Yo Ho, Yo Ho, a Pirates series for me. Braves pillaged and plundered and even hijacked, wake up me Braveys yo ho!
Braves swept a series. Check. Braves won a day game. Check. Braves won on Wednesday. Check. Braves get an off day. Check. Braves got 7 innings in the 70’s on pitch count. Check. Braves got away from working the same guys in the pen with an off day tomorrow. Check. He’s made his list. He’s checked it bunches of times. Check.
This morning, despite the Braves having a larger net run differential, the ESPN “expected standings” had the Mets up by a game. Can anybody tell me why? I thought it was a pure “pythag.” Now, those standings show the Braves up by a half a game (when the real standings have them down by one and one half).
“Miss Scarlet, Miss Scarlet, why ARE you cheering for those Yankees.” “Because it will help the Braves, dumb ass!”
About the game. Yes, I had to work. I did hear part early on the radio. Nick Green has done what (to me) has seemed to be a surprising number of games. I thought it was about 2/3rds each on Ingram, Powell, and Simpson going into this season. Has somebody had health problems? Gotten fired? Well, in the midst of my rambling around town I heard Kyle Wright’s 8 pitch first inning. I heard Olson’s double. I went into a store and missed Contreras’ homer. But 2 to nothing after one was a positive.
I was sitting at my desk with GameDay playing in the background when all of a sudden, it exploded. Ground out, single, strike out. Not exactly what great rallies are made of, ordinarily. But then, single, error, walk. A run was in. Bases loaded with a mound visit. Did Mitch Keller know his Detroit Wheels were about to spin off? Double, single, three more runs were in. Pitching change to Manny Banuelos, one of our old friends from long ago. Passed ball, walk, then strike out to end the inning. 7 to nothing after 4. Usually, that turns out o.k. The key is for the pitcher to throw strikes and not give up too many meatballs.
Wright pitched 7 with 73 pitches, 55 were strikes. 8 K’s, 1 BB, 2 H, 0R. So far this year, Wright has been better than the pitcher I thought he could be at 90% max. This is unreal. I might have stretched him one more inning, but he just had a rest for a tired arm, so the pitching management team brought him out. At that point, it was 7 to 0 and you might have expected a cruise. But this offense refused any further HIBERNATION MODE. No, it was time for more fun.
In the 8th, Colin Holderman came in to pitch. Walk, single, single (run scoring, 8 to 0). 1.000 / 1.000 / 1.000 for a 1.000 OPS. So, it was time to change pitchers, right? Well, no it was just a visit to calm him down. So, he hit Austin Riley, scoring Run 9. THEN, it was time to bring in Cam Vieaux. That made me curious. Was he a Canadian? Cajun? Well, ESPN has him from Novi, Michigan. Maybe he was from fur trappers who stayed. He gave Olson the 4 run gopher ball. Now, 13 to 0. So Contreras singled. Then, Vieaux struck out Rosario for the FIRST OUT OF THE INNING. Then, he struck out Grissom. Then Harris walked, FOR THE SECOND TIME IN ONE INNING. How many weeks has Harris walked twice since he came up? Zero before this one? Then LovelyMan singled to bring in Contreras and it was 14 to 0.
Matzek had dominated the 8th. Kirby Kali Yates got the 9th. Home run, ground out, single, double, walk and it is 14 to 1 and bases loaded, one out. then a sac fly and an out 3 fly and that was it.
Projections and extrapolations are hard from this series. The Pirates are devastatingly bad. However, there are signs that the Braves are better than last year. Wright, Harris, Contreras, Grissom, improved Dansby and Riley, return of plus d’Arnaud, Strider. What a roster. All hail Alex!!! All hail Dana!!!
Now, eject the Devil Magic into the outer limits of the Universe, and come home to a victor’s welcome. Well done, men of Truist.