Another milestone for our rookie. His first 0-fer. Fine, get it over with on a night it didn’t matter. First GS and first cycle await.
We didn’t need him primarily because Basil Folty showed us just what a fine pitcher he can be. If this wasn’t his best start as a Brave I’d be very surprised, he had everything working including his control plus a substantial increase in velocity – two pitches in the first at 100, two or three others 99. His line was 6 IP. 1 Run, 2 BB, 6 K. Also he in no way caved in when Franco ambushed his first pitch leading off the Philly phfith. Did not bother him and he went on to close out the sixth for a total of 91 pitches. The hitherto unbeatable Pivetta had disappeared after 5, well beaten. Folty, we were proud of you.
Offensively we pretty well matched last night’s early show scoring three runs by the end of the third. Unlike then though we did not give them away and the Phils had to wait until the bottom of the fifth to open their solitary account.
Individually, Freddie was one of the offensive stars of the night. He consistently made better contact than either Ozzie and Acuna, ended up only one for 5 but was robbed of a 2 run homer by an astonishing catch in the CF bushes by Herrera. Nick Markakis meanwhile had shown how it was done by homering to right in the second to get the show going. We lead thereafter but it’s disconcerting to see how frequently we snatch an early lead and then the bats close down. A word about Nick, he has been phenomenal to this point in the season for us. Surprising HR power and a consummate performance in the field. Lay off him, it’s old. And now also wrong.
It all sounds rather easy doesn’t it but it was not to be. From the seventh on we could not escape our bullpen and, again they(or rather he) put us through it, Mr Minter. He needs a month minimum in Gwinnett, his control is persistently pathetic and his temper matches that. He must by now be averaging over one walk per inning. Tonight he walked the first two batters and was pulled after one third of an inning.
BUT, more encouragingly, Carle had pitched a scoreless seventh with 2 hits but no walks before Minter appeared. After him the estimable Henry Winkler closed out the eighth by striking out the last two hitters. Vizzy did what Vizzy does without somehow looking entirely convincing in the ninth but we were home and dry, 15 and 11, with the rubber game tomorrow.