Tonight was a game in which numerous unsurprising things coincided with a surprisingly happy result: Drew Smyly performed about as expected, Ronald Acuna performed about as expected, the Braves bullpen performed about as expected â€”Â with new addition Shane Greene taking entirely too much inspiration from his colleagues’ established work standards â€” and the Phillies bullpen gratifyingly also performed about as expected, leading a moveable object to be deadlocked with a resistible force.
Then Austin Riley Cleanup Hitter Extraordinaire â€” ARCHE, if you please â€” keyed a five-run eighth inning to cement the win and push the team over .500.
Chief and I will both owe Austin a beer if he keeps this up, as he was 3-for-5 with a double and a homer. But William Contreras was no less impressive, going 3-for-4 himself. Whatever his defense turns out to be, the kid can rake.
The last Phillies pitcher of the evening was our ol’ buddy David Hale, our third round draft pick in 2009. Newly reinstated from the IL for the game, his inning of work brings his total up to 23 1/3 for the season, the fourth-highest total in his frequently injury-plagued eight major league seasons. Still, he’s got the fourth-most career innings pitched among all Princeton grads (though he’s still more than 1000 innings behind Chris Young), and he’s the only major leaguer to ever come out of the Walker School in Marietta. Glad to see he’s still working.
(Well, I say “see.” I didn’t watch the game. )
Will tomorrow be the day the Braves finally push above .500 for the first time?
Or will tomorrow be just another day ending in why?