These Braves are entertaining. For good or bad, the games are often in doubt down to the last batter. For the past couple of weeks, that’s been mostly good. Last night, the Braves defeated the Brewers, for their sixth win in the last seven games. The final was 5-4, with the Brewers leaving the tying run in scoring position in both the 8th and 9th.
Well, it’s not so much that the Brewers “left” the tying runner on base, as it is the Braves’ much maligned infield defense turned in 3 stellar plays that preserved the narrow lead. The story of the game was the great plays turned in by Camargo in the 8th and Swanson in the 9th. In the 8th, Jose Ramirez entered with a 3 run lead and promptly walked 2. Of course they scored the third and fourth runs, pulling the Brewers within 1, thanks to a sharp double in the left field corner by Arcia. After a hit batsmen, Aguilar came to the plate with the tying run on second and the go ahead run on first. He hit a rope down the third base line that looked for all the world to be a replay of the Arcia double–but Blazon’s man Camargo speared it and started an inning ending 5-4-3 twin killing. In the 9th, Vizcaino allowed a lead off double to Thames. I didn’t consult those win probabilities that you see online at that point, but I was certain (as you were) that the Brewers would at least tie it. The next batter hit a sharp grounder to Swanson’s left. Dansby immediately fired to third in an attempt to get the lead runner. I said “Oh sh–t! Don’t do that!”—and then immediately said “Great play, kid!” What a difference—had that not worked, the tying run would have been on third with no outs. And the next hitter hit one to the wall in left. For the final out, Dansby dove and speared a liner to his right. Game over—Braves win again!
Folty had good stuff, striking out 9 in 5 innings. Took him 104 pitches to get through 5, though, so the bullpen was taxed. Offensively, Brandon Phillips continues to thrive, with a homer, double, 2 rbi’s and 2 runs scored. Flowers had 2 more hits and a big 2 out rbi. And Swanson is quietly getting his numbers closer to what we had hoped. Two more hits, and his OPS is up to .648.
Late afternoon game today at the Launching Pad. Which Dickey will show up?