I have seen demonstrable evidence that obnoxiousness is now in control of the world (that might apply to the universe, but I don’t get many communiques from Jupiter, or Alpha Centauri or other points out there). A sitting President says “fight, fight” and acts surprised when people fight. A current President has an explosion in net worth in the past 10 years while his son receives 20 million in known wire transfers and acts like he knows nothing. People paid to be journalists run tape in the background of burning buildings and describe that the day has been one of “mostly peaceful protests.” Senior health officials are caught in lies and continue to deny the lie. “Freedom fighters” cut off the heads of infants. Obnoxious one and all.

Neither the City of Philadelphia nor the Phillies franchise reach such levels of obnoxiousness, but then again, they don’t contribute to lessening obnoxiousness, do they?

So, continuing the Braves season is down to 2 things. 1. The Kirby Smart question needs to be answered by Spencer Strider and Max Fried. “Either you are elite, or you are not.” 2. Where the hell did one of MLB’s most historic offenses go? If those 2 questions are answered in the affirmative, then the Braves will get to try to kill snakes in Atlanta in a few days. If negative answers, then the long offseason begins.

I give Brian Snitker a little slack on the starting pitcher decision, but only a little. There weren’t any great hands to play. All of the AAAA pitchers NOT on the roster had shown blow up tendencies most of the year. With Bryce Elder you had a chance. And, somehow, that chance worked for 2 innings. 6 straight outs. 4 K’s. 1 outfield line drive and 1 infield ground ball. I think I would have tried to have Max Fried warm up and do his “side session” for inning 1. Mainly to try to stop the early lefthanders (Schwarber and Harper). Then, maybe go to Elder and see how long he could spin the web. Snitker’s aversion to analytics (which AA has to address this offseason, or maybe today) led him to not realize that at this point AJ Smith-Shawver’s stuff absolutely will not work against major league lefthanders.

So, nothing to nothing going to 3. The Braves get a one out Ronald Acuna, Jr. double, an Ozzie Albies single, and that is a run. Austin Riley makes a line drive out and Matt Olson walks. So, Marcel Ozuna has a chance to keep it going and strikes out. Looking pretty good there. But, not for long.

The long 3rd inning started out with Nick Castellanos homering. Now tied. Then Brandon Marsh singled. But then, a fielder’s choice. Then, an infield single. Still a chance to get out of it, but Obnoxiousness Incarnate (Bryce Harper) came to the plate. Suddenly it was 4 to 1 and I didn’t feel so good. Well Snit decided to leave Elder in (I know it was early and lots of pen innings and also that Obnoxiousness Incarnate does those kinds of things, but really???) After a single and a walk, Snitker goes to Michael Tonkin. Then J. T. Realmuto sends a line drive to left (not fair to call it left center) and as soon as I saw it head out there I thought “I wish Pillar was there). Eddie Rosario didn’t get there, so now it was 6 to 1. Old “win probability” is moving over 90% for the Phillies now.

I am tired of thinking about this game. I am tired of writing about it. I really had hope as long as it stayed at 6 or 7. But as innings clicked by and runs got added (mostly by the Phillies) I sought out other entertainment. Well, actually I sought ENTERTAINMENT, because after the top of inning 3, there wasn’t any.

There was no better image than to “join the bar.”

So, Spencer, are you elite or are you not? Braves position players, are you elite or are you not? We will find out a little after 8 EDT today.