When you wish upon a star, you might get some of it but not all of it.
Sadly, Michael Soroka‘s healthcare benefits administrator has another claim to adjust, as Soroka went on the IL following a feeling of “numbness” in his fingers, which would help to explain why he got shelled last night.
To be honest, ever since his second Achilles tear, I have had zero expectations for his future major league production. (I felt the same way after Strasburg’s shoulder injury, while my Nats fan friends were on the edge of their seats for him to be recalled from one minor league rehab assignment or another.)
I’d love it if Soroka can once again become a productive pitcher, and he has certainly had some nice minor league starts. I have limitless faith in his makeup, his mental fortitude, and his ability to persevere. I have loved rooting for him; he’s an old soul and I daresay he’d be a marvelous coach if he decides to stay in the game after hanging up his cleats.
But I have no expectations for what his body is capable of. I’m not going to sound the doom bells that last night was clearly his last start in an Atlanta uniform, because I’ve been humming the memento mori all along. From this point on, whatever he gives us is a gift. If he earns more chances, I’ll be happy for him. And I’ll have no expectations, so no matter what, I won’t be disappointed.
Also last night, Collin McHugh did Collin McHugh things: soaked up innings and let quite a few runs in. I did a deep dive into his numbers a few days ago, so I won’t do it again. Basically: this is exactly who he is. He’s okay. Not awful, not excellent, a garbage time mopup guy who is better than the alternative if not necessarily by all that much.
In the end, McHugh’s most important job is to protect the health of the other arms in the pen. At this stage of the regular season, running up the score in the division is secondary to keeping everyone healthy. To paraphrase Whitman: does he suck? Very well then, he sucks. He is a large innings-eater, who sometimes gives up runs in multitudes.
Ozzie Albies, Austin Riley, Matt Olson, and Marcell Ozuna hit homers; actually, it’s kind of remarkable that the team only scored six runs given that the offense managed four homers, two doubles, five singles, and four walks. (Orlando Arcia threw in a pinch-hit RBI double on his night off!) But there were nine men left on base and the team went 1-9 with runners in scoring position. Que sera sera and hakuna matata.
Opposite Mike Soroka’s ongoing trials, the happiest story of the day was in the wrong uniform: Decatur native Jordan Walker‘s homecoming, as he went 3-4 with a homer, two RBI, and three runs scored in front of his friends and family. I’ll pretty much root for any rookie 21-year-old outfielder from Atlanta, even on the off chance that he doesn’t play for the Braves. Good for him. He appears to have some real thunder in his bat.
Tonight is a battle between two Tennessee gentlemen: Dakota Hudson and Spencer Strider. I like our chances, but I’d also like for our boys to take the opportunity to administer a whipping. Beating the Cardinals always has a special savor. Let’s go get ’em.