We’d been around too long with this bunch to know it couldn’t be this easy, right through to the end, surely? And it wasn’t, we went from laugher to white knuckle in a matter of minutes, late – just like last night except this time we were the ones trying to hold off the marauders who, smelling blood, became men not boys.
With Arietta pitching we accomplished a good old one-two in each of the first two innings, 2 runs in each, we had four on the board in a few minutes- they looked overmatched by Folty(more later) and had yet to record a hit. In fact going in to the 6th they still hadn’t! What was truly bizarre though was we, the Cock of the Hoop with that comfortable fat lead up front – were experiencing a similar hit drought well into the late innings.
It would be fair to say then that for we older denizens, so emotionally shattered from many earlier disasters, we ‘recherched du temps perdu’ and were increasingly concerned complacency must have set in, it couldn’t go on like this. And it didn’t. After a magnificent outing from Folty he started to look a bit blown going into the eighth and putting the first two hitters on. Much consultations on the mound, it must have been a very difficult decision with his pitch count at only 84, 56 strikes, but he didn’t seem that upset at that time to be sent to the bench. Leaving the two base runners on of course, no outs, and our run total seemingly stuck at 4 forever.
This is where things got tight, our hero banished to the bench, the Phils suddenly perking up as they saw the numbers for themselves. Herrera and Fanco produced, Jonny was sent in at 4-3 and somehow managed to get us out of it. Boffo. We are using up his miraculous powers. We managed to add a huge 5th run in the bottom of the eighth, doubling our lead, and we waited to see who Snit would send out to close the deal. Who did you guess it would be, be honest.
The choice proved masterly, it was Viz and he showed his class by disposing of the Phils rif-raf in 9 pitches, 6 of which were strikes. Champions, just like that.
The individuals who shone for us. Folty, of course. No hitter into the sixth and thus literally unhittable. He had great control, 2 walks, and vicious movement through the air plus a couple of 99’s to shake ’em up. Smoltz was full of praise for him and, interestingly, quite sure he’ll get better yet.
Elsewhere. If you haven’t noticed there are three position players we have on a daily basis who consistently are currently outperform their brethren. Acuna/Inciarte/Camargo and such was the case last night and today. FF is well on his way to rejoin them. What a great day! 5 years on the Braves is back.