Friends, it’s over, and I am without speech or words! The Atlanta Braves dropped Game Four to Philly in Philadelphia last night. For the second straight year, the Philthies eliminated the Braves, and 2023 is over.

Braves killers Bryce Harper and Trea Turner did what they always seem to do, which is not surprising. But Nick Phricking Castellanos launching bomb after bomb? Well, I think that’s a good indication that this isn’t gonna be your year. I mean, even his son was surprised (see the featured image above).

Let’s have a look

Since I have no speech, allow these images to speak for me.

The image on the left is the hanging slider that Castellanos hit 404 feet at a blistering 108.3 mph off the bat. The middle image is Turner’s 403 ft bomb, a slider that he hit 103.9 mph. And the image on the right is the final blow in a 3-1 Philthy win. Castellanos launched a 100 mph fastball 415 ft., this time 112.4 off the bat. He had four chances and finally caught up the the fastball.

This postseason, Turner has an OPS of 1.455. He came into the game 0-for-17 against Spencer Strider and went 3-for-3 before Strider exited after 5.2 innings. Castellanos has a 1.440 OPS this postseason. Harper has a measly 1.380 OPS, and Brandon Marsh has a 1.043 OPS so far. And oh, yeah, JT Realmuto has a .969 OPS this postseason.

Another look

On the other hand, check out this image. The image on the left is the ball that Ronald Acuña Jr. hit to end the seventh inning, leaving the bases loaded. Note the foul balls on pitches six four and six. On the right is a pitch to Matt Olson in the eight inning. It is one of the few pitches that any Braves hitter saw in the middle of the zone in Game Four – and he did nothing with it. The Braves did nothing to force Suarez to work up in the zone, swinging at pitches on their shoe-tops much of the night. And, when they did find one in the middle of the zone from a Philly pitcher, they barreled it into the ground.

This, friends, is the tale of the tape. Austin Riley hit .353 with an OPS of 1.059, including two home runs in this series. His fourth inning homer gave Atlanta the lead from about 195 seconds, 1-0. Unfortunately, no other Braves hitter had an OPS over .625, except for Travis d’Arnaud, who homered in Game Two.

Philly beat the Braves at their own game in this series. As hard as it is to say, they deserve our respect. They out-homered the Braves, 11-3, and out-pitched us, too!

I’m not a great loser because I agree withthe old adage goes, “Show me a good loser and I will show you a loser.” But I guess I am glad it’s over. Philly owns Max Fried and it would have been miserable to be eliminated at home.

Curiosity killed the cat

I think that’s a phrase, and I don’t really like cats, so I will be plenty curious to see what AA does before the first of the year. I am too bummed to do any speculating today, but suffice it to say we need a couple off starting pitchers who can shove and a left-field solution for 2024.

While I am without speech that the season is over, I do want to say it has been a blast hanging out with the Braves Journal family this season. I’m so glad I got to do it!