Over the past three Wednesdays, Iâ€™ve taken advantage of this platform to remind everyone that itâ€™s a long season, that we shouldnâ€™t draw conclusions based on anything that happens in April, and that we need to avoid moods that are too high or low.
I feel the need to do so again. The Braves defeated the Cubs 10-0 for their third straight win (second consecutive shutout) and, lo and behold, they are in first place in the NL East. Iâ€™m sure many of you are making your reservations for the World Series in October. Remember, itâ€™s still April. Five months of baseball ahead, and anything can happen.
I apologize for the snark. Of course no one assumes that the last 3 games proves the Braves will win the World Series, any more than several bad games earlier prove they will finish out of the playoffs.
But things are looking up! Although we shouldnâ€™t get too high or low, thereâ€™s nothing wrong with being excited about how they are playing the last couple of days.
I hope many of you were able to watch tonightâ€™s game. It must have been a great tonic for those of you still hungover from last Sundayâ€™s disaster against the Diamondbacks. I was not so fortunate–I wasnâ€™t able to watch. I had a work event that kept me away until the bottom of the 7th. In fact, I turned on the game just in time to see Freddie Freeman strike out against Anthony Rizzo. Fortunately, by that time Freeman already had four hits on the night including a homer, and the Braves had scored ten runs on 18 hits, including dingers by Ozuna, Riley, Freeman, Albies, and Ynoa(!). Four hits each by Freeman and Riley, and three by Ozzie.
Speaking of Huascar, another stellar outing from the Hobo. He went 5 and a third, striking out 9. Not only that, he went 2 for 3 including the aforementioned home run, for his second consecutive two hit game. Move over, Ohtani.
Beyond that, not having watched the game, I donâ€™t really have a recap of the action. I do recommend perusing the boxscore. As I said, it will help wipe last Sunday from your memory.
(Hereâ€™s an especially odd thing about the game: the two real pitchers for the Cubs gave up all ten runs. Three position players pitched two shutout innings.)
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Time for an admission: itâ€™s not entirely true that what happens in April has little impact on the rest of the season. On this date in 1988, the Orioles lost their 21st consecutive game, falling 16 games out of first. Itâ€™s fair to say that the Oâ€™s were out of it.
But the NL East this year is wide open. I still like the Braves. The hitters (especially Riley and Albies) are coming around, and Morton, Anderson, and now Ynoa are solid on the mound. Fried comes back next week.
Hammers go for the sweep tomorrow. Bryse Wilson will start on three days rest; hard to be worse than his last outing.