Need I say more? A week ago in this space, one day after Mike Soroka’s awful injury, I opined that the Braves need not necessarily seek starting pitching on the trade market. With a strong and deep lineup and the best bullpen in the league, they ought to have a winning record–which is enough to make the playoffs.  Then, in the crapshoot that is the postseason, anything can happen!

What was I thinking?!  OF COURSE the Braves need more starting pitching. Max Fried has been terrific.  As to the rest of the starters left standing, can you imagine any of them starting a playoff game?

In tonight’s game, it was Touki Toussaint’s turn to prove he belonged in this rotation.  Touki had looked very sharp his last time out.  What if I told you that tonight he would give up 4 hits and 1 walk with 3 strikeouts?  You’d be pleased, right?  More progress for Touki.  Well, Touki left the game after four innings with the Braves trailing 6-0.  It wasn’t all Touki’s fault—there was some shaky defense.  On the other hand, he did surrender a 3 run shot to Luke Voit in the first.  Three more crossed the plate for the Yankees in the third, two of which on a two run “double” that went over the head of our DH Marcel Ozuna.  The Mime (thanks, cph) was in right field because Ronald Acuña Jr. sat this one out with a sore wrist.  If RAJ’s wrist injury turns out bad as Ozzie’s, I will rapidly lose interest in this season.

After Touki left, Bryse “Not the Answer” Wilson gave up two more, including a blast by Aaron Judge that dented the bullpen wall in right field.  Luke Jackson gave up another run in the 7th and Josh Tomlin continued his Greg Maddux impersonation with another scoreless frame in the ninth.

The offense made it sort of interesting, but not really.  Ozuna hit a 3 run shot in the 6th, and our never say die Braves scored a single run in the 7th and two more in the 8th on doubles by Camargo and Flowers.  The late-inning magic ran out at that point; the Braves went meekly in the 9th for a 9-6 Yankee victory.

I watched the game with my son and daughter in law.  He is a Braves fan from birth.  She has been a Yankee fan just as long.  Somehow they make their marriage work.  In fact, they just had their first child three weeks ago—a wonderful baby girl.  Ordinarily I’d be feeling pretty sour after a loss like this, especially in the presence of a die-hard Yankees fan.  But you know what?  I watched the game with a smile on my face, holding my new granddaughter during much of the game.  (Thanks to her mother for not dressing her in her Yankees onesie).  And my wonderful daughter in law left for part of the game to pick up a terrific dinner to celebrate my birthday. There aren’t many things in life more important than baseball, but some things are. 

And it’s a good thing, because this season all of a sudden isn’t looking so promising.

All is not lost.  These two teams go again in the Bronx tomorrow, with Tanaka on the mound for the Bombers and someone—anyone?—starting for the Braves.

P.S. Notice the name I gave our Braves in the title? If they are going to change the name, Hammers is the obvious choice. First and foremost, it would honor the greatest Brave of all time (Mr. Aaron richly deserves this!), and with a little tweak the tomahawk logo could be replaced by a hammer, leaving the uniforms looking pretty much as they do now.