â€œThe Kids Are Alright” was the fourth single from The Who’s debut album, The Who Sings My Generation.  The single was released on August 12, 1966.

Exactly 56 years later, Pete Towshend is proving to be correct.  Of the eight Braves who started in the field in last night’s game, six of them are players who came up with the Braves and whose only big league experience is with the Braves.  The six players average 23.8 years of age. The amount of young, home-grown talent on this team is really amazing.

The youngest kid of them all was the difference maker in the Braves 4-3 victory over the Marlins.  With the Braves trailing 2-1 in the sixth inning, Michael Harris led off with a double to the left field gap.  He advanced to third on a groundout and scored on a shallow fly ball to center.  Believe me, there aren’t many guys who could have scored on that play; this kid can fly. 

That run tied the game in the sixth.  In the eighth, with the game still knotted at 2, his fellow 21 year old and 2019 draftee Vaughn Grissom led off the inning with a double to the gap.  MHII followed by crushing a long home run to right (on an 0-2 pitch) to give the Braves a 4-2 lead.  The Marlins scored once in the bottom of the 8th, but our guys held on for the 4-3 win.

The Braves had fallen behind 2-0 in the second.  Jake Odorizzi surrendered a homer, walk, and three singles in the inning.  But for a double play, it could have been a lot worse.  Those were the only two runs given up by Jake in his four innings of work, despite giving up eight hits and two walks.  Obviously not a good outing by the team’s newest starter, but give him credit, I guess, for limiting the damage.  In fact, if three runs in six innings is a traditional “quality start”, perhaps two runs in four innings should be a “2022 quality start”, given that starters rarely go more than five or six innings any more.

After Odorizzi’s four innings, the best bullpen in the league held them to a lone 8th inning run the rest of the way.  The underrated Colin McHugh went two scoreless, and Matzek shut them down in the 7th, leading to the Grissom/Harris show in the 8th.  Kali the Second gave one of the runs back in the 8th on a pair of doubles, but AJ came on to avoid any further damage.  Jansen pitched a scoreless 9th for the save, but it was reminiscent of Don “Six Pack” Stanhouse or Mitch “Wild Thing” Williams.  Kenley had very little command of his pitches. He walked a couple of batters to put the winning runs on base, but also struck out two and induced a game ending pop up. 

The Braves finished the game with eight hits, but six were for extra bases—four doubles and two homers (Matt Olson plated the Braves first run with a solo shot in the 4th).  They only left three men on base.  That’s what XBH’s can do for you.

The Fish had twelve hits and received six bases on balls, but somehow managed to score just the three runs.  They left an astounding 13 men on base.  Actually, this was an offensive explosion for Miami.  Since July 4, the Fish are averaging 2.4 runs per game.  Over past 12 games, they haven’t scored more than 3 runs in a game.  If you look at their lineup you can see why. 

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Poor Chip Caray is conflicted.  He wants to see more “small ball.” He’s constantly pointing out how the right side of the infield is open—if the batter could just guide one to the opposite field he could have a hit.  Especially when Brian Jordan is with him in the booth, they go on and on about how the guys need to cut down on their swings and try to make contact.  And Chip continues to get excited over “productive outs.”

But Chip also loves the long ball.  He can’t help but point out what a home run would do for the score (hint: its very good):

“We are a bloop and a blast from tying it.”  “He could tie it up with one swing.”  “He’s in scoring position in the batter’s box.” “Let’s see if ___ can run into one here.”

The Braves must be doing something right on offense.  They’re neck and neck with the Mets in runs scored, behind only the Dodgers and Yankees in MLB.  They’re second only to the Yankees in homers. Large Ball is working out pretty well. The Kids Are Alright.

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Speaking of kids, the Braves play two today, and the starters will be Ian Anderson and Kyle Muller, both 24 years old from draft class of 2016. Max Fried is on the seven day concussion IL, and Kyle Wright is being held back due to arm fatigue.  Hopefully both those guys will be ready to face the Mets next week. In the meantime, the Marlins’ lineup is a good one for Jethro to bounce back against and for Muller to prove he belongs in the show.

The Mets lost to the Phillies so the lead is down to six. This weekend is a good chance to get that margin a little lower before the big four games with the Mets next week.

EDIT–Ryan reports rumors are circulating that Wright will go on the IL and that Darius Vines will get called up straight from AA. He’s 24. Let’s hope this kid is alright