We have a saying in the law: res ipsa loquitor (the thing speaks for itself). I’ve been insisting to all the doubters and naysayers that of course the Braves are better than a .500 team. Until a few minutes ago, I was all set to revel in the fact that our Braves finally—for the first time all season—have won more games than they’ve lost.
But the reality of their record is a stubborn fact, and it speaks for itself. The 2021 Braves are not a .500 team. As of June 9, they still have a losing record, and they haven’t been over .500 for a single day this season.
They managed to lose this one in especially gut-wrenching fashion. Tucker Davidson pitched 6 shutout innings, surrendering only 4 hits and one walk. Meanwhile, the Braves had scored their only run on three straight singles in the 6th (Swanson, Almonte, and Contreras). Matzek and Martin got them six up six down in the 7th and 8th. So Will Smith was called upon to close it out in the 9th for the win that would finally put them over .500.
Smith got Hoskins and Miller on either side of a walk to McCutcheon. One out away from a shutout, four straight wins, and that elusive winning record. Who is up for the Phils? Some guy named Luke Williams, a 2015 draft pick who made his big league debut in this series. What did Smith do? What he does far too often: he gave up the game winning home run to young Mr. Williams.
I know it’s a long season. We’re still just 3.5 behind the Mets. There are hopeful signs. Tucker Davidson has now made three starts and his ERA is 1.53. Ozzie and Contreras each had 3 hits (for those of you concerned about Contreras, don’t be).
As hopeful as I generally am, as much as I know you have to take the long view, this one hurts.
I still believe they will win more games than they’ll lose this season. But–it’s June 9 and they are below .500. Res ipsa loquitor.