So what had happened was, I went to see Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Because, superhero movies are awesome. We went to a matinee, because movie tickets cost more than a year of college if you don’t. Movie let out around 5:30 so we walked down the street there in “Town Brookhaven(*)” to a tapas and tequila place and met some more folks. Then we drank and talked about the movie, and it was all “Cap was like BAM, POW, KABLOOEY!” and “Black Widow was all like WHAP, WHAMMO, KICKYOURFACEIN!” and somewhere in all of this, before the end of the game but after at least two beers and one or two margaritas on the rocks, I realized the game was going on and checked the MLB.tv app for updates. And in the middle of a conversation about a 95 year old superhero relic of America’s past fighting a resurgent Nazi-ish organization in Washington, DC, pivoting on the control of three flying S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarriers that would never have to land once airborne, I saw that BJ Upton was having a good game and thought “there’s only so far that I can suspend disbelief.”
Then I ordered more tequila. Sorry. I’m like that sometimes.
Julio Teheran wasn’t on, and left one in the zone for Adam LaRoche to run into in the first. But then, probably as shocked as anyone aside from LaRoche himself that Adam LaRoche just went third deck on him, he settled in and muddled through. Insert Don Sutton talking about how great pitchers know how to get by on days when they don’t have their best stuff here.
The Braves, as they are want to do, were up in Stephen Strasburg’s grill early and often, but didn’t break through until a throwing error by Ryan Zimmerman(**) in the fourth; an event that requires no suspension of disbelief at all; let the Braves back into it. At that point, with two down but runs in on the error, Strasburg did what he does best; melted down. Julio Teheran is a good hitting pitcher, but seriously, Stephen Strasburg is supposed to retire the damned pitcher there. But he didn’t, giving up a single and tying up the game. An inning later and Operation Fragile Glass was out of the game entirely having given up six runs, though only three of them “earned.” (There was another error, this one a throwing error by Harper from LF, in the fifth.) At that point, the storyline of the game was mostly set, and well summarized by Bowman at MLB.com:
With victories in the first two games of this weekend’s three-game set, the Braves have won 15 of the 21 games played against the Nationals dating back to the beginning of the 2013 season. Teheran has been credited with three of those victories, and Strasburg has lasted fewer than five innings in three of his past four starts against Atlanta.
Fredi let Teheran muddle through seven full, even though it took him 111 pitches to do it, then went to Ian Thomas to turn down the covers in the 8th. Jordan Walden tucked them in for the night in the 9th. The four run lead managed to both give Kraken a night off in the early going and rub the fact that we find better relievers than their entire pen lounging around the minors in the Mets’ faces. Double win!
No, seriously. BJ Upton was the hero last night. That part really happened.
(*)Just because you build an outdoor mall complex where the old run-down college apartments used to be doesn’t make you a town, Brookhaven.
(**)Of note, on that throwing error Zimmerman seems to have munged up his shoulder again, and is being scheduled for another MRI. At this point, the guy’s shoulder is about as operational as Tommy Hanson’s. Don’t be shocked to see Anthony Rendon at 3B and Danny Espinosa at 2B for a while. Ryan Zimmerman is, at this point, a first baseman.