Didn’t get home from the game tonight until after midnight so I’m going to have to make this short and sweet. Tuesday was a wonderful night for me as I got to go to the game and watch all the despondent gNats fans leaving the game at various intervals until, really, only Braves fans remained. The night was even better because I missed the bottom of the 9th. I wish I had missed the bottom of the 8th, too.
The story begins (and should have ended) with Julio Teheran and his magnificent performance. He went 6.2 innings and the only trouble he had was three singles in a row in the 6th. During the first five, he was lights out and ripped the soul right out of all the gNats (except possibly Kendrick). Even in the 6th, part of the damage was an IF single that Camargo nearly got a force out on at 2B which would have short circuited the rally. Julio tired in the 7th and gave up a solo shot to Turner, but this Julio I would trust with a playoff game.
That might have been enough for one night, but the Prodigal Sons – Ender and Adam – left their mark on this game by getting 7 of the Braves’ 15 hits. It was glorious to behold and left me with the feeling that we do not need any position player help. What was even better was that Ender had 2 doubles and SB and Duvall crushed 2 solo shots – no cheapies in this crowd.
Of course, this leaves one last part of the story which I wish I didn’t have to tell – the Awful Endgame. The gNats starter, Erick Fedde, was a goner from the first pitch. He was all over the place with 20 pitches in the first. It was inevitable that the Braves would eventually blast him out and he would last no more than 4 innings. By the end of the 6th, the Braves led 9-1. At the end of the 7th it was 11-2.
Then came the parade of ineffective relievers – Minter, Swarzak, Jackson. The gNats scored 6 runs in the 8th and 9th. The game actually looked like the result was not a foregone conclusion for a brief moment. Whoever said “you can’t beat me with 10 runs” was right but the guys really tried hard tonight. I don’t think we should expect great things from Swarzak any more. His brief stint of shoulder stiffness seems to have turned him back into Mariners Swarzak instead of 2017 Mets Swarzak. He may be done. Minter still can’t throw strikes, but he managed to avoid the Grybo with Julio. Luke couldn’t pull off one inning without giving up a HR and three runs before ending the game.
I thought one or two relievers might do the trick but now I’m not so sure. One thing we must have is a top of the line shutdown reliever. Whether we use him as a closer or just in the highest leverage situation is not a consideration. Swarzak proved before just how beneficial that could be.
Tomorrow is a day game and a chance to win the series and pull even for the year. A good chance with Soroka on the mound. In the meantime, I’ll sleep well with a successful, while also worrisome, Tuesday night. I hope we have turned the Tuesday worm and given Tuesday its mojo back.