NB…the ensemble kicks off but be sure to stay around for the soloists that follow.
To their great credit the Atlanta Braves, who have faced excellent starting pitching on each of these last three days. have won two of these games despite their offense totaling 7 runs for all three. Something must be stirring for this to happen, some individuals likely are taking on new roles, adapting to assuming responsibility in high pressure situations, and we saw just that this afternoon.
They started a kid named Blackburn making his ML debut. Well, you could have fooled me, he looked terrific with a wide variety of pitches, speeds and locations and it was no surprise that when he left after 6 we had only one run on the board and that was gifted by a 2 base throwing error.
We started my man RAD who was good but not quite at the level of his last three starts., his control wavering at times, 3 walks, you know how he hates those. And so, we got to see the other side of his abilities, his gritty determination. Exemplified marvelously by a race to first with their Number one prospect, about half his age, Dickey had to cartwheel past the bag. Great stuff.
And then, grit again towards the end of his 6 innings with base runners abounding and the game in the balance. When he left we were still tied 1-1. We eked out a run in the seventh, another in the eighth but then Vizcaino gave it all back quickly with a CF homer to Davis. Unlike last night we had given up our lead and everything was on the line
Danny led off and made a colossal mistake not running out hard a short fly ball to center which was dropped. So he stood at first only, suitably sheepish, Not for long though, he stole second (he had stolen second and third in the eighth leading directly to our third run). Dansby, more later, doubled him in and we were back ahead. JJ completed his tally of 6 consecutive outs over 2 nine innings stints to seal the win. We don’t give him enough credit, his lollipop off speed stuff, which must take some nerve to throw so frequently when you have a mid nineties fast ball, continues to bamboozle the hitters. Game over, Braves win.
We must now embrace Dansby for those super quick hand inside which he has no problem utilizing in the clutch. He did it twice late in the game, each time driving in a vital run. Why on earth they would pitch him there when he remains so very vulnerable outside heaven knows. And he did another Gatsby by bobbling a simple ground ball which most conveniently had risen up to meet his glove. Still, he was a big, big factor today offensively.
Let’s talk about Danny. Fair to say his signing, and his occasional play in the first weeks, were mocked by all of us. I was high on that list. Not now. His speed in the outfield and more particularly on the basis takes us to a new level of threat. He is quicker than Ender on the diamond. We have to give up stolen bases via the otherwise excellent Flowers, here’s a guy who can compensate for them. And he can hit. He’s a fixture now. Danny and his jets.