I wish Vin Scully would narrate my life. During Wednesday’s broadcast he effortlessly told the tale of the 1914 “Miracle Braves” without interrupting the flow of the play-by-play, reminding me for the thousandth time why he is the greatest of all time. Due to the unbalanced schedule, our encounters with Mr. Scully are few and far between, but they are easily the best part of any West Coast road trip. I’m glad he’ll be back for year number sixty-six next season.
After blowing a lead in game one and losing in extra frames on Wednesday, the Braves found themselves attempting to salvage the series with the Dodgers against Clayton Kershaw. For those of you unfamiliar with the sport, Clayton Kershaw is good at baseball. The Braves countered with their own ace, Julio Teheran. Atlanta found themselves entering play 1.5 games back of the Nationals in the NL East, while the Dodgers held a three game lead over the Giants in the West.
The Dodgers got on the board in the bottom of a first when Adrian Gonzales followed up a Yasiel Puig walk with a booming double. Puig made the score 2-0 Dodgers with a solo shot in the bottom of the third.
The Braves were able to scatter hits against Kershaw, but never managed to threaten in the early innings. Atlanta wasted a scoring opportunity in the top of the fourth when B.J. Upton was thrown out trying to steal second after he overslid the bag. Freddie Freeman, of course, follow up with a single with no ducks on the pond. In the fifth, leadoff singles by Evan Gattis and Ryan Doumit were also wasted thanks to a 5-4 double play by Andrelton Simmons. The Braves collected five hits through the first five innings, but none were for extra bases.
Atlanta managed to plate a single run in the top of the ninth on a Justin Upton single, but the final score saw the Dodgers on top 2-1. Kershaw went the distance, striking out nine without a walk, and giving up nine hits.
Ignore the final score for a moment, and appreciate that Teheran was exceptional. Over an eight inning complete game performance, he struck out 9 and walked 3, while allowing only five hits. His off-speed pitches were devastating. Thanks to his offense and a few mistakes, he was hung with the loss.
I’ll leave the Trade Deadline analysis to our esteemed commenters. Since the Braves weren’t going to make a splash, I wasn’t too invested in the trade talk this year. The Braves landed lefty James Russell and Emilio Bonifacio from the Cubs to gear up for a post-season run, and our friend Martin Prado is now in pinstripes. From my understanding, Oakland and Detroit acquired all of the pitchers. All of them.
Up next are trips to San Diego and a two game series (?) in Seattle, before a weekend showdown at home against Washington on August 8-10. Show a little faith, there’s magic in the night.