Why El Guettar? A Battle fairly early in the war. It was a victory coming after a few other small victories which in turn followed the major disheartening disaster known as the Battle of Kasserine Pass (kind of like the woeful Pre Marlins stretch, followed by 2 out of 3 against a woeful team). Also, it occurred on foreign soil. The soil was also strange to many (turf versus desert rock and sand). An oversized character who some thought was out of his element and past his time was in charge (Patton v. Colon). The victory played out according to a sound plan and was substantial. And, even though this is not reporting, but prediction, “Our U. S. Forces” (the Braves) probably won’t be able to follow up on this victory effectively (like U. S. II Corps) because they have not yet become a well oiled machine. Maybe a Breakout can happen next year?
The best initial thing in a sound baseball plan is to get runs on the board early. Ender Inciarte struck out, Brandon Phillips was plunked (one of 4 in the game), and Freddie Freeman reached first on a fielder’s choice. Then Matt Kemp singled and when the throw tried to get aggressive Freddie at third, aggressive Matt took second. Kemp has answered his critics with his much better conditioning. Then, Nick Markakis steps up with 2 outs and singles home 2. There’s your early lead Bartolo Colon.
Bartolo was much better this time out. Generally looked fairly good. Almost like Bartolo in recent years. Is he turning a corner? Who knows. made it through 5 and 2 outs in the sixth having given up 3. One out away from a minimal quality start.
And, the Braves kept piling on the runs, hits, walks, and the amazing system wide attribute, the plunk. 2 more in the 4th from a Dansby Swanson single. 13 hits in total, 3 BB’s, and the 4 HBP’s. Kind of like the Tank Destroyers at El Guettar. Lay down a lot of solid but not spectacular fire (mostly 75 mm stuff) and it can get results.
It stretched out as far as 10 to 3 before a little bullpen gasoline was ignited as Molotov cocktails for an effective rear guard by the Blue Jays. They got one in the 7th after a “gassed” Ian Krol walked 2 after 2 outs and Jason Motte fanned the flames by giving up a double, but only 1 scored. In the 9th, Josh Collmenter gave up a 2 run HR before then striking out 2.