…up here in Reds territory rumors flow, despair may be at hand… conventional wisdom begins to suggest the best they can hope for is the second wild card  (they’re 5 back of two hot teams)…Cueto’s health, Votto’s loss of power the big issues…meanwhile we’ve picked up some local gossip on our nemesis – Mr. Choo is believed by some to have attended a campus of the University of Tennessee with his younger brother Swallo…there they both became known, affectionately, as the Chattanooga Chew Choos…

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more realistically(?), their closer’s arm may merit our attention…

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we peer, with animosity
Aroldis, such precocity
from Cuba he may be
but lately don’t we see
diminishing velocity?
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Choo/Kimbrel

…revisit if you can the last two pitches of that AB last night…
much baggage here…was at GABP in April for the extraordinary finish to Game 2 which alone prevented  sweep…Montechristo* had stunningly tied it up with a homer in the bottom of the ninth, crowd delirious…Choo comes up next, walk off back-to-back homer,crowd totally ape – can you blame ’em?
Braves fans, we’re stunned..God knows what CK was thinking…to their eternal credit when we reassembled the next afternoon the Braves won- in large part due to a G/Salami from our dear, departed friend…           (* so named because he keeps a good Count)

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so the two protagonists met again, last night… top 9, 1 on, 1 out..after three pitches count is 1-2, Kimbrel has not thrown a fastball…that comes on the next pitch, high and tight, very tight, Choo loses his balance trying to get away from it, falls backwards to his knees(hard to do)…so 2 -2 and now the coup de grace – slider, outside corner, down, swinging strike 3…i would posit Choo was frightened by the previous pitch…lovely stuff from CK, that should shut him up a bit…

 

 

TO THE GAME…we can hit Arroyo,  Medlen must forgo the 0-2 meatball…
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1st

no worry about 0/2 counts, Medlen was rubbish, no command..BJ down and out…Joey T gets into the game, blessing in disguise?  let’s try look for a positive…             REDS 3/0

 Phillips playing AS directly behind bag…then back to normal to get RJ…JuP ground out 3rd…3up, 3 down…

2nd

 Strike Out, Montecristo!  CJ with good stop…Choo, need we say!

Freddie grounds out to SS directly behind bag, BMac and Dan  fly out…Death where is thy sting, where grave thy victory?

And when the strife is fierce, the battle long

Steals on the ear the distant triumph song

and hearts are brave again

but Medlen’s wrong                      (and arms are strong)

Allelulia Alleluia

3rd

 Always nice to see a real smile- Phillips again obliges after great grab by FF…Bruce 2 out double, stranded…Medlen 63 pitches..

 CJ fly out..here’s Joey! smile please..don’t, again looks awful…ain’t he big tho? he looks overawed by the whole thing…HIT! by the Archvillain himself…told you we could hit Arroyo, all one of them…

4th

 meatball, Cozart lead off double over Joey T…sensational news, 2 outs,  Medlen strikes out Choo!…Reds file protest…

 J UP thrown out at second trying to stretch..FF flies out to Choo…

5th

 Robinson l/off single…Votto doubles other way, 2nd and 3rd no outs…another rubbish fastball location…bullpen up..infield in..Phillips hpb…here we go again, bases loaded no outs…Medlen out after 90 pitches, Alex Wood in…so hard to equate this Medlen with the best pitcher in baseball the second half of last year…we got warnings in ST but he brushed them off dismissively -‘i’ll be  ready’ he said…no he won’t..i think it’s fair to say if he can’t locate his fastball within 2 feet he is in big trouble and so are we…Bruce SF, Robinson scores and then, neatly, avoids running over the Braves logo on his way back to the dugout…ground out, can’t turn 2…BMac throws out Frazier for 3rd out…Decent job by Alex, brass balls, went after each batter…REDS 4/0

 lousy news for Jordan, what luck…Uggla at his worst against Arroyo junk, second pop out… CJ s/out…Joey grd out..we’ve still got 12 outs to work with, let’s put them to some sort of use…now we hear Strasburg gave up 7 runs in 2 innings to the Marlins – Kris come back, all forgiven!  i am so consistent…

6th

 1,2,3…good for Alex…

 Alex line drive out…Andrelton line drive out LF…RJ baffled by three identical slow curves…Arroyo is ‘on’…if i had known that earlier………………..9 outs left…

7th

 We get Choo, rather Alex does…Robinson grd out on full count…GREAT 3 pitch strikeout of Votto…1,2,3…this might be a watershed game for Alex’s confidence…now we need for the same thing to happen to Joey, he’s obviously going to get lots of playing time these next few weeks…

 Upton grounds out, hobbling…ye Gods! FF grounds out…that has to be unique, all 3 outfielders injured in a 24 hour period..bless Mac, cheers everyone up, solo HR on Medlenesque Arroyo fastball…                                                                                                                                                                                REDS 4 BRAVES 1

8th

Alex to 50 pitches.. strikes out Bruce…Gattis 0 for 4 for Gwinnett…Le Cure up in Reds pen – he is the cure – believe me, WE CAN HIT THIS GUY!!  Alex walks Frazier, gets lifted…3 2/3 innings, great effort, has to be a big boost for him…Ayala in…Jeez, Chip just stole my le cure line…

pity, Joet got a bit of that but not enough…2 out…Janis p/hitting, we are so thin now…

9th

 Varvaro pitching…unimpressive, 2 walks alread…Choo on with fielders choice…did you know he’s a free agent this fall? he is a rental for the Reds…Votto up with 2 on 1 out…flies out…

 the Chapman coming…apparently he’s angry at something that was written about him earlier this evening…stand by for walks! i know we can hit this guy! but we may not have to…103, those words have hurt…AS flies out on full count…RJ grounds out..101, he’s flagging…Pastor looking strained..WALK, told you…FF up, whoa!!  104…HIT, RUN SCORES…TYING RUN TO PLATE…anti climax, Mac broken bat pop out to first…

                                                              FINAL       REDS 4  BRAVES 2

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there is pain tonight, it must be acknowledged…the score has become secondary, overtaken by the decimation of our squad…but still, ‘hearts are brave again and arms are strong’…no Kipling ra-ra tonight…we will allow ourselves this one brief indulgence, Keats again, he did love baseball…

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‘Now more than ever seems it rich to die,
    To cease upon the midnight with no pain,
        While thou art pounding forth thy hits abroad
                In such an ecstasy!

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Good night to all…