Another Game, Another Shutout: Braves 2, Fish Nil In This Game And In The Series

Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

There are few epigrams better known (or if the truth be known, overused, but I ain’t letting that stop me) than this one from George Santayana. As my senescence advances, I recognize the irony that the more of the past you have experienced, the less likely you are to remember it accurately. And I’m perfectly willing to let kids flip bats on my lawn. And I remember Bob Gibson. The lesson that we’re supposed to take away from Gibson is that hitting batters is a lost art. But as Joe Posnanski pointed out two years ago, the use of the hit batsman to intimidate batters is a bit of a myth. That won’t stop people from pretending. As they say in the last scene of The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance: ‘When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.’ A much less well-known quote from Santayana: “History is a pack of lies about events that never happened told by people who weren’t there.” The Marlins are not recovering a forgotten strategy: they are behaving badly. Hank Aaron had 180 plate appearances against Bob Gibson, more than anybody but Billy Williams. Aaron hit 8 homers off of Gibson. Gibson never hit him. Don Drysdale was even more famous than Gibson for hitting guys: he hit over 50 more in 400 fewer innings pitched. (He led the league in hit batmen five times: Gibson was never close.) Aaron faced Drysdale more than any other pitcher in his career: 249 times. He hit 17 homers off Drysdale. Drysdale never hit him.

But enough of that. Game 2 brought us Screech Anderson against Pablo Lopez, brought to us by Jim Kaat, who I thought was dead for some reason (Honestly. Talk about “kids get off my lawn…” He at one point identified Terry Francona as Tito. I do that all the time) and the very, very chatty Buck Showalter, who I just found out is two months younger than me.

So back to the kids. Let’s start with Locomotive Breath. After all the agita, much of it justified, over the Braves’ starting staff, the appearance of Ian Theodore Anderson on August 26th has changed the discussion from “Ohmigod! Who can start a game other than Fried?” to “Is our third starter really good enough to compete?” That’s a really different discussion. He only made 6 starts, but led the starting staff in ERA and ERA+, both over the outstanding ERA and ERA+ of Fried. After two starts in the playoffs, there is nothing that leads you to think he isn’t the real deal. Nothing. 6 2/3rd IP, 3 hits, 8 strikeouts, 1 walk.

Anderson left with a man on 1st and two outs. Darren O’Day entered with a HBP (which nobody complained about because it was obviously unintentional) and a walk to face Matt Joyce. Matt, still on the Braves payroll apparently, weakly grounded out to first.

Tyler Matzek pitched a clean 7th. Will Smith pitched around a Dansby error to pitch a clean 8th, which included a weird play by Markakis that I don’t want to get into because it interferes with my chosen narrative. But Showalter, his old manager, wouldn’t shut up about it. Melançon pitched the 9th, cleanly.

On the offensive side, homers from Dansby Swanson and Travis d’Arnaud (who my wife calls ‘The Duck’ for reasons that are too obscure to go into) provided all the offense.  (RAJ’s 4 strikeouts have to be mentioned, I guess.) So, contra Chip, in the playoffs a solo homer is a rally, or what has to pass for one.

In the top of the 5th Anderson got a very generous call on a 3-1 count and eventually struck out Miguel Rojas, who fumed. I realize Rojas was only 8 years old in 1997, but karmic retribution can skip a generation or two. Karma still owes us a lot, though. I remember the past and have no interest in repeating it… unless you mean 1995.

Author: JonathanF

Alive since 1956. Braves fan since 1966. The first ten years were pretty much wasted. Exiled to Yankees/Mets territory in 1974 --- bearable only with TBS followed by MLB.TV.

37 thoughts on “Another Game, Another Shutout: Braves 2, Fish Nil In This Game And In The Series”

  1. JonathanF quicker with the recap than a beat writer after an extra-innings game on the west coast.

    Hard to lose when you don’t let the other team score! Let’s end it tomorrow and get the ‘pen good and rested for the LCS.

  2. Is this a recap speed record? Nicely done

    Let us bring this series to a close by gutting the Fish again tomorrow

  3. That was a lightning fast and beautiful recap, JonathanF, thank you.
    Our pitching. Got no words for it. Go Braves!

  4. I would guess that if the Astros (lamentably) win this game going on right now and end that series, they’ll move our game back to 3:30 p.m. tomorrow. That would be my guess, anyhow.

    If the A’s win, we’re clearly stuck at 2 p.m. again.

  5. A’s coughing it up again… Say this for the Astros, help or no help, this would be 8 wins in their last 10 post-season series. Not sure the world needs another Yanks/Astros ALCS, but that’s what we’re staring at.

    Braves bullpen this post-season (in 19 appearances):
    2-0, 17.1 IP, 1 ER, 8 H, 4 BB, 24 K, 0.52 ERA

    And Ian Anderson… what can you say? In his honor, men in tights playing “Locomotive Breath”:

  6. Loving it folks. They keep showing their guts – – the stuff of special teams. Biggest roll of the dice tomorrow with Kyle Wright. But you wanna know the good news? We all KNOW he’s got the stuff. Just can he put together a quality start in an elimination game??

    Back to the Trevor B discussion from a few threads ago. FWIW:

  7. We’ve had better teams that have looked a whole lot worse in October. If it’s a crapshoot, I’m betting on these boys. As Bugs might say, they moitelate the ball.

  8. Rats. I was hoping the game would get pushed until later in the day. I’m doing my best to consume every single pitch of our playoff run whether by TV or radio, but this many straight day games is tough.

    If Kyle Wright pitches well tomorrow, my optimism might start really kicking in. Ian was incredible today. We could get 5 innings from Kyle, and still have plenty of rested arms to throw out a studs to throw after him. With that said, we did use our closer with a 4-run lead yesterday, so Melancon has now been used two days in a row. O’Day, Smith, and Matzek have also been used in both games. If we wanted rested guys, we could throw Greene (or not), Martin, Dayton, Minter, and Webb with Tomlin, Bryse, and Ynoa available for mop-up duty. I would think that you’d go with Minter in the 7th, Martin in the 8th, and ride Melancon again in the 9th.

    If we get to the NLCS, I hope we ride these relievers hard. 3 days in a row if need be. If we start to feel it a little with our depth, you know the other team has already been feeling it.

  9. What’s with the Markakis silence? In the first inning with 2 marlins on and Anderson not yet himself he caught a hard line drive to end the inning.

    Later on he made the defensive play of the game nixing a 2 on no out situation by throwing a dart to second which caught the lead runner via a great tag by Dansby.

    Then, a bit later, he led off an innings with a double down the left field line spoiled, comically, by Riley who swung and missed at all three pitches he received. Awful waste.

    Not a bad days work for most of us, what was old grumpy thinking?

  10. If your sleep tonight is plagued by silly dreams of Kyle Wright floundering I refer you to the quote of Ron Darling who was doing the color for the Mets a couple of weeks back.

    ‘ He (Wright) has the best breaking stuff of any pitcher I have seen all season.’

    Go back to sleep.

  11. @12. The ball in the first was right at him…
    On his ‘great’ play. He should have had the speed or the instinct to catch the ball in the first place rather than being lucky enough to field it on a hop.
    He hit a wasted double. True enough, but he also failed to move a runner himself earlier.
    That’s why the silence.

  12. As you once said to me, re Dansby’s leadership qualities…BAH…

    We all have our favorites. And those we decline to trumpet. The writer though is subject to a stricter code of impartiality. We can only run as fast as our legs allow. But some of us can still make difficult decisions and execute them perfectly. And, as you admit, a wasted lead off double is not wasted by the one who hit it..

    Always a fan.

    Enjoy the rest of your evening and stray not into the ghastly world of debates.

  13. I am not impartial. Never have been. Don’t even care to be.
    Yes, Markakis is limited by his speed. But had Pache (or Acuna) been in right he would have been camped under that ball when it fell to earth. Markakis made a good play, but it was a recovery from the much simpler play that should have been made and would have yielded the same result.
    And Markakis did in fact hit another double. Babe Ruth’s nervousness in heaven is palpable. The Babe hit 5 postseason doubles. Markakis now has 3. Only two more to catch the Bambino.

  14. On another field…

    Our old friend Charlie Morton has just defeated the Yankees and Tanaka for the Rays to go into tomorrow’s game 4 with a 2-1 lead. Charlie went 5 for the win gave up 1 run. Rays went ahead early, resisted a Yankee mid=game surge and won out 8-4. Well, well.

  15. I prefer the banter over whether Markakis had a good game than worrying over losing another playoff series. I can get used to us winning playoff games again.

    Looking at the Yanks-Rays boxscore, it seems managerial malpractice to hit Stanton 5th tonight behind both Hicks and Voit. Must be overthinking it. Be like Snit hitting Ozuna 5th. Don’t care though, as the Yanks are now nearly gone.

  16. continued from @17

    the good guys won another…Oakland coming from well back to beat the Astros in a must win situation.

    And would you believe another Brave, TLS, Tommy La Stella, featured big time with a homer. Don’t ever send Tommy back down, he’ll go home and you’ll have to eat humble pie to get him back.

    The thought does occur with these underdogs winning maybe we can beat the Dodgers. Or the Padres as the case may be. And then the garbage canners.

  17. La Stella has followed a slightly attenuated version of the Mark DeRosa career path: he had a good reputation out of the minors but couldn’t really hit enough to stay with the Braves, then finally found himself around age 30 as a journeyman utilityman with surprising pop. I’m really happy for him.

    I’ve been listening to all of these games on radio since unfortunately I couldn’t get ExpressVPN working to get around MLB’s location blocking. (I’m guessing they’ve gotten more sophisticated in the last couple years.) I absolutely loathe and despise MLB’s blackout strategy but I like listening on the radio.

  18. Alex or anyone. We don’t have a lot of stats yet. But given what we do have and seeing how he pitches, including his delivery and the type and effectiveness of his pitches, can you suggest some comps for Ian Anderson?

  19. Ducky D’Arnaud
    (stop the JTR talk, just let him go)
    Occasional power
    Reimagined – when needed, home run on the day, on the hour.

  20. @18

    Aaron Boone is severely, severely overthinking it. Rather than just throw Tanaka in Game 2 like a normal person whose team is blasting the ball all over the place, he tried some weird piggy-backing thing with two of his starters to try and trick Tampa Bay into stacking their lineup with left-handers and then burning the original starter and bringing in left-hander JA Happ. It failed spectacularly, as did Tanaka last night once they did go with him, and now he’s down an extra starting pitcher and has to go with some guy with their season on the line…or bring back Cole in some form on two days’ rest, which sounds like a splendid idea. If the Yankees go on to lose this series, especially before even being able to get the ball back to Gerritt Cole, Boone is gonna hear about it in a major way.

  21. I would assume that Matzek, Smith and O’Day won’t be used today, unless there is a big spot with two outs and you can try and see if they can end the inning for you.

    I would think Melly would still get a save opp if there is one, but it looks like Greene, Minter and Webb would be the main guys for innings 6,7 and 8.

    Have to think they want to save Tomlin, Ynoa and Wilson for game 4 if there is one.

  22. #26
    FWIW, that overthinking came from GM Cashman, not Boone.

    GMs are the new managers. That’s why Cash got rid of Girardi in the first place. Giradi never would have gone for that piffle play.

    And coming into this post-season, Tanaka has been very good in previous playoffs. I was as surprised as anyone that they’d approach Game 2 that way.

  23. @28 – I’m guessing Martin will be in the mix too. Gotta love having such a deep and effective bullpen.

  24. @29

    If that’s true, I hope for Boone’s sake that the Steinbrenners or Randy Levine or whoever remembers that fact when they get set to hold someone to account for suddenly running into a ditch while on a somewhat gilt-edged road to the World Series.

  25. 30 – Good call, completely overlooked Martin, I suppose he will take the place of Greene or Webb in my scenario.

    I’m saying
    Wright 5IP, 2R
    Minter 1IP, 0R
    Greene 1IP, 1R
    Martin 1IP, 0R
    Melancon 1IP, 0R

    Braves win 6-3

  26. @33, oh! That’s a really really really really good idea. I will try it!

  27. @34 I just did for yesterday because I didn’t have access to MLB Network otherwise; it’s a two-week trial,; which might be NLCS too if we are so lucky.

  28. I have the MLB Radio subscription. It’s the best $20 you’ll ever spend. I’ve thought about streaming it over Zoom for you guys but don’t know if my employer would appreciate that. :)

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