With Sam’s permission, since I forgot what day it was. Retirement does stuff like that to you.
So it’s a long season, and 1966 was no different. The 98th game saw the Braves drop a 4-3 game to the Cardinals at Atlanta Stadium to bring their record to 45-53. Every game has something to discuss, like Hank Aaron’s 30th, and an eventual game winning homer from Tim McCarver, who was to become a highly polarizing figure in color commentary. (He never bothered me, but in the right bar in the right era, pro- and anti-Tim McCarver talk caused bartenders to put the local constabulary on speed-dial. Note to Chip: that’s how you use that trope: ironically) Interesting 1966 stuff in a week or so, so let’s leave it now.
It was, as Charles Dickens memorably put it, A Tale of Two JT’s.
So I missed the first two innings of this game because I didn’t know the start time, but apparently JT Realmuto was trying to convince AA to close the deal by, first, hitting a two run homer for the Fish in the first, half-matched by a solo shot from Camargo in the 2nd.
The third saw Inciarte eventually give up 2 runs when a single got by him for 1 and a weak throw by Acuna gave up the second on a sac fly by Realmuto for his 3rd RBI. The Braves got back in it in the top of the 5th, the Folk Hero knocked in two with a double.
But Julio, the JT apparently not on the trading block today (so he had no interest in looking competent,) was uninterested in keeping the game close. He wasn’t helped by the obligatory replay denied, but in this case, I think they got it right the first time, a fielder’s choice that gave Realmuto his 4th RBI. Giving up another two wasn’t quite bad enough – the Braves had already showed they could come back from that—so a 3 run dinger from Starlin Castro ended Julio’s day, if not his career, and he left the game at 9-3, confident that he had secured the loss.
At that point, the baseball game needed to continue, because there’s a roof, so both sides continued to play, and nobody scored. Freddie made a couple of good plays, I spent some time remembering how much I liked Martin Prado, and I vowed to remember from now on that Wednesday doesn’t come until we’ve had Tuesday.
You guys are all way better about trade speculation than I am, but for this game, I’d have been happier with a JT-JT trade, even one that reversed tomorrow. We might have won.