If you wanted to explain what it was like to root for the first-half Atlanta Braves to someone who only learned about baseball after the 2021 All-Star Break, last night’s game was a perfect example: random players like Ehire Adrianza, Guillermo Heredia, and Orlando Arcia; a starting pitcher who couldn’t find the plate half the time and barely went five innings; a mediocre bullpen; and a loss in a winnable game against the team that was universally crowned in the offseason as the 2021 NL East division winners.
But, as Jon Bois said in his terrific Seattle Mariners documentary: Who cares?
Last night’s taxi squad was the team that Alex Anthopoulos upgraded with four outfielders, a backup catcher, and a middle reliever, and transformed overnight into the division champion. Albies and Riley were really the only regulars, unless you want to count Ynoa, whose postseason audition was iffy. So was Spencer Strider’s, though I think the Dúnadan’s roster hopes already were only the faintest glimmer. Ai! laurië lantar lassi súrinen.
Well, the Braves won’t win 90. But they could win the World Series. The next couple of games are about as meaningful as a player’s answer to a sideline reporter’s question about how good winning made them feel. Get some sleep, eat a nice big breakfast, and get ready for ROCKTOBER!
(I don’t know if you’re familiar with Circle, the eccentric and hyper-prolific Finnish band that blends metal with krautrock and prog, and spins off side projects like Feynman particles. In November, they’ll release a record with the English freak folkie Richard Dawson, and I AM PUMPED.)