A short trip to Anzio first. In response to Soviet insistence on a second front and facing use of a small British force and an American force that was only beginning to mobilize, Churchill and Roosevelt invaded North Africa. Then, in spring of 1943 they had the resources in the area to begin to take Sicily which would make shipping in the Mediterranean fairly clear for the first time since May 1941, so next stop Sicily. Then, well doggone it is only 9 miles to Italy, why don’t we go there?

As the Allies pushed forward to the high ground around Monte Cassino, the fighting stalled. So, they decided to send a small force up the coast to push toward Rome to try to force the Germans to retreat. The landings at Anzio somewhat caught the Germans by surprise, and the perimeter was extended inland, but then a counterattack pushed the Allied beachhead back and a 20 mile by 20 mile pocket stayed there for 5 months.

So, our Braves comparison is that you can start off fairly well, but still not accomplish what you set out to do once the other guy gets the upper hand.

For some reason this Phillies team, which is wretched against essentially every other Major League team, is good to great against the Braves. Or maybe the Braves go from being middling to bad to being outright wretched. But nevertheless, this dominance / submission is not easy to understand. Maybe we need Christian Gray to explain it.

So, 3rd inning, Aaron Nola, the damn pitcher, drives in one to put the Phillies up. Then, in 6th Dansby Swanson‘s proof of life produced a double. Sac to 3rd, out by Ender Inciarte, and Dat Dude comes to the plate. So, Brandon Phillips singles to tie it.

So, in the bottom of the 6th, Lucas Sims gives up a few hard hit balls and it is 3 to 1. 7th he gives up a solo shot and gets an out. Sims pitched 6.33, got 7 strikeouts, gave up 1 walk, so overall, not a bad night. Something to continue to build on. Winkler came in and struck out 2. onward down 4 to 1.

So, in the 8th, Brian Snitker sent out his good friend Jim Johnson. I don’t understand how Johnson has gone from a minimally o.k. closer to a self igniting gasoline can in seemingly no time. He needs some DL time for “inability to pitch.” Loaded the bases, got lucky a well hit ball by Pedro Florimon was caught by Dat Dude, and walked in a run. one out, one in, bases loaded. Matt Wisler got the final 2 outs in the inning, but the first of those was a sacrifice fly. Phillies 6, Braves 1.

This round of the “Matt Kemp experience” has not caused a bounce in the offense. Ozzie Albies and “the Flow” starting to look like competent Major Leaguers hasn’t helped much. YOU CAN’T PUNCH YOUR WAY TO ROME WITH THIS OUTFIT.