So in Game 2 we saw the return of Kyle Wright, or at least the return of someone who bears Kyle Wright’s drivers license. The first inning was… terrible. Tommy Milone terrible. Nine batters faced terrible. ERA 36.00 terrible. Viewers Are Advised terrible. Charles Barkley turrible.
But by the next inning, the post-return ERA had been halved. And the inning after that was perfect. And the offense put up three via the why-did-I-waste-all-that-power-hitting-this-mammoth-homer-in-a-tiny park blast from Matt Olson and we have a ball game.
Emboldened, they sent Kyle Wright for one more inning. That “inning” consisted of a single and a triple. So he closed with 62 pitches and 6 runs allowed in 3+ innings when his replacement, Jackson Stephens (welcome back!) allowed the man on 3rd to score.
Stephens has come up to (a) provide the innings that Kyle Wright would have pitched were he in midseason form; and (b) provide the innings that Collin McHugh was providing. He gave up a homer to Brandon Marsh, but he threw 52 pitches and worked 3 2/3 pretty good innings. That’ll do.
Olson answered Marsh’s homer with his second homer of the night (and 50th of the season.) . Until tonight, there were only 30 humans with a season of 50 or more home runs. Now there are 31.
Michael Harris II hit the Braves’ third homer of the game (and fifth of the day) to pull the Hammers within two. Pierce Johnson had another great 1 1/3 innings of work.
Unfortunately, old friend Craig Kimbrel got RAJ to ground out while representing the tying run to gain the split.
On Olson: “He’s not going to hit .280, but…[insert blather here]” Less than 20 seconds later, he was hitting exactly .280.
Other than John Kruk, Daniel Vogelbach, Greg Luzinski and Kyle Schwarber, who belongs on the All Barrel-Shaped Team? (Those four popped to my mind immediately, but I know I’m leaving some prominent guys.)