At this point in 1966, the Braves lineup had settled into what I still remember 52 years later: Alou played 1st and led off, followed by Mack Jones in Center, Aaron in right, Carty in left, Torre catching, Mathews at 3rd, Woody Woodward at 2nd and Denis Menke at short. The 85th game broke a 5 game winning streak as Chi Chi Olivo gave up a late run to lose to Don Drysdale and the Dodgers 3-2 before under 25,000 at Dodger Stadium. (Dodger Stadium and Wrigley are the only NL parks from 1966 still hosting baseball.) The Braves in 1996 were at this point still roughly reversed from this year’s team at 39-46.
But come on! It’s the 4th of July. Where were you on July 4th-5th 1985? https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/ATL/ATL198507040.shtml
I’m not going to recap that game. If you’re too young, ask somebody who wasn’t. I was living in a terrible apartment in New Rochelle, NY and had gone out to dinner, fireworks and then hit bars with a bunch of friends in tony New Canaan, CT and arrived home only to find the game still in the 4th inning. Just go look at the box score linked above. Let Yankee fans have the 4th of July Dave Righetti no-hitter from two years earlier. Let Mets fans (if there are any) savor the win. I just feel lucky to have watched it. RIP, Rick Camp.
I note in the comments from yesterday that even our esteemed editor has begun to be annoyed by Chip. I will focus on two locutions that, were they to be excised from Mr. Caray’s Storehouse of Vocal Tics, would make me indifferent to treating every 300 foot flyball as a potential homer and every bunt as a masterstroke of strategery.
1) “Right people (or man) at the right time.” This is idiotic for several reasons: (a) is there ever a time when you don’t want to score runs? So what, exactly, is the “wrong time?” (b) In a lineup which has produced runs all over it, who exactly are the “wrong people?” (c) Even if there are “wrong people” why would you acknowledge it?
2) “Let’s see if…” This is my single bête noire of the entire Caray corpus. What bothers me the most about it is that it doesn’t seem to bother anybody else. So let me try to explain for the umpteenth time what I hate about it. First, it is completely unnecessary. We’re already watching the game. We will see what happens whether you speculate about what we’re about to see or not. Second, nine times out of ten, it is Chip speculating that a Braves hitter will hit a home run or an opposing hitter will hit into a double play. This is not useful speculation. It’s just annoying. And for a guy who bemoans a game which focuses on homers and strikeouts, it’s hypocritical.
CC Sabathia’s attempt to replicate Righetti in 1983 faltered on the first batter. The Braves loaded the bases with two outs in the top of the first, but one of the oldest pitchers in baseball then struck out one of the the youngest batters to end the threat.
After three quick strikeouts in the first, Julio Teheran gave up a run on a well-placed double by Gregorius and a sharp single from Bird. But in the third a three-run blast by Stanton made it 4-0 and a two-out Higashioka homer the next inning brought it to 5-0.
The comeback started in the fifth. Santana, subbing for a Sabathia-plunked Freeman (doesn’t look too serious), drove in Inciarte with a groundout. A Camargo solo homer continued the run creep. But two on with nobody out led to nothing in the 7th. With all due regard to Frenchy, what really kills rallies are outs. Gohara came back from Gwinnett and pitched well, seeming to recover his velocity and giving up only a short-porch popup to Judge which still counts for a run. Vizzy came back as well, and looked a little rusty, but not bad.
Well, we don’t yet have a team ready to beat the Yankees in Yankee Stadium. That’s not so bad, because nobody else does either. Happy 4th, everybody.