Ping Pong

A back-and-forth contest that started a little ominously. First pitch to Jazz Chisholm trailed into the seats. The fourth pitch was deposited into right field. Then, Jorge Soler, weighed down by his new ring, popped out. (It was a genius move to condition getting the ring on requiring him to wear it in his first at-bat.) The 18th pitch also went into right field. But a double play held the scoring to 1.

Ian Anderson has pitched 33 regular season first innings. He has given up 20 earned runs and 7 homers in those first innings. He needs to work on that. That said, Tom Glavine pitched in 682 first innings and gave up 346 earned runs and 59 homers in those first innings, and I hear he had a pretty good career.

Ozzie evened the game on the first pitch in the bottom of the inning. Chip was certain, until told the truth, that that was the first time two leadoff hitters hit homers on the first pitch. Details below in the usual spot.

The Braves took the lead when a ball hit by Dansby Swanson was misplayed into a triple and Ozzie’s subsequent fly ball sent him home. The lead didn’t last long. The Marlins evened it up in the top of the 4th.

Then, and this is hard for me to fathom, Alex Dickerson hit a two run-homer in the bottom of the 4th. The meticulously compiled records of MLB suggest that Alex Dickerson has hit 39 other homers in his career, so who am I to question it? I do know that his -49 OPS+ as a Brave before tonight will be improving. Only one Atlanta Braves position player ever had a worse OPS+ for a season with 25 plate appearances or more: Alexis Infante in 1990. On the other hand, when we first got Adam Duvall in 2018, he had 2 singles in his first 29 AB. So let’s give Grandpa a chance. (BRef lists “Grandpa” as his nickname, joining Ray Wolf and Jimmy Bannon, whose nickname was “Foxy Grandpa” and whose bio you ought to read if you’ve got some time. The man tried to stomp out a burning stadium with his feet I’m a Grandpa, but I’ve never done anything like that.)

The Marlins got a run back, but an Austin Riley solo blast got the lead back up to two.

That left four innings to pitch, and Collin McHugh eliminated the lead on a single riffed by Jazz.  Another adventure by Rosario in right field chased McHugh.  AJ Minter anti-Avilaned the lead and we (Chisholm) trailed 6-5 heading to the bottom of the 6th.

Then Dansby got a two-run single in the bottom of the 6th to regain the lead.  The hit went into left-center.  Amazing, isn’t it, that when he gets a hit to right-center they talk about how that’s what he needs to do, but solid hits to left-center apparently are independent of his “approach.”  In any case, if this is the start of a Dansby hot streak, it comes none too soon.

Spencer Strider took the 7th, and his performance made McHugh look good: two walks sandwiching a single followed by another single coughed up the lead again. One more run was anti-Avilaned by King Richard and we enter the bottom of the 7th down 2.

For the first time, there was no response from the Braves bats, and, for the first time, the Marlins’ win probability rose to 84%. Newcomb-substitute Jesse Chavez was handed the 8th and 9th, and he anti-Newcombed two clean innings. Welcome back!

But when you’re behind, you have to score. The 3D offense of Duvall, Dickerson and Dansby did nothing in the 8th. Rumors of their revival may be slightly premature.

Ozzie, Matt and Austin gave Tanner Scott his second career save. Go get ’em tomorrow, Bryce.


On September 2nd last year, the Marlins played at CitiField (This was also the day I wrote my post on why I no longer use the term “Grybo,” referenced above.) Miguel Rojas put the first pitch off Carlos Carrasco into the seats. In the bottom of the first, Jonathan Villar put the first pitch from Sandy Alcantara into the seats. QED. Eventually (in the bottom of the third) Chip corrected himself. I posted the error five minutes earlier. Anybody can make a mistake, but here’s the problem: if you don’t know, state what you think might be true and promise to have your staff figure it out. And it’s not that hard. I’m just an old fart sitting at a laptop and it took me about the same time it took the guys paid to do this.