Cin, Mia, & SD for the pennant, then beating Cle (in 6, of course) to finish the deal.

    Hey, if you’re gonna dream, then dream big.

  17. In re Reds series — it would behoove Snit to pay close attention to Bauer’s spitter, and do not hesitate to involve the umpires. Be prepared to go full Billy Martin (I should note this has almost no chance of happening, but still…).

    In re Dawgs — JT Daniels, not medically cleared to play 53 weeks after knee surgery, has seemingly sufficiently recovered in the 54th week.

  18. @ 22,

    Actually, it was January that JT had a “clean up,” so since then. I think the med people held him back 2 weeks or so more than Kirby expected, by the way. I know Ron Courson put in a multi doctor protocol on D’Wan Mathis. They had to have 6 doctors who had experience with NFL players clear D’Wan for contact. I have a feeling they did something similar here, particularly since operation 1 didn’t heal just right and within 4 months they were going back in. But since Dr. Jack invented knee surgery 60 years ago, they are almost routine.

  19. Dawg-Talk Alert:
    Good news on Daniels, but no matter who plays QB for UGA going forward, it’s tough when you’re trotting out someone who hasn’t had a lotta reps — in a real game or practice. In fact, in the 1st half in Fayetteville, the whole team looked like it hadn’t practiced since the Sugar Bowl — 11 penalties in one half?

    Sounds crazy, maybe, but I’d just as soon start Stetson & hope for a grind-it-out kinda game on Saturday. (Another 21-14 kinda result wouldn’t shock me.)

    Stetson’s obviously no great physical talent — I mean, he looks like Doug Flutie or Marvin the Martian out there — but I’ll say this for him… he was fearless & he did make all the safe-play passes… and that’s what ultimately opened up the running game.

    It wasn’t that the O-line all of a sudden started blocking — Arkansas, like every team we face, outnumbers us in the box until we prove we can pass on them. They certainly weren’t afraid of Mathis in the pocket, but Stetson made them honest about coverage. If you can lengthen the field at all, that helps #3 & #4 in the backfield. Basics…. chop, chop, chop wood.

    Despite the recent history between the schools — UGA’s won 12 of 15 & Auburn hasn’t won at Sanford Stadium since that crazy 31-30 game in ’05 — I never take Auburn lightly & from what I saw vs. Kentucky, their D was better than I expected to see, so I can imagine a full-on scrap Saturday night.

  20. John, I’m an elementary educator and have written several books which are quite entertaining. I might be one that blazon is referring to, but unlike blazon, I know my audience and embrace the hell out of it. I’d love to talk with you about some of my writings. My personal favorite is about a depressed starfish. Can I send you an email?

    Also, blazon, I’m removing your comment and this my first ever real warning that I’ve given to anyone since taking over. Do not insult the people that love this place.

  21. Stetson Bennett might not actually be half bad. I thought he looked perfectly cromulent in the second half. The question is how much better Daniels will be with such little time both in practices and in the program.

    I want Daniels to get as much playing time as possible. Florida’s best vs. Georgia’s best. No excuses. If Florida is able to be competitive, I don’t want the trash talk to be that Newman opted out and Daniels wasn’t ready.

  22. Hi John, I read a lot of Bradbury stories in school and enjoyed them all. Really cool you have that connection.

  23. I have no evidence of conspiracy, only the learned skepticism of the health updates of players rehabbing serious injuries who begin the season right on the cusp of health but not quite there. This is precisely when they need him to be healthy, and I certainly hope he is.

  24. Satire requires assuming the behavior or persona of your target. Your story sounds interesting, though — would check out!

  25. Hmm…I’ll stay out of the other saying only I’m not such a fan of censorship. Every bar has a variety of patrons (and frankly I read the comment and did not see issue. But one does what one does.)

    On the subject of the Dawgs, I agree with ububba. Not enough reps, and not enough practice (for obvious reasons.) The latter I think may be responsible for much of the sloppy play. Frankly, I didn’t see too many clean games on Saturday.

    And on the subject, lest we get away from our mission here, I saw much of the same from the Braves this weekend. Playing out the string, resting some guys, nursing some injuries (which seem to be up to me this year, again for possibly obvious reasons)…I can only hope the guys can be rested and ready come Wed. I’m still in the optimist camp and the Reds are entirely beatable depending on which Braves offense shows up. I’d prefer the mashers over the strikes out a lot and leaving tons of guys on base brand (otherwise known as hibernation mode.)

  26. Having not won a postseason series in 20 years, I can’t be in the optimist camp. I’m fully expecting the first-round exit and that’s going to be my expectation until they get over the hump and win a postseason series.

  27. Being a Brit, BravesMarine, I think blazon knows that “blazon” is Gaelic for “pompous douchiness”.

    The guy used to whine that no one gave him kudos and congratulations for his poetry nonsense. He has the audacity to say that people don’t speak in complete sentences when he’s the only gentleman who doesn’t.

  28. @35

    I think that’s where I’m at, sadly. We have been the better squad in many postseason series only to lose to a lesser opponent. Until that stops happening, one must assume it will continue to happen.

  29. Game 1 hope- 66 of Bauer’s 73 innings this year (~90%) came against teams that were bottom 10 in baseball in OPS and runs scored. Only the White Sox had a top 19 offense, and they beat him.

  30. One more Bauer stat

    62% of Bauer’s innings came against teams in the bottom 5 of MLB in OPS v RHP

    1x CHW (.749, #13)
    2x CHC (.735, #16)
    1x KCR (.708, #23)
    3x MIL (.681, #26)
    2x DET (.655, #28)
    2x PIT (.612, #30)

    ATL .852, #1

  31. I know the game time tomorrow sucks for all of you. Pretty sweet for me over here though. Got a good feeling. Our offense rocks, especially against RHP and we beat even the good ones this year. Atlanta in two. Go Braves.

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