What a good win–probably the most satisfying of the young season. I know it’s still very early—not even May yet. No one game means a lot. As Earl Weaver said, “This ain’t a football game. We do this every day.” And after all, our Braves are still just 9-12.
Nonetheless, many good things happened in this game. Let’s take stock:
• The Braves twice overcame a 4 run deficit. The largest deficit they had previously overcome this year was 2.
• They now have won three games in a row. (They have certainly been streaky. They earlier had a five game winning streak. Remember, they’ve only won nine games total. They have also had a five and six game losing streaks.)
• They have scored 25 runs in the last three games. Shades of last August and September.
• They are only two games out of the second wild card spot! (Although that’s true, it’s also absolutely meaningless at this stage.)
• Freddie won the game with a ninth inning home run. What a delight he is to watch.
• Ender, after a very poor couple of weeks, had a very good game. 2 hits, including a double, 2 runs scored, 3 driven in.
• Kemp had a two out, bases loaded, game tying 3 run double, just when it looked like the Braves were headed toward a blowout loss.
• Suzuki had a game tying pinch hit single in the 8th (who says we have a weak bench?)
• Our newest bench bat, Lane Adams, had his first major league hit and stolen base. This guy is not really the answer, but what a good story. He was drafted out of high school in 2009. Persistence pays off.
• Of course we do still have a terrible bench, but at least when Bonifacio made his now obligatory pinch hit out, the Braves already had the lead. If I see Goodface pinch hit in a high leverage situation again I may break the television.
• Dansby didn’t have a hit, but he did walk twice and score twice. Seriously, that is very good news. I’m still a believer, and I do think some of his early troubles have been bad luck, but his strikeout to walk ratio so far has been my biggest concern. Before last night it was 22-3. If that doesn’t change dramatically, he is in for a dreadful offensive season.
• Backend of the bullpen was dynamite. Collmenter, Ramirez, Johnson—nine up, nine down, with 2 K’s apiece.
• Teheran pinch ran, scored a run, and didn’t get hurt. But I’d rather have Bonifacio pinch run and let Julio pinch hit.
• We roughed up their “ace”, some guy named Chase Anderson, and increased his ERA by a full run.
• We scored off their previously unhittable reliever, some guy named Jacob Barnes. His ERA went up by over 2 runs.
• We cooled off their slugger, some guy named Eric Thames. He did go 1 for 4, but no homers and all of his triple slash numbers went down. (Is he for real?)
Not everything was good. Big sexy once again served up some meatballs. When his command is off even a little bit, he is very hittable. Jacob Motte (didn’t recognize him at first without the beard) gave up a two run homer in his Braves debut.
But enough of the bad news. We’re on a winning streak. Face some guy named Jimmy Nelson tonight. Let’s make it four in a row.