Boring in the best way. If you threw these two teams into OOTB a hundred times, it would probably spit out something like this game quite a few times. (I went to bed after the fifth — the old grey mare ain’t what she used to be — so take the rest of this with a grain of salt.)
Riley hit a two-run bomb in the first, Albies hit a two-run bomb in the third, Soler went oppo in the fifth, and Snitker used most of his best relievers in a bullpen game to keep the boot on the throat — Chavez opened, Smyly was quite good in the bulk role, and then Webb, Matzek, Jackson, and Minter slammed the door.
We’ve complained enough on here about Snit’s unwillingness or inability to keep his powder dry in the bullpen, but I can’t really complain here. Santana, Newcomb, Rodriguez, and Martin had all pitched the previous evening, so Webb was the only guy who went twice in a row and Smith is the main guy who didn’t go either night. (There’s also Toussaint, but a discussion of him is probably outside the scope of the post.)
It’s the soft bigotry of low expectations, but Smyly had one of his best appearances in a Braves uniform, pitching 3 1/3 innings from the third through the fifth, and giving up just four singles and a lone manufactured run, along with four strikeouts and no walks. (Smyly made 23 starts this year and gave up a home run in 15 of them. He’s made four relief appearances since losing his spot, and given up no home runs in any of them. Just saying.)
Dansby probably isn’t going to set that record by hitting 30 homers, as he’s been stuck on 26 since the first of the month. But he singled in each of his last two at-bats, giving him his first multihit game in two weeks, and we can hope that gets him off the schneid. He struck out in his two previous at-bats, and took a particularly awkward and frustrated swing in the fourth before busting out a few innings later. He’s a streaky player, and we need him on the upswing.
The Phillies pulled a victory out of their butts in the last at-bat against the Orioles, so the magic number only decreased by one. It’s down to ten, with two weeks to go, and two more games left in the series against these Diamondbacks. Keep it up, Hammers.