Braves 9, Phillies 5

Tonight was a game in which numerous unsurprising things coincided with a surprisingly happy result: Drew Smyly performed about as expected, Ronald Acuna performed about as expected, the Braves bullpen performed about as expected — with new addition Shane Greene taking entirely too much inspiration from his colleagues’ established work standards — and the Phillies bullpen gratifyingly also performed about as expected, leading a moveable object to be deadlocked with a resistible force.

Then Austin Riley Cleanup Hitter Extraordinaire — ARCHE, if you please — keyed a five-run eighth inning to cement the win and push the team over .500.

Chief and I will both owe Austin a beer if he keeps this up, as he was 3-for-5 with a double and a homer. But William Contreras was no less impressive, going 3-for-4 himself. Whatever his defense turns out to be, the kid can rake.

The last Phillies pitcher of the evening was our ol’ buddy David Hale, our third round draft pick in 2009. Newly reinstated from the IL for the game, his inning of work brings his total up to 23 1/3 for the season, the fourth-highest total in his frequently injury-plagued eight major league seasons. Still, he’s got the fourth-most career innings pitched among all Princeton grads (though he’s still more than 1000 innings behind Chris Young), and he’s the only major leaguer to ever come out of the Walker School in Marietta. Glad to see he’s still working.

(Well, I say “see.” I didn’t watch the game. )

Will tomorrow be the day the Braves finally push above .500 for the first time?

Or will tomorrow be just another day ending in why?

18 thoughts on “Braves 9, Phillies 5”

  1. Ian Anderson over Riley Pint is looking better all the time. Pint retired today.

  2. 29-29
    17-17 at home
    12-12 on the road
    5-5 in their last ten games
    Team OPS+: 99
    Team ERA+: 99
    Run differential: +1

    It’s really hard to be more mediocre than this

  3. So this is depressing, since the Dbacks swept the doubleheader in Atlanta which included the no hitter, they have lost 18 in a row on the road. I think that has be considered the low point of the season as Atlanta looked helpless that day.

  4. Missed the game yesterday, but kudos to Our New Insect Overlords for coming up with Smyly Space. Between Simpsons references and puns, he’s doing some heavy lifting around here.

  5. Is today finally the day Atlanta tops .500? You have to like winning yesterday with our #5 starter against Philly’s #1 right? 30-29 here we come.

  6. Produce runs GOOD
    Give up an equal or close to equal BAD
    Result is not good.
    Good players do not sacrifice defense for offense. We have two that do.
    Not good. Therefore it contributes to a 500 team.

  7. In Ancient Greek philosophy, “arche” denotes the first or underlying principle of a thing. For years for us that would have been Freddie, and more recently perhaps Ronald. You’re thinking Riley may be that first principle?

  8. I’m not sure if I can embrace the nickname ARCHE or not. It brings back painful memories of Garret Anderson in 2009. That was such a sad remembrance of a bad team. The guy was 37 years old, hit 13 home runs, had an OPS of .705, and played a horrible left field. He had some decent years with the Angels, but never could qualify as a clean up hitter, even in his prime – hence the nickname. Otoh, I think Riley has a shot at being a clean up hitter or at least a 5th/6th hitter.

    The crazy thing about Anderson is that the Dodgers gave him 80 games/ 155 at bats in 2010 at age 38 to prove he was washed up. He proved it beyond a reasonable doubt with a line of .181/.204/.271/.475. A .475 OPS over 155 at bats is almost Corky Miller territory. However, Corky’s line of .083/.152/.133/.285 in 67 plate appearances for Atlanta in 2008 is going to be hard for anyone to beat.

  9. Of the four (Howard, Judge, Sanchez, and Acuna), I see Acuna aging the best. If Acuna hits another 20 or so HRs this year, he’ll have around 120 at season’s end. If he then averaged 40 HRs for the next 10 years, he would have 520 by his age 34 season. If he then averaged 30 over the next 5 years, he would have 770 by age 39. Pretty incredible.

  10. By way of comparison, it took Henry Aaron 538 games to accumulate 100 home runs, which he got to in his third season, his first (and only) MVP season, in 1957. I’m not sure games is the best metric here. At that point, Aaron had had 2128 at bats. Acuna has 1417.

    They were both 23 years old.

  11. I really wish I was not 100% correct on the clown Smith. But two days ago I stated he can not protect a one run lead.
    He is a clown. Walk, home run that is his specialty. What a shame to %^#$%^ such a great win possibly. He is disgusting to watch.

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