Braves Journal, The House That Mac Built

Scarred, but smarter.

15 Apr

back to back to back Braves 4….nuckled Padres 2 (by blazon)

Two hours and fifteen minutes sufficed to settle this mellow contest on Jackie Robinson Day. Courtesy of Fox the first innings was played in the ether – when they did deign to let us in their regional guys from SD manned the booth and were a pleasant surprise. Justin Kutchner did play by play, Preston Wilson color. They scored on two points – they said a lot of pleasant things about the Braves without condescension – their required tributes to Robinson were many and spotted throughout the game and Wilson, as one who directly benefited, was moving. Amusingly, he also had a story or two about Smoltz in their new broadcasting roles.

When we were finally permitted to view our game and not Cleveland’s, Dickey, who’d had an easy first so they said, promptly gave up back to back homers. We stayed behind 0/2 till the third when Dansby and Neck both had RBI singles to tie. Gatsby, as he is called in these parts, had horrible AB’s last night ballooning everything up weakly but his single here was to right field and hit low with power and authority. Neck continues to impress at the plate. So it was 2/2 going into the 4th.

In the bottom of the fourth we left 2 on. But the top of the innings was enlivened by the Dickey kick to propel a bunt foul. Not a nudge with the side of his foot but a full blooded kick – memory did not serve up another such from the past. In the top of the fifth, Dickey continuing to pitch tenaciously, it was the Padres’ turn to leave two runners on.

In the bottom of the fifth an event occurred which might well have gone viral around the world, an inch or two either way. Freddie had singled and was likely sent on his way to second in a hit and run. As he barrelled in towards the bag, his left leg was fully stretched out to the side and threatening. Cue our friend Erick Aybar who arrived there from a 45 degree angle with his legs splayed wide, wide open –  Freddie’s left foot, most certainly not willfully, slid between both guides and was heading straight toward Hallelujah City when, with a masterful display of control and compassion, impact was shepherded off to the more friendly side regions. They ended up tangled flat on the bag, each in the other’s arms, much smiles and sighs of relief, all round you might think. No Hibar here.

The top of the 6th started with Hedges, 2/31 coming in, he who had homered earlier, now hit a double but he too was wasted. Come the bottom half, lo and behold, it was our favorite whipping boys who went back to back out of the park. Phillips first at 447 feet to straight center, Garcia his preferred route to right center bouncing off and over the substantial brick wall added to increase the degree of difficulty .

Somewhere behind all this BTW are several shortish rows of fancy seats with what appears to be calligraphy on them – could not make out what was happening. What it most resembled, from a distance, was one of those mausoleums for the multitudes where the customers are boxed and slid in place in their coffins -0r an assembled North Korean cabinet meeting trying to figure who’s the next to go.. Glad to say in this case of course they were sitting happily outside in their seats, coke in hand. Could someone who has been there, or better still, sat there, please enlighten, what are these seats,why do they look so odd on the screen and what do they cost?

Relief was called up in the top of the seventh when their first two batters had reached, bizarrely, both sending Dickey sprawling as he tried unsuccessfully to field their hard hit grounders which bounced off him and away. He had done us proud. As did Suzuki, no pass balls. Ramirez came on and cleaned up emphatically. Funnily enough the aforesaid Wilson had just said Ramirez was not one of those who could get it to 95 when a 97 was posted. To his credit he called himself out and laughed. Self deprecation in this business brings welcome relief.

Just like last night the Braves bullpen performed like clockwork. Vizcaino in the eighth, JJ polishing off the ninth. Much maligned a week or two ago they now look solid from the right  and with Mauricio still to come.

It was a grand night all round. Three in a row, all the Robinson tributes, lots of laughs with Erick and Freddie, balls flying out of the Park. As our kids used to say, are we there yet?

23 Responses to “back to back to back Braves 4….nuckled Padres 2 (by blazon)”

  1. 1
    John Thomas Says:

    Excellent recap. Preston Wilson was indeed a pleasure to listen to. A few generic insights, but every broadcaster has ’em, but his depth of knowledge and appreciation for baseball bled through, as did his wacky sense of humor.

    We have Chip Caray. But I digress…

    Great game for the Bravos. They look like a major league ball club lately, though of course Padres.

  2. 2
    Sean Q. Says:

    I will just say it. Sun Trust Park is kind of ugly.

    Gatsby… the kid is smooth though.

    Great recap!

  3. 3
    Rob Cope Says:

    Big point by blazon: no passed balls or wild pitches. We might have won Dickey’s last start without them.

  4. 4
    krussell Says:

    The ball that BP hit might still be going

  5. 5
    Edward Says:

    Inciarte
    Swanson
    Freeman
    Markakis
    Phillips
    Garcia
    Flowers
    Peterson
    Colon

    Looks like Snitker’s playing for the sweep. I wonder how many of Big Sexy’s fastballs the Padres can square up today.

  6. 6
    Dan Says:

    Sun Trust Park is kind of ugly.

    Which ballparks built in the 21st century look good?

  7. 7
    Edward Says:

    Petco, PNC, and AT&T for sure. I like Target Field and the new Busch Stadium. And Marlins Park is kind of charmingly hideous.

  8. 8
    Edward Says:

    That’s one fastball the Padres have squared up.

  9. 9
    Dan Says:

    I thought AT&T Park too, but it was built in 1997-1999, and its first game was in April 2000, which wouldn’t be the 21st century.

    If you really want to get nitpicky, PNC and Petco parks broke ground in 1999 and 2000, respectively.

  10. 10
    Nick Says:

    @6

    If you’re putting Marlins Park above SunTrust Park on any sort of scale of aesthetics, I’ll just assume you go through life wearing eye-gougingly tacky blazers every time you leave the house.

  11. 11
    Edward Says:

    @8, Thank you for the invitation, but I do not want to get nitpicky.

    @9, I didn’t say a word about SunTrust. I don’t have an opinion yet. But I like the Marlins Park better than either of the new stadiums in New York, and better than the one in Cincinnati, and much better than the one in Washington.

  12. 12
    krussell Says:

    It looks pretty much exactly like Turner Field on TV. Nothing remarkable about it, good or bad. I’m assuming it’s a lot more impressive in person.

  13. 13
    sdp Says:

    I don’t think there’s anything objectively ugly about SunTrust. It’s pretty much up there with every new stadium of the last decade, save maybe new Yankee Stadium.

  14. 14
    sdp Says:

    Ender!

  15. 15
    timo Says:

    This Braves team has been fun to watch. Ugly or not, the Braves seem to enjoy pitching and hitting there.

  16. 16
    JohnWDB Says:

    Bethancourt is so versatile

    How many players are equally good at hitting, fielding, and pitching? Exactly same level of goodness in all three facets.

  17. 17
    Rob Cope Says:

    I spoke way too soon and couldn’t have been more wrong about Ender. His game with Babe Ruth power is the peak of a hot streak and shouldn’t be considered when evaluating him, but he has become a key staple in their rebuild plans. I had originally thought that a guy that got Rule-5’ed by the legendary Phillies and the “Plan B” from the supposed Pollock trade talks, who quickly got injured and then slumped was going to be another placeholder during the rebuild, but he is a “winning” (I know some hate that term) baseball player who will be on a World Series-winning team at some point in his career. His very social and kind demeanor to me probably has influenced my perception of him, but he just brings so much to the table. The stats are the stats, including his overall fielding and hitting numbers, but there are just the little things that make him an exciting player. The most throws 90+ mph from the outfield last year, the efficient routes he takes, the fact that he rarely misses a home run rob or diving catch, low strike out totals, and reasonable BABIP means that he’s a very technically proficient, extremely solid player despite clearly being a less than elite athlete. Don’t get me wrong; he’s fast and athletic, but I get the sense that he does the more with his physical skills than others. And then his infectious attitude, personality, passion and enthusiasm just makes him an extremely fun player to watch. You could apply all of the things I just said to Dansby Swanson, and that tells you the kind of fanfare he should have.

    Alright, I’m done with my Ender love.

  18. 18
    Rob Cope Says:

    Glad we could pile on the end of the Padres’ pitching staff. They’re terrible, and we picked the perfect team to open up the ballpark against. Really should have beat the heck out of these guys.

  19. 19
    sdp Says:

    If Ender could turn the corner to become a 12-16 HR guy, that would be huge.

  20. 20
    JohnWDB Says:

    The Padres have two starting pitchers that couldn’t stay in our rotation while we were tanking–Cahill and Chacin. That’s pretty awful.

  21. 21
    Dan Says:

    Win tomorrow, and this team is actually .500. I thought they’d be sub-.500 all year.

  22. 22
    John R. Says:

    Seems like everyone in our lineup is hitting save for Dansby and Garcia.

  23. 23
    Rusty S. Says:

    Recapped.

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