I am not always a jinx: Braves 8, Phailures 4

Well, recapping losses is most discouraging. Sometimes you can do sarcastic humor (like Mac). Sometimes you can go off on a literary tangent (As Alex did well a week or so ago). Sometimes, you can go all “preacher” and “vanity of vanities, all is vanity.” But, if it keeps falling on you to describe destruction you just get kind of “Stephen Crane” on it (all is horror in all forms).

Fortunately for my troubled soul, I get an uplift today. Shall I compare this win to a summer’s day? Is a win by any other name not as sweet?

Charlie Morton isn’t quite back. He is better than earlier, but not the spectacular late career Charlie of the past few years. I have hope for better and some expectancy for better, but Charlie isn’t going to drag this team to an East Division Crown. Last night all 4 runs fell on his ledger. Strikeouts decent at almost 9 K / 9 (4 and a third, 4k’s) and walks were decent (around 2 per 9 at 1 in 4 and a third). One home run (not bad).

But, on the pitching side, it IS possible this bullpen WILL drag this team to an NL East crown. So far, it hasn’t been not quite that good, but some good pieces are in that mix. Spencer Strider is another piece of pitching currency to have established himself. I doubt there are many hitters or hitting coaches that aren’t very aware that Strider doubles as “the Destroyer of Worlds.” 2 and 2 /3rds with 5K’s, 2 BB’s and NO hits. Then Colin McHugh got in 2 clean innings.

So, what about the offense? The Phaillies scored first with one in the second, but the Braves got 4 in the bottom half. So, Braves never trailed. On the night, 13 hits, 7 walks and 3 home runs. With all of that, how in the crap didn’t they score more than 8? 2 were knocked off by GIDP’s and 9 were left on base. One was thrown out on the bases. And, the home team didn’t bat in the 9th. So, a whole lot of offense going on.

So far, William Contreras is showing that he may also be a signing / development break out. I feel like with a little practice, he could exceed Ozuna’s current defensively dessicated remains in left, but I don’t see the club sending Contreras down to work on that. Meat Loaf sang “two out of three ain’t bad” so I call winning 2 out of 3 “Meat Loaf Ball.” But, this series is either a split or a 3 out of 4. Last year we would have not expected much chance in a Kyle Wright v. Aaron Nola contest, but maybe the right Wright will show up.

25 thoughts on “I am not always a jinx: Braves 8, Phailures 4”

  1. thanks Cliff…

    PORTENTS FROM LAST NIGHT

    Swanson, back with his perfect oppo homer…a thing of beauty and so solid.
    Riley…not the first since his slump, but the first with full Riley contact to left field.
    Contreras…his smile…may it still grow here, decades on. (note, getting carried away a bit here)
    Spencer Strider…new contract, no discussion. (not carried away)
    and
    Philly defense and pen…the Bard said it best..

    ''Like carrion flesh, groaning for burial.''

  2. Thank you, Cliff. My son and granddaughter attended the last two games. Picked good ones, didn’t they?

  3. Chip sucks, but he’s such a homer. I love it. “Thank. You. Very. Much.”

    Are there a lot of examples of objectively great announcers who also stump for the home team this hard?

  4. Scott Kingery. …remember the name, philly rookie ? 2016/2017 he lit up spring training You’ll likely remember the contract they gave him .

    24 million over 6 years, guaranteed-before he’d ever faced a Major League pitch…evolutionary, revolutionary were some of the words used to describe that at the time. Which it was. You might remember him playing against the Braves back then, when they first moved him up. Second Base first, then some Center Field. He was the center of attention too, a rookie phenom with a difference.

    below thanks to Jim Salisbury, Philly Writer……

    ‘But years later- just a few days ago actually – they sent him back down.

    ‘Three years after signing his big contract, Kingery cleared waivers and was taken off the 40-man roster last June. A month later, he had shoulder surgery. Five surgical anchors were placed in his right shoulder to repair a serious labrum tear, the result of years of wear and tear and diving defensive plays.
    “I’m on the ground a lot and it just built up,” he said. “It really started hurting me in 2020.”
    Three years after signing his big contract, Kingery cleared waivers and was taken off the 40-man roster last June. A month later, he had shoulder surgery. Five surgical anchors were placed in his right shoulder to repair a serious labrum tear, the result of years of wear and tear and diving defensive plays.
    After struggling in 2020 and during his brief time in the majors last year, Kingery said the time off after surgery last summer provided him with a good mental “reset.” He will turn 28 on April 29. He’s still young enough to get his career back on track, be it with the Phillies or another club.

    Kingery recently worked his way past 150 feet in his rehabilitative throwing program and he’s nearly ready to start playing the field in games at the minor league complex. When he’s ready, the plan is for him to play second base, his natural position. Until then, he’ll get DH at-bats.’

    So there we have it. 28 and counting, I had often wondered. Still time?

  5. @4

    That play somehow looks even worse watching it today. It got through no fewer than three Phillies fielders, including the CF, who couldn’t manage to stop a ball that had been thrown by the catcher from like 200 feet away. Even a t-ball coach would shake his head at that one.

  6. Kingery, to me, is a cautionary tale. They treated him quite bizarrely, really — he was a top prospect, they gave him a pretty big long-term contract, and then they jerked him all over the field. Largely a second baseman in the minors, they played him in center field and shortstop in the majors. They decided, for whatever reason, to take one of their top prospects and tried to teach him a new, harder defensive position in the majors, and his bat fell apart as a result. The Reds did the same thing with Nick Senzel, and the results have been every bit as poor.

  7. My girlfriend, who knows little about baseball, laughed her ass off at that play as it unfolded.

  8. @5 I totally forgot about Scott Kingery. Thanks for the rundown, blazon. Well told.

  9. @4: In brief, No.

    I expect the home team broadcaster to be a homer. So I never criticize Chip for being a homer. Or at least I try not to. But it is not “being a homer” to get excited about a fly ball that doesn’t reach the warning track. That’s just called “not doing your job.”

    Most of what irks people about national broadcasters is that they are so unused to objective analysis that objectivity sounds like bias.

    But to your very good point, I have, for the last three seasons, been thoroughly annoyed with “thank you very much,” spoken after errors and walks by the other team. I think it’s a fairly new thing, since I don’t remember it before that. I haven’t brought it up before because it’s just obnoxious homerism, and I try not to criticize for things that are just obnoxious homerism, but you are correct: no national announcer would ever do that, nor would, say, Gary Cohen of the Mets, though he might say: “the Braves gave the Mets a gift run” which is the far less obnoxious way of saying the same thing. He would also say, in symmetric circumstances, “the Mets gave the Braves a gift run.” (Chip says the same thing… it’s the asymmetry that shows the obnoxiousness of the comment.)

  10. @10

    Eh…I’m generally all in on your various Chip bashing escapades, but “Thank you very much!” doesn’t bother me at all. National broadcasters obviously don’t say it, since they’re not rooting for either team, but it wouldn’t bother me if they said (in an alternate world where there was a national broadcast last night), “And the Braves say, ‘Thank you very much!'” YMMV obviously, but if all the things that bother me about Chip, that’s not one of them.

    His homerism does get him into other problems., such as the expectant “Let’s see if…” Now that I’m thinking about it, though, I think he’s been doing that less this year, so maybe somebody at Bally Sports finally gave him a note on that.

  11. I pretty much agree, Nick. But maybe it’s something in the tone. (Whenever I say something to my wife that upsets her without any objective cause, she always attributes it to my tone.) I haven’t done a “Let’s see if…” count lately. So you could be right about that as well.

  12. @10,11,12–I don’t know about all that, but I do know that we will all be Phillies fans this weekend when they play the Mets. At least that’s what Chip tells me.

  13. While we are discussing Chip and his homerism, he was just talking about how the Phils have Quinn and Herrera sharing center field. Said they have both made valuable contributions. He did not mention the absurd play by Herrera that allowed Dansby to score last night, or the fly ball by Ronald in the ninth the night before that Quinn let fall to the ground. Philly’s OF defense is a glaring weakness and historically bad. Of course Schwarber and Castellanos in the corners are very bad, but it has struck me how the center fielders have let them down in this series.

    Chip is indeed a homer; you won’t hear him say anything negative about the Braves. But he is likewise reluctant to be critical of the opponents.

  14. 14 — I seem to remember Chip and Steve Stone getting pushed out of their Cubs broadcasting jobs after upsetting players with criticism in 2004. My guess is that he learned not to do that.

  15. Enter Will Smith against a batter who owns him to remove all doubt.

  16. That was very frustrating. Smith tossed a hanger on the first pitch. But he did stick the landing!

    Another terrific start by Wright.

  17. @17

    They did, though based on how much he still kisses the Cubs’ ass, that had to be a severe overreaction on their part.

    If I remember correctly, it was largely based on their commentary during a season-ending series where they totally collapsed and missed the playoffs.

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