Florida and Tennessee played football last Saturday. I can’t remember a time where I’d been so angry but then so excited in such a short period of time. In the final drive, Florida inexplicably let 27 seconds drain off the clock down to 9 seconds during a tie game. They had 2 time outs, were about 30 yards away from our All-SEC kicker’s range, and our defense was getting gassed, meaning that if it went to overtime, we were toasted. I was so mad, yelling at my TV. My wife asked me why I was so mad (I’m not usually mad about Braves baseball). I told her that college football games are really important (she already knew that, but I was re-iterating that individual plays can mean everything). Then, quarterback Franks to receiver Cleveland for 63-yards in the air as time expired for the win, and we were both jumping up and down and excited about the final play, even though I was still really angry about the poor clock management on the previous play. We got lucky.
So, last night. It felt like it was going to be a win, but then the 8th inning happened. Jose Ramirez had gotten a strike out, looked good, and then gave up a little nubber to Wilmer Difo that if Ramirez’s mechanics didn’t push him to the first base side, he’d have easily gloved and threw him out. Runner on, no big deal. But then Trea Turner doubles down the line (of course), and then he walks Werth on four straight. Arodys Vizcaino comes in, and another walk on four straight. Then another walk. Then another walk. And since Winkler pitched last night, and Minter and Freeman had already pitched, Brian Snitker went to… Rex Brothers. And it went about how you’d think: single, single, and the game is out of hand. But the whole time I didn’t get mad. That’s what the Braves have done to me, and probably many others. I’m just numb to it.
Perhaps the lack of anger was caused by some silver lining: the pitching otherwise was quite good. We seem to be controlling innings by only having our young starters pitch about 5 innings, even if their pitch count is low. So last night, Lucas Sims pitched well for 5 innings, throwing 74 pitches. Walked two, allowed three hits, and struck out 6. AJ Minter had his 11th straight appearance without allowing a walk, and he now has a 17/0 K/BB ratio in 11 IP. He could either be Shea Simmons or Craig Kimbrel, and if someone can predict that, they should be in a front office somewhere. Sam Freeman, who has also been very impressive, gave another scoreless inning. So it’s hard to get too worked up considering our bullpen is about 6-7 quality pitchers deep, but if you keep having your starting pitching go 5 innings, then you’re going to have games where the 3rd or 4th reliever of the game has a meltdown. Play the odds, friend.
Otherwise, what else is there to get worked up about? You’ve got Nick Markakis as your cleanup hitter, Adonis Garcia playing left field, and Matt Kemp and Matt Adams are on the bench. We need an offseason. Go back to your corner, regroup, and start again.