So I gave tfloyd the first game because I got the Soroka debut and Braves Journal rules prohibit any recapper from getting more than one “next great pitcher” debut. I will no doubt be rewarded in the next life for this act of generosity, and that’s good enough for me. Nice job, both Ian and tfloyd.
A quick note on seven-inning no-hitters. In 1991, Fay Vincent retroactively redesignated less-than-nine-inning no-hitters as non-no-hitters. (See https://www.nonohitters.com/near-no-hitters/) This is, in my opinion, as were many things Fay Vincent did, unsound, but, as with everything else Fay Vincent did, I wasn’t consulted. So when someone does pitch a seven inning no-hitter, I’m counting it. Who’s with me? (Fay had some good points, e.g. he opposed the DH, but more bad ones.)
The nightcap found Max Fried against Masahiro Tanaka. The last time Tanaka started against the Braves, he took on Huascar Ynoa. I like this matchup a lot better. That game had neither Ronald Acuña nor Aaron Judge. Now they’re both back, RAJ spectacularly so in the first game. Both had hits in this game, but neither was of much offensive or defensive consequence.
From 1920-2019 there were 12,428 doubleheaders. The home team won 31% of them, the visiting team won 21% and the remaining 48% were split. Furthermore, these numbers have been pretty stable over the years. I don’t have any brilliant insights about this, but I figured it out while I spent the first few innings watching neither pitcher give up much at all. Tanaka wiggled out of a little two-out difficulty in the third, as did Fried in the top of the 4th.
You suddenly realize that you’re in the bottom of the 4th and… whoa!… the game is half-over. The rhythm of a seven inning game takes some getting used to. It would be a little easier if they just called when they started the third inning, or maybe not, but I kept finding myself adding two to figure out what the situation really was.
The ice broke in the 5th. A single, double and sac fly plated the first run of the game in the top of the inning. But, starting from 2nd and 3rd with nobody out, Fried ended up pitching 6 innings and giving up one run — could have been a lot worse. That should be good enough, and was. Tanaka was replaced by Chad Green in the bottom of the 6th after only 66 pitches, a few scattered singles and no runs. This was not inherently stupid: Green had given up only one run all year. Well, now he’s given up three. After overpowering Camargo and RAJ, Dansby got an infield single and the magnificent Frederick Charles Freeman gave the Braves the lead with an opposite field homer.
Melancon pitched the
9th. I mean 7th. I think I’m on the record somewhere as not being a Melacon partisan. And he did give up a solid two out single to Sanchez, but looked pretty good, and the Braves completed the sweep.
Halfway through the season, and the Braves are playing 0.600 ball. As was pointed out in the game thread earlier today, the only team the Braves face for the second half of the season with a winning record (as of today) is the Florida Marlins. That’s really weird.
Day off tomorrow, then a weekend series in Philadelphia, concluding our games with them this year. Go get ’em.