Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, and sometimes it rains

The immortal words of Ebby Calvin “Nuke” LaLoosh describe not just last night’s game; they also capture something about the 2021 season for the Braves.

After a rain delay that last over three hours, the second game of Wednesday’s doubleheader between the Braves and the Padres was suspended in the middle of the fifth inning with the Padres leading 5-4.  Under the rules in place since last year, the game was suspended, so the teams will pick up where they left off. (Before that rule change, they would have wiped out what happened and started the game over from scratch).  It hasn’t yet been announced when the suspended game will resume.  The teams’ respective schedules will make that difficult.

The Braves needed a win in the nightcap to salvage a split in the series and to take this three game series.  Most importantly, the Mets won yesterday, so a loss would have caused the Braves to lose a game in a half in the standings in one day’s action. 

Well, at least they didn’t lose. After the first half inning, a loss in game two and a sweep of the twin bill looked inevitable.  Here is what Bryse Wilson surrendered in the first: double, walk, single, sac fly, walk, wild pitch, lineout, double, IBB.  So it’s 4-zip before the Braves come to bat—and it’s one of those 7 inning games.

At that point, even though I had recap duty, I deserted my post.  I switched off the game, and we decided to watch Ted Lasso.  The new season is released on Friday, so we are re-watching season one.  It’s just as brilliant as I remembered it.  If you haven’t seen it, do so.

The emotional roller coaster of this season got to me, and I just couldn’t make myself watch after the Padres jumped to that early lead.  We’ve talked before about how uniquely frustrating this season has been.  I’ve been a Braves fan from the start, and I followed them through lots of losing seasons, some of epic proportions (see, e.g., 1977, 1988). Everybody here remembers 2015-2017.  In the bad years, I followed the Braves, but I didn’t feel the need to watch every game.  Whether they won or lost didn’t affect my mood.

Why is this season harder? I think it’s because they are still in the hunt, but they’re not very good. They keep tantalizing that they’ve turned a corner, about to win 8 of 10 and close the gap– and then they come crashing right back to where they were. In both 1991 and 1993, the Braves were further out in July than they are now.  But both years they started playing much better this month, and I hung on every game.  You came to expect important, exciting wins. It’s a lot harder to stick with them inning by inning when they blow leads and generally play poorly.

I thoroughly enjoyed Ted Lasso last night, but I did look at the MLB app on my phone between episodes.  Wilson gave up another run in the top of the second for a 5-0 deficit. But the Braves scored 4 in the bottom of the second to make a game of it.  I almost turned the game back on right then.  But it would be just like this team to come all the way back and then blow it anyway.  We decided staying in the fantasy world of Ted Lasso would be better for both of our moods.

I did keep checking the app. Neither team scored after the second (two perfect innings by Tomlin and one by Chavez).  And in the middle of the fifth the rains came.  MLB really didn’t want to have to resume this game at a later date, so they waited a very long time before calling it. 

When they do resume, the Braves are down a run, but they have 9 outs left to make up that deficit.  It’s interesting to imagine the context in which those two and a half innings will be played.  It may be that by the time they resume this game, the Braves are in the thick of the pennant race, and they have traded for bullpen help and a big bat.  If so, I’ll be hanging on every pitch.  On the other hand, they may have slipped out of contention, and the result of this game won’t mean anything (at least to the Braves).  I’ll probably watch anyway, but it won’t stress me out. 

The most important road trip of the season starts today in Philly—four against the Phillies followed by five in four days against the Mets.  At the end of these eight days, we’ll know whether to gear up for a pennant race or give up hope for this year. Or it may rain.

Author: tfloyd

Tfloyd was born on the site of Atlanta Fulton County Stadium. Before the stadium was built, that is; it was then the site of Piedmont Hospital. It took the Braves another 11 years to arrive on what is now Hank Aaron Drive, but I‘ve always liked to arrive at the ballpark early.

13 thoughts on “Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, and sometimes it rains”

  1. I’ve heard great things about Ted Lasso, so I need to jump on that train. As an aside, the wife and I got through the March 2020-May 2021 portion of the pandemic without subscribing to a streaming service, subsisting on police shows like Adam-12 and the British crime dramas replayed on PBS. We finally broke down and bought Mare of Easttown, mostly because it is set (and was largely filmed) in the county where we live. Maybe Ted Lasso would be a nice change of pace.

    But the show that’s on my mind right now, as relates to these Braves, is The Walking Dead. I watched it religiously every Sunday night for several seasons before finally giving up on it in disgust. I feel like it’s just about time to give up on this team, which is comprised of a few live bodies and a LOT of dead meat. After the next nine games on the road against the division front-runners, and a series at home against the powerhouse Brewers, the few live bodies left on the Atlanta squad will be long since devoured. I’ve got my proverbial pistol out, ready to put a metaphorical bullet in the head of this horror show of a season. Leaving the tortured metaphor aside, come Sunday, August 1, I can finally tune out–as I did with TWD many Sundays ago.

  2. Can’t imagine it’ll surprise anyone if this club plays .500 ball (say, 1 game over or under) during this stretch vs. “the good teams.”

    I’ll follow them, no problem — I have tickets to 4 of next week’s 5 games in Flushing — but it’s tough to see this bunch (esp. w/ this leaky-on-cue bullpen) doing anything it hasn’t done all season & playing like a true contender.

    For me, the next big season starts Sept. 4 in Charlotte.

  3. Ububba – I think we’ll be at the Clemson/UGA game in Charlotte. Hoping my Tigers can beat a really good UGA team. The outcome of that game may make it easier (or harder) to deal with this Braves season.

  4. For some reason, the headline reminded me of this scene from the Kids in the Hall movie Brain Candy, the song “Some Days It’s Dark”:

  5. @2 There’s also a Canadian crime procedural called Flash Point that’s quite good. It’s about a crew in the Canadian version of a SWAT team. Each episode starts with showing the “flash point”, which is the event right before the climax of the police call, and then they start the story.

    https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1059475/

    Agreed that Ted Lasso would be a great change of pace from stuff like this.

  6. @6 It sounds like a similar start to the show like Law and Order when the episode always begins with the homocide.

  7. #4
    In the grand scheme of the season, it’ll be a bigger game for us (UGA) than Clemson, to be honest. Clemson could lose & still skate to a playoff spot — IMO, UNC (if it makes the conf title game) is the only real threat the rest of the year for them. Nonetheless, Sept. 4 could see a real QB duel.

    In addition to an Athens visit, I’m looking at the UGA/Tennessee game this year. Never been to K-town & it shouldn’t be surprising that, given that stadium’s size & UT’s current fortunes, there are plenty of good & reasonably priced tickets available online. Gotta have something to look forward to…

    FWIW, I kinda believe the Braves will be playing mathematically meaningful games in September — just not sure they can win enough of them to make a difference.

  8. @ 8,

    If going to Knoxville, be careful not to get high tickets in the bottom bowl. They extend FAR under the upper decks. Like, you have about 5 degrees over horizontal view. It is the 2nd biggest town in SEC, so motels are not as tough in the vicinity and you potentially can drive in from mountain resorts all around there. It might be interesting to see if you can rent a boat. It is less than 100 yards from the “Vol Navy” dock to the stadium.

  9. Speaking of big events. Well actually a big deal in a small event. The Black Keys are coming to Janus Landing (2k capacity) in St. Petersburg, Fl.. Doing cities that have matching names Athens, Ga…..

    Now for some humor. Chop Talk has Pache and Waters on the cusp of being everyday players. Now they failed to say where but they indicated the Major Leagues. Okay, okay I have stopped laughing.

    Must win 6 of 9.

  10. #9
    Cliff, thnx

    Already booked a hotel about a mile from the stadium. But was definitely curious about why those 50- yard-line seats (Section C, row 50 or so) were so… reasonable. Couldn’t find any “view from seats” online for those seats.

    Are the uppers like the 2nd level at Sanford Stadium (i.e., actually pretty good)?

    At Neyland, they just seem so far away. Maybe that’s the way to go, like section CC.

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