One night after losing a home run to an Adam Jones over the wall grab, Ronald Acuna hit another that only Paul Bunyan could’ve caught as the Braves up and won a pitcher’s duel in the desert by a 2-1 count.
Julio Teheran and Zack Greinke hooked up for a classic, and the bullpens were almost as good. In fact, this game would’ve fit right in with any number of games from the 90s run, dominant starting pitching, and just enough offense.
Snitker moved folks around in the line up. Acuna went to lead off, Josh Donaldson down from 2 to clean up, Dansby Swanson up to 2nd, and Ozzie Albies to 6th. The change seemed to work at the top, with all of Atlanta’s hits coming from the first 4 spots. Acuna with the aforementioned homer, Lt. Dans going 3-4, Freddie Freeman had 2 hits and the other RBI, and JD with the last Braves knock.
After both starters tossed 3 scoreless to start – Greinke faced the minimum thanks to a strike’em out, throw ’em out double play in the first – the Braves cracked the scoreboard in the 4th, when Swanson tripled with one out for the second of his three hits. FF5 singled him home. Julio looked like that would be enough for him until the 6th. He surrendered a two out double to Ketel Marte, but should have been out of the inning except for Swanson being unable to handle a pick off throw that clearly had Marte dead to rights. That non-error error came home to roost when last night’s villian David Peralta tripled him home. Teheran walked Adam Jones, but buckled down and got the final out, inducing Christian Walker to ground out.
Dan Winkler worked around an Ozzie Albies throwing error in the 7th, which set us up for Acuna’s heroics with two down in the 8th. RAJ drove a Yoan Lopez fastball 466 feet to straightaway center and about 25 feet up on the batter’s eye for the lead. Sean Newcomb gave up a one out single to Peralta, but no walks, and Luke Jackson showed an admirably good memory working a clean sheet ninth (soccer reference for Sam!) to pick up the save.
So, we move to 4-4 on this road trip, with two left. Although we’re one game under .500 we’re still second in the division and just three games back of the Phillies. John Schuerholz always seemed to wait for the 40 game mark to assess where each year’s team was, which, coincidentally is tonight. I think everyone knows what this edition of the team needs – yep, new announcers, err…bullpen help. Speaking of which, Jonny Venters was activated and A.J. Minter sent down to work on his confidence. If we can just keep from falling too far back then a well timed trade or signing (cough Kimbrel cough) could put us in the mix again.
Anyway, Kevin Gausman goes tonight against Merritt Kelly.