Sunday, April 10, 2016 — St. Louis Cardinals at Atlanta Braves
Today at Turner Field, the kids ran the bases.
Not our highly touted Braves kids, mind you. Not today. Today they’re toiling down on the farm, sowing seeds that on other days on other fields shall yield the fruits on victory.
So we’re told.
But today’s our day, our here and our now; and in this instance that we are, Williams Perez and his slapstick comedy revue are live at the Ted for our entertainment. The Bills has a formidable task. Small sample size notwithstanding, the Braves 2016 season has sucked. Big time. Our guys have been out pitched, out fielded, out hit and outclassed. There’s a reason the Bills is gunning for our first win today. We are inept, and we haven’t deserved to win.
The opener was close. We could have won, perhaps should have won; but we didn’t. We haven’t come close since.
Baseball’s a funny game: you win some, maybe; you lose most if not all; but you suit up for them all, and that makes a season. We’re suited up. The season continues. Now let’s get that W.
The Braves grab the lead on Erick Aybar’s leadoff single and Nick Markakis’ booming double to straightaway center. Freddie Freeman fans again, and Adonis Garcia walks again, setting up Hector Olivera’s inning ending 4-6-3.
Perez gives up a leadoff walk in the second but escapes. Adam Wainwright walks a couple of his own, but Atlanta can’t add to their lead. Then comes the third.
Home run. I despair. Cards 4, Braves lose.
But the game’s not over till the last man’s out.
Drew Stubbs! HOME RUN. The game is tied. the Braves un-lose.
That’s all for the fourth, but the Bills are still in the game, for a little while. Fredi lets Perez get two of the three he faces in, then chooses to let Eric O’Flaherty face the villain. O’Failurety does not, getting Moss on one pitch.
Quit mourning the Wainwright trade. Adam’s not the same pitcher he was. Bless his heart, he was good, and he might be again; but right now we need to find someone else to wish we still had. I nominate Andrelton, because Aybar makes my stomach hurt.
Neck leads off the fifth with his second double of the day. Freddie doesn’t strike out and moves the Greek mortal to third with a fly to left. The Greek demigod walks again, intentionally this time. Olivera hectors Markakis in with a sacrifice fly. Braves lead. Tyler Flowers continues his good work with a solid single, but the Bravos are done in the fifth.
Chris Withrow takes the sixth with the lead. He walks the067 hitting Randall Grichuk on four pitches. Aybar muffs a bad throw but manages to keep Grichuk at second. Kolton Wong moves Grichuk to third with a ground out, and Greg Garcia singles him home. The leadoff walk ties the game.
Never hope, Mac said. Disappointment that way lies. With one out, Gordon Beckham doubles, but Erick fans. Nick the Greek bears the lead run gift with his third double of the day, and fanning Freddie walks to bring up Adonis, who strikes out. Braves lead 6-5 going into the seventh.
Ah, hope. Dan Winkler’s good. He’s gone. Bless him. Who’s next?
Jim Johnson’s the next Brave up. He inherits a 2-2 count and records a walk, with which Danny’s credited, then strikes out the platinum catcher. Braves still lead, but Winkler’s probably toast. Timothy Miller’s still got it going on, though.
Ah, woe. Tempus fugit; “the moving finger writes; and having writ, moves on. Do. Not. Hope.
Top of the eighth: it’s the nature of things. Things. Fall. Apart. Cards grab the lead. Don’t sweat the details. They’re nada, zilch, zip. Nothing.
If hope is abandoned… Dare we hope? Dare we not?
The Braves are not good in this here-now. Things fall apart; but, sorry Mac, we gotta hope. What else is a fan to do? Fanaticism is obsessive love, maybe sometimes hate; and I do so love those lousy Braves.
So, I’ll hope. Ain’t quitting. Not me. I’ll take another sip of that kool aid, sigh, and — shut up, Mac. I love you. I miss you; but, please, just shut up — hope.
Hope springs eternal. All things work to the good of those that love the Braves. We lost today, so what? It’ll be fine. We will win again. Someday — I HOPE it’s someday soon — it’s going to be great. We’ll hoist flags again, many a toast. We will rejoice and bask in glory. But today…
Braves lose. So what?
We are. Be glad. Hope tomorrow will be better. Be thankful — rejoice — for what we have today. Love the here-now. Things will get better. Or worse. That’s what things do, but everything will be okay. Life is good right here right now.