So, sad face for me, because two innings into this game, MLB.TV decided it hated me and wasn’t going to work. This means you’ll get two innings of normal recap and then 7 innings of based-on-ESPN-play-by-play recap. Apologies. :-/
Pre-MLB.TV breaking: Mike Minor looked pretty good, allowing nothing but some hits over two innings. He was getting ahead of guys. Very nice, Mikey! Meanwhile, the Braves had jumped out to a quick 3-run lead on the back of some nice hitting by Jordan Schafer. Success! had a double and a triple in his first two ABs, scoring a run and driving in on more. If his double down the LF line hadn’t jumped into the stands, it would’ve been a 2RBI day. But hey, a 2-run rally in the 2nd is a 2wo-run rally in the second! Even Elliott Johnson did something positive, driving in Schafer in the first inning. I’ll be honest. I wasn’t optimistic that a lineup headed by Success! and EJ* would produce, but there we were, with two runs on the board after two innings.
And then I’ve got nothin. Sorry. Sometimes MLB TV just hates me, and all I get is a gray screen with those stupid circles rotating endlessly. It’ll probably work again tomorrow or in two hours or something, but whatever. Here we go, recapping off the ESPN play-by-play:
Looks like…. Hibernation mode. Wow. I know what it’s like to watch, but when you see a pitcher facing 3 batters only for 4 straight innings it just looks sad. I mean, there were baserunners, but double plays and caught stealings (Gerald Laird? I assume this was some sort of botched hit-and-run? But Joey Tredoslavich Joey Terds isn’t really a contact guy so why would you call for that Fredi?) mean only 3 actual batters faced in frames 3 through 6 for the Cardinals pitcher. Luckily, it seems like Minor was as effective as our offense has been ineffective, giving up not much besides a leadoff double to Matt Carpenter and some “productive outs” resulting in a single tally. And I see from the red text that Andrelton Simmons answered with a HR in the 7th! Way to go, Simba!
Scrolling, scrolling…. Another EJ sighting! That’s two hits on the day for him, equaling, I think, his season total with the Royals! And Gerald Laird hits one far enough to bring him in on a sac fly! That’s some A-B-C baseball, the sight of which is all that remains between Joe Simpson and Viagra!
Man, things really heated up here at the end. Luis Avilan came in and shat the bed, requiring–
Okay, this is probably a misprint, but it says that… Craig Kimbrel… came in in the 8th? Yeah, there’s no way that’s true. Sorry I wasn’t able to see the game and report what actually happened, but I’ll just have to go by this erroneous ESPN play-by-play list. And it says Kimbrel came in and got Yadier Molina to ground out. And after that, I think, in an effort (maybe?) to give Kimrbel the impression it was just a single inning’s worth of work, the Braves hitters decided to all make quick outs. Then Kimbrel closed the door in the 9th. Again, the lack of strikeouts from any of the four batters “Kimbrel” faced makes me suspect there was a mis-print somewhere, but the bottom line is, Braves win! Yay!
*Side-note on Johnson: I saw him play a TON while I was living in Raleigh and attending Durham Bulls games. One summer, I was doing some game scoring work for Baseball Info Solutions, so I got to sit right behind the plate. A family that I saw periodically down there had apparently gotten him to give their kid some lessons on being an infielder and stuff. They said he was a really good guy. So I’ve always rooted for him. There’s actually a bunch of guys from that team that (to my eyes) seemed like MiLB lifers but ended up making meaningful contributions to MLB teams. None were stars, but guys like John Jaso, Justin Ruggiano, Elliot Johnson, Reid Brignac, and Grant Balfour off the top of my head have all made useful contributions to major league teams at some point.