It’s way easier when you score runs: Braves 9, Phillies 2

As someone who spent his formative years in Atlanta, I harbor not just a once-requited (thanks, 1995) love for all things Braves, but a smattering of other local memories which have transmogrified over the years into a set of nostalgic synaptic relays which fire with regularity almost irrespective of stimulus: The Varsity, Georgia Tech football, late night movies at the Film Forum at Ansley Mall with George “Bestoink Dooley” Ellis, Officer Don Kennedy and the Popeye Club (I once played “Ooey-Gooey”), the soda fountain and comics rack at the Wender & Roberts drugstore, and, of course, Coca-Cola.  These are my memories, and I ask no one else to approve.  But living for the last thirty-five years in the shadow of the Pepsico headquarters, I continue to defend my beloved carbonated phosphoric acid-laced sugary water against all interlopers and pretenders.

So I will continue to defend Pemberton’s brew, but only to a point.  I have tried to ignore the many twists and turns the company has taken in its continued quest for world domination, and watch with amusement wars over tea, water, sports beverages and other liquids, but mostly from afar.  (I am partial to Honest Tea Peach-Ooh-La-Long, a fairly recent acquisition by the House that Woodruff and Candler built.)  So it was with some trepidation, but with a sense of patrimonial requirement that I tried the new Orange-Vanilla Coke.  I tried it this evening.  It tastes exactly like when you were sick as a child and your mother gave you St. Joseph’s Chewable Aspirin washed down with Coke.  I had no particular need to relive that experience, but if I do, I now know where to go if I don’t want to just combine the two original ingredients.  Good to know.

[RANT] One other thing I want to get off my chest before the recap.  I don’t want any of my players in the All Star Game and I particularly loathe any of them in the Home Run Derby.  And the new social media marketing of All Star Game participation is the sort of thing that people enamored of social media as a marketing tool think up.  I wish they would stop.  There are far too many kids on my lawn already, defacing it with their hashtags, their curated beards, their one large ice cube in drinks and their avocado toast.  Freddie, Ronald and Mike are very, very good players who require no imprimatur from a midseason exhibition game.  I will say that people actually watch the ASG, unlike the Pro Bowl or the NBA and NHL No-Defense-Fests, so I understand an unwillingness to let it go.  But just pick some players in a smoke-filled room and be done with it, and try as best as you can to pick players whose teams are uncompetitive.  We see all the other guys all the time already. [/RANT]

But before the ASG Saturnalia (which was actually in December – the highly obscure Neptunalia was in July), we have the Phillies and Braves play their eighth head-to-head game of the 2019 season in SunTrust Park.  Bryse “Jarvis” Wilson got his third start of the year, a rematch of his first, in which he and Nick Pivetta battled for 3 1/3 and 4 1/3 innings respectively before giving way to a game in which Wes Parsons (no longer around) was saddled with the loss.  After my rant about millennials above, it will come as no surprise to anyone that I judge player’s ages not by how old they are, but by how old they look.  So Wilson, youngest pitcher in MLB, is obviously older than Fried or Soroka.

The first three innings saw two singles and a walk by the two teams combined. (Note to Chip: while it is of course technically correct that Bryse Wilson broke up Pivetta’s no-hitter with a single in the third, describing it that way is not particularly judicious.)

The scoring began in the bottom of the fourth.  After a Dansby single, a Freddie Freeman double play grounder had a throw graze Swanson as he headed to second leading to two men on for Donaldson, who continues to disappoint some people just as he continues to impress me: a 3 run homer.  The margin was cut to 3-1 on Bryce Harper’s 1,000th hit, his 200th homer, and 7,000th artful tousling of his hair in the 6th.  A double and single brought home another run and nervousness began.  But Bryse pitched 6 for the first time in his career and left with a lead after 86 pitches.

The nervousness was short-lived.  The bottom of the 6th chased Pivetta with a Freddie single, a Josh walk and an Austin Powers for three more runs.  This brought on Juan Nicasio who gave up back-to-back doubles to Albies and Flowers and a long home run to Matt Joyce for a 7 run lead.

At this point I could relax and pour a generous helping of Journeyman Featherbone Bourbon.  It’s not great Bourbon, but it’s way better than Orange-Vanilla Coke.  Newky pitched a perfect 7th and 8th, aided by an Andruwesque diving catch in CF.  That Acuña kid might be worth keeping around, if he doesn’t wear out his swing in the Home Run Derby.

Webb was given the mop-up duty in the 9th, and he Swiffered his way through a walk to Harper, a Hoskins K, a Realmuto K, a Bruce single and an Hernández flyout.

Rubber game tomorrow.  Soroka on the mound.  Happy 4th, y’all. The 3rd was pretty happy, if you forget about the Orange-Vanilla Coke.

Author: JonathanF

Alive since 1956. Braves fan since 1966. The first ten years were pretty much wasted. Exiled to Yankees/Mets territory in 1974 --- bearable only with TBS followed by MLB.TV.

36 thoughts on “It’s way easier when you score runs: Braves 9, Phillies 2”

  1. Would it be an inopportune time to express displeasure in us having a 7-run lead with only 3 innings to go and only one starter got spelled, and that was partly because a PH (Culberson) was already needed? I think it was blazon who said that Camargo looked like he was quite disinterested in garbage time and maybe indeed so, but getting him an AB and 3 innings somewhere wouldn’t be the worst thing.

    Also, if the playoffs started today, we would now draw Milwaukee (if I understand the rules right). Regardless, the Phils would be playing the Cubs in the one-game playoff.

    With the fourth-best currently, we are 4 games out from having the second-best record in MLB.

  2. JonathanF,
    I think I’m in a sci-fi film in which my memories have been transferred to another person. I hope you enjoy them!

    I wonder if we were on Officer Don at the same time?

  3. First off, Avocado toast is delicious.

    Secondly, I love the ASG and the HR derby; and I want to see Braves players involved with the festivities. Let them have the honors. So I couldn’t disagree with you more.

  4. I try to resist generational stereotyping, but I’m convinced only a younger person could enjoy the ASG.

    I watched almost every inning of the ASG from the mid-sixties until the mid-eighties. I don’t think I’ve seen any of the ASG or the HRD in the last 15 years or so.

    I did take great pride in NL dominance of the game in the 60’s—Aaron, Mays, Clemente, Gibson, Marichal. Now I don’t care. Just one more sign that I’ve become an old fart.

  5. Well, you could disagree with me more if you like drinks with one big ice cube, or artisanal beards. But I don’t ask you to agree with me, so it’s all good.

    I never heard of Spezi before. Now that I have, I suspect it’s behind Orange-Vanilla Coke, but I have no interest in finding out.

    And tfloyd, it was a smaller town back then….

  6. Agree with 4 about the merits of Avacado toast, and I’m confident it can live alongside Coca Cola and a general disdain for the All Star Game.

    Brilliant writeup as always, JonathanF, thank you.

    Was wonderful to see Bryse execute a smart gameplan, and I’m pleased that we’ve kept their bats quiet this series.

  7. Bethany, it pleases me to see you here! JonathanF, I’m in awe of your big words. I think I’ll teach a few of them to my 6th graders this year!

    Dang, what a good night all through the system! Seriously…58 runs scored between Rome, Florida, Mississippi, Gwinnett, and Atlanta.

    And Kyle Wright showed out!

    And AND Bryse Wilson looked like he belongs in the rotation.

    All good stuff.

  8. @8, Is that you, Bethany? If so, it’s a pleasure to see you commenting again. I still have (and even use!!!) your scorebook.

  9. What a great recap, JonathanF. I am betting there are people here who have no idea what St. Joseph’s is (was? does it still exist?) and especially how it tasted. I do. Thank you for TOFT – I shall never even consider trying Orange-Vanilla Coke. What a great belly-laugh. In the meantime, WRT “the shadow of the Pepsico headquarters”, my condolences.

    I am very jealous of your writing capabilities.

  10. Bethany in the house!

    Bryse Wilson being able to reproduce this outing would be huge with the concern over the 5th (and 4th?) spot.

  11. @Sam from last thread. Glad you were right about the offense and I was wrong. Maybe Nola did pitch that well – my eye test may not have been good enough.

    @whoever said that Bryse deserved another start and I demured…. again, so glad I was wrong. I didn’t get to see the game tonight (big party in Barbados), but, based upon JonathanF’s writeup, it seemed like some changes in his pitch mix may have really done some good. This was something for real to build upon and I hope he is not destined for an option. Why don’t we let Julio take a start off and let Bryse function as 4th SP for a couple of weeks?

  12. Glad to be back, folks :) I’ve been lurking on and off for awhile, but this team is too fun to not have a community to share it with. Glad to hear you are still getting use out of the Scorebook, John R!

  13. What was maybe most remarkable about the Wilson performance tonight was how Francouer predicted it, not only in the general, but in the very specific and vital changes he would start to throw around the third inning on, after the fastball extravaganza. He must have had a long talk with the man and absorbed it in some real detail, both of what pitch and when it would likely appear. A first?

  14. I will not win many supporters likely but this evening’s recap has finally convinced me it must be. The game recap has been taken over and changed by a couple of very erudite gentlemen who pre-write a lengthy, personal discourse We read the recap, hungrily, wanting to find out even more about the game. in such a way the recap and the game itself takes a poor second place.

    Jonathan F, my arrow i admit is aimed mainly at you. I am on record here as being hugely admiring of what you have written – plus on many occasions your kind words for me. But i now feel this whole pre-written intro thing plus a brief game composite has put the cart before the horse. I must say i have zero interest in a lengthy Coca Cola dissertation at that moment in time…that should be separate and elsewhere on our pages when you wish to pursue it.

    Now for a bit of fun – and that’s all this is. How many of those fancy, pretentious words – about 8 say – their full meaning, their spelling – came from the heart, the brain and not from the cloud.? Pretentious, moi?

    Keep up the good recap work you had established earlier – dazzle us again but start with an empty page. You won’t agree with me but understand please this is what i really believe.


    …while we’re on the subject of our content and those who provide it you will remember two or three weeks ago i suggested we create the position of New Series Previewer to enhance our enjoyment and knowledge of the opposition’s current strengths/weaknesses just before we meet them (whether this should apply to road games should maybe be decided by how it was working at home),

    Anyway, you replied right away positively so i wanted to ask now if anything is happening. This job i must say here and now is NOT for me – the detail, numbers, analytics etc that might be used are way over my head. It would be needed maybe 10 times a month (how many separate series are there in a month??) at the most. 350/500 words should be ample if there are no coca cola stories!

  15. What a great day: great game, great recap, Bethany back, JonathanF being JonathanF. What else could you wish for? Spezi? I had no idea you have it in the US as well. I thought all my life it was a weird German drink.
    Roger, Barbados? Now I’m jealous.
    Happy Fourth of July to all of you. Go Braves.

    Blazon, I for one thoroughly enjoy JonathanF’s pre-recap stories. One of the many things that makes this place so special.

  16. Set my alarm for 5 to watch first 2 episodes of Stranger Things 3 without being interrupted for anyone’s potty breaks expect MY OWN!!!

    Yes…I’m a 40 year old adult making these decisions.

  17. blazon: my apologies. Please let me know the value of your time and how long it takes you to skip my introductions and I’ll be happy to pay you for your inconvenience out of my salary for this work. Hell… I’ll pay you out of my own pocket. Try to remember Oscar Wilde’s definition of a gentleman. I always do.

  18. Is there any estimate of number of Braves Journal readers? Must be a big number who (like me) almost never post but read every day. You writers do a great job! Thank you. I have trolled along for about 20 years I think. Young when I started and now kinda old (71 tomorrow).

  19. Hey Bert. We get anywhere from around 1,700 to 2,200 hits a day, and it’s hard to know how many different people that is. Maybe 500-600 people a day?

  20. Thank you for your typical well-written, entertaining and informative recap, JonathanF. I look forward to your turn in the barrel. Thank you again for your insights and humor. Keep up the good work!

    Welcome home, Bethany.

  21. Yes, keep up the good work JonathanF!. And if ever there was anyone who needed to start with a blank page, and end up the same, it’s the complainer and certainly not you.

  22. Yes sir.

  23. I enjoy the recaps and the discourse here on America’s greatest game. Thanks and keep up the great work. To celebrate the 4th, I’ll be scoring tonight’s Stripers game (wish I were at SunTrust) with my Eephus League half liner and a cold beverage (not Keystone Light). Merica!

  24. As I predicted Wilson was optioned. No 5th starter needed until after the ASB. Dayton recalled.

  25. That’s a huge pen now: Jackson, Newcomb, Minter, Dayton, Sobotka, Touki, Tomlin, Webb, and Blevins. Get ready for some quick hooks if guys struggle. You also have 4-5 multi-inning candidates in there too.

  26. @31 No quick hook tonight. M-m-m-m-Mike is on the mound. I also think Eflin has been the Phillies best pitcher overall for a few weeks now. Could be another tight one.

    We really need this one. Let’s get’m.

  27. Tomlin is our Cristian Martinez. Sobotka and Webb are both pretty okay 7th-8th inning guys; Jackson is a perfectly cromulent closer, at least as good and probably better than Kerry Ligtenberg or Brad Clontz or Greg McMichael or any of the post-Wohlers pre-Smoltz guys. Blevins is okay as LOOGYs go.

    I can’t tell what to do with Newcomb and Toussaint. I’d honestly like to see them combine in a bullpen game. They’re just not one-inning guys.

  28. @32 I just mean Teheran, Fried, and the pen. I don’t think Soroka and Keuchel will have a quick hook.

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