All of a sudden the ship has been righted. With the Braves second consecutive rout of the Phils, and the Nats second loss to the Dodgers, the Braves lead is back to 6.5 over the Nationals and 7.5 over the Phillies. Although the game officially ended only a few minutes ago, it was over after the third inning. The Braves opened up a 11-1 lead after 3 innings and led 14-1 through 5. They hung on to win 15-7.
Max Fried pitched a good game through 5, but unfortunately gave up a pair of two run homers before he departed in the 6th. Blevins and Sobotka had mop up duty, and Everyday Jeremy Walker (h/t coop) pitched a 1-2-3 9th for the Atlanta Save.
But the story of the game, of course, was the offense. Where do I begin? How about with a couple of guys who will be playing a lot more thanks to the injury to Markakis: Adam Duvall had his first big league hit since September and his first big league homer since last July; and Ender had his first 2 hits since his call-up, including a two run homer. The usual suspects all contributed: RAJ had 3 hits (including a two run homer), 2 runs, 2 rbi’s; Ozzie became the second youngest player in history to hit his 4th grand slam; FF walked 3 times, scored 3, and had a double; JD hit 3 rocket shots off the left field wall; even Max Fried had 2 hits, walked once, scored a run and drove in a run. Camargo stood out like a sore thumb with an 0 for 6 night.
It was throwback uniform night in Philly; both teams wore 1979 unis. Chip spent a lot of the game raving about how beautiful the Braves unis were. I much prefer the classic look that the Braves have sported throughout the last three decades. I suppose it’s a matter of what you followed as a kid. The current uniforms are pretty much what they wore when they came to Atlanta in 1966, and the vast majority of good Atlanta teams have worn that classic look.
I followed that ’79 Braves team very closely, and there wasn’t much to cheer about those days. They only won 66 games, and Phil Niekro won 21 of those. He also lost 20 games, pitching 342 innings as a 40 year old. Niekro is my favorite pitcher of all time. For his age 35 though age 40 seasons, Knucksie had a WAR of at least 6.7 each year, averaging well over 300 IP per season. In 1978, as a 39 year old, he went 19-18, with a 2.88 ERA. His WAR was 10.0. Those were truly awful teams, but Knucksie was a bright spot and a true professional.
Here comes some more Braves history; if you’re tired of that stuff, you may skip this paragraph. Thirty years ago today Dale Murphy tied the all time major league record with 6 rbi’s in one inning. He hit two three run homers in the sixth inning in a 10-1 victory over the Giants (young Tom Glavine got the win). That record was later broken by the Padres shortstop’s father, who is the only major leaguer in history to hit two grand slams in one inning. The most amazing thing about the Tatis, Sr., feat is that he hit both off the same pitcher, Chan Ho Park.
The Phillies have worn the all burgundy ensemble exactly twice. They wore it one time in 1979 and lost 10-5. When do you suppose they will bring them out again?
Let’s hope tomorrow, when the Braves go for a sweep in a matchup of Bayou Bengals, Gausman vs. Nola.