The art of losing isn't hard to master; so many things seem filled with the intent to be lost that their loss is no disaster.
Through the first four innings, it seemed this one was destined to wrap up in under 2.5 hours. That is… until I tuned in! I was late getting this one on in between meetings today, but pretty much all the action I needed to see occurred in the span of 40 minutes as Folty and team came completely unraveled.
With the score 1-0 in favor of the Padres, the unraveling started with a Padres bunt tapped down the third base line. Camargo had no chance at a play. It was then followed up by a bunt by the pitcher to sacrifice the runner over to second.
Now, contrary to what Braves fans are tempted to say, Foltynewicz appeared to keep his calm on the mound today. He would surrender grounders through the infield into the outfield. He would surrender soft bloopers (perfectly field-able) to the outfield that would land for hits. At one point, a line drive ran up the mound and off of Folty’s glove/shoulder. That, too, would find its way into the outfield on an errant throw. That’s the kind of inning we, the Braves + Folty + Fans, had as the Padres hung 5 in the 5th.
The Padres would go on to hang another 5 runs on Shane Carle in the 6th inning, and somewhere along the way the Braves would scratch their way out of being shutout. Oh, and as no minor feat, Charlie Culberson would take the mound and do what several Braves (major league) relievers have struggled to do: 1 IP, 0 ER. Sure, there was a hit and a couple of walks, but that just means that a Charlie Culberson relief appearance fits right in. Zing!
This brings me back to my original thought of late: so many things seem filled with the intent to be lost that their loss is no disaster. There are plenty of stories happening in this young season to celebrate, friends, such as: Ozzie Albies, Dansby Swanson, Ronald Acuña Jr., Max Fried, and Mike Soroka. I don’t feel any need, whatsoever, to drone on about the obvious, and so it’s for that reason that today’s loss is no disaster.
And there is room for hope, still, regarding the pitching. If the starting pitchers can pitch into or even through the 7th inning more frequently, then that means fewer innings for the bullpen. If we can turn up enough relievers who are on an upward turn in their careers, then we can patch together enough relief coverage to carry us through most games. We can play the hot hands at least until we can make an acquisition. Maybe then, and maybe only then, will fewer things seem filled with the intent to be lost.
For the rest of the poem I quoted in the opening, click here. The author is Elizabeth Bishop, and I highly recommend the read. The poem is titled “One Art.”