The codgerati amongst us all remember when the Braves nemesis was the Dodgers.Â From 1969-1993 the East Division had two teams from the Central Time Zone and the West Division had two teams from the Eastern Time Zone.Â No, this didnâ€™t make any sense.Â But it meant that the Braves had the most travel of any team and we spent a lot of time on the West Coast, and the Giants and the Padres were rarely top-drawer (to be fair, the Braves were rarely top-drawer) and the Dodgers were usually pretty good.Â Thus, hate.
At least we only make one trip a year now to LA. (Well, we made two last year, but I like to forget the second trip.) And the fact that Dodgers are better than we are is an objective fact, but it doesnâ€™t really explain why we play them as badly as we do.
Iâ€™ve spent some time in LA, and Iâ€™ve never liked it. I only went to one game in Chavez Ravine, and it was the day OJ was in the slow-speed chase down the highway to Brentwood. I ate a Dodger Dog, which was not particularly good. I really like Randy Newman, but I Hate LA. (I do like the fact that that song is an ironic paean to brain-dead cluelessness, but that Angelenos, appropriately, donâ€™t get the irony.)
Anyway, the lambs politely took their turn for slaughter last night. Folty pitched well, except when he didnâ€™t. Home runs to Hernandez and Muncy were just about countered by an Acuna return to form, but then runs started scoring on wild pitches and such, and it was 5-2 and looking bleak.
But after two easy outs in the 7th, two dribblers down the third base line by Culby and Albies were followed up by a solid JD single to bring SoCal phenom Freddie Freeman to the plate representing the go-ahead run against Scott Alexander. His 3-2 single brought in Albies and the now it was Acuna against Floro (he of the 0.00 ERA) with two on trailing 5-4. But Acuna bounced out to short. Still, thereâ€™s hope.
But as Dante said: Abandon Hope, All Ye Who Enter Here. (Actually, he said: Lasciate ogne speranza, voi châ€™intrate) And who entered here was AJ Minter. Walk, Single, Stolen Base, Fabulous Sprawling Play By Swanson to Temporarily Save A Run, Intentional Pass, Dribbler Down the First Base Line Scoring A Run, Single Scoring Another Run and Minterâ€™s Night Is Over and the 3 run lead is restored. Enter Webb when hope is lost. Two outs follow. Minter enters the game with a 7.59 ERA and leaves with his ERA raised to a nice even 9. Itâ€™s never good when your runs per inning is equal to Mariano Riveraâ€™s WHIP for his career.
Webb, having had the courtesy not to Grybo any runs for Minter in the 7th, gave up a long two-run homer to Turner in the 8th. The Braves had to bat in the 9th, because it doesnâ€™t rain in LA during baseball season. Nothing doing. 9-4.
Forget it, Jake. Itâ€™s Chinatown.