So, for the first Friday recap of the year, I was going to do a running diary of last night’s game. Unfortunately my cell phone up and died on me, and by the time I had stopped by the Verizon store and secured a replacement (minus ALL my contacts, since I am a Luddite and didn’t know to back them up to the cloud), and had eaten dinner, I had missed the first three and a half innings.
Which meant, of course, I missed Kevin Gausman walking the first two batters. So, at least I didn’t have to worry about any dangerous blood pressure spikes. But Gausman induced Neil Walker to ground into a 4-6-3 double play, and then got Starlin Castro to ground out to Dansby Swanson to end the frame.
After Atlanta went down in the bottom of the frame, J.T. Riddle singled with one out in the top of the 2nd, but Lewis Brinson grounded into the second twin killing in two innings, with Josh Donaldson starting the 5-4-3 dp. After that Gausman settled down and was as good as you could ask for, for a man starting his first game of the season, retiring the next 13 Marlins batters in a row.
I suppose turning on the game to see Ronald Acuna Jr.‘s home run replay was a petty good place to pick up the game. Freddie Freeman had led off with an opposite field single to start the frame. And on the pitch he had broken for second base. The pitch was down and away, and Jorge Alfaro, the Miami catcher had sprung out of his crouch to throw down to second base. But Acuna extendeded his arms, and drove the ball into the Chop House in right for the sweetest busted hit and run you’ll ever see. Two outs later, Tyler Flowers drove a hanging curveball from Miami starter Pablo Lopez into the left field stands on a line to make it 3-0. Swanson followed with a two out walk, after working the count full, and Gausman singled past shortstop, and Ender Inciarte singled home Swanson for a 4-0 lead.
And for quite a while that looked more like a 40-0 lead, as Gausman was absolutely filthy. 95 mph on the black, up in the zone, down and away, and just when you thought the marlins were ready for it, he’d drop an 85 mph splitter that locked up everybody. He struck out the side in both the 3rd and 6th innings for 6 of his 7 Ks on the evening. The most encouraging note was Gausman pitched into the 7th. He surrendered a lead off single to Brian Anderson, but a Neil Walker lineout and a 4-3 double play by Ozzie Albies erased any threat Miami might have had brewing.
Jesse Biddle pitched a 1-2-3 8th inning, and Arodys Vizcaino came on to make things interesting in the 9th. A lead off walk was followed by our Old Friend Martin Prado doubling down the left field line. That apparently was enough to wake up Arodys, as he struck out Curtis Granderson on a nasty slider, and then K’ed Brian Anderson as well. He walked Walker to load the bases with two outs, but Castro flew out to Acuna, Jr. in left to end the game.
So, two VERY Quality starts in a row for Atlanta pitchers. Kyle Wright tries to make it three in a row tonight. Go Braves!