Over their last 10 games, the Atlanta Braves have went 6-4…
..but dear sweet lord, it was downright brutal at times! Need a reminder? It was anything but easy or pretty but winning 6 of 10 is essentially what this team has been doing all season long. Quick recap of the madness:
- September 1st, costly error from Charlie Culberson allows 2 unearned runs to score in 6th, Braves score 4 in 8th to preserve win.
- September 2nd, tied 1-1 until the 8th, Braves break out again and score 4 to seal victory.
- September 3rd, Red Sox manhandle Braves 8-2, Sam Freeman allows 2 inherited runners to score and both Jesse Biddle and Bryse Wilson got lit up.
- September 4th, Braves were leading Red Sox 1-0 until a breakout 5th of which Sean Newcomb was pulled after loading the bases in a 1-1 tied. Shane Carle
couldn’t strand the runners allowing 2 to score. Luke Jackson was brought in for the 6th and nearly immediately put the nail in the coffin allowing 2 more runs.
- September 5th, Braves were cruising 7-1, Mike Foltynewicz was removed after 6 due to elbow stuff. Biddle preserved the lead in the 7th then all hell broke loose as Boston pounded Dan Winkler for 4 runs on 4 hits. Wink was pulled without retiring a batter (the classic infinity ERA). Jonny Venters was brought in…didn’t work. Brad Brach was brought in….didn’t work. Minter was brought in…didn’t work. Freddie Freeman who actually got a day of rest was brought in to PH in the 8th and miraculously hit a go-ahead HR before A.J. Minter coughed it up in the 9th. Old Brave turned new villain Brandon Phillips hit a monstrous 2-run dinger to break our hearts.
Take a Break….breathe…we’re going to get to less stress soon. A BORING ATLANTA BRAVES WIN IS COMING.
Proceed to madness…
- September 6th, Braves outlasted the D’Backs in a game that saw Braves relief core give up 9 hits and 1 walk in 5 innings and lost the lead in the 8th and 9th innings and was bailed out in the 10th on a wild pitch that scored Dansby Swanson.
- September 7th, Kevin Gausman wasn’t sharp and Braves offense couldn’t piece together hits despite having 9 of them. Also, Paul Goldschmidt was really good.
- September 8th, Braves lost the lead twice, committed 2 errors, but the Diamondbacks out-sloppied them. Relief core still struggled, especially with the free pass.
- September 9th, Touki Toussaint looked good but struggled with the walks. Was pulled after 5.2 innings and…you guessed it, high-leverage Luke Jackson comesin to immediately give up the lead, pitching 0.0 innings of infinity ERA baseball. Luckily, he was bailed out in the 9th as the Braves destroyed some baseballs starting with Ender Inciarte, who has blocked nearly every Braves Twitterer on the planet. Johan Camargo and Lucas Duda also got in on the fun. Still…the relief pitching struggled once again.
But now we get to the goods…a BORING ATLANTA BRAVES WIN!
Last night’s game was a Joe Simpson special. It was quite boring and the Braves ever so needed it. It’s well known that the Braves have struggled on the West Coast,but in San Francisco has been it’s own beast. However, that struggle along with the struggle of scoring runs in an old-fashioned baseball sense came to an end last night. Sean Newcomb added some velo last night and looked brilliant, but most importantly, allowed 0 walks. Then Carle, Venters, and Minter also decided that’d be a good idea to give up no runs and finished 3 strong innings of bullpen work with 0 walks. The Giants only had 3 baserunners all night!
But the old-fashioned boring baseball doesn’t end there! The Braves manufactured 2 runs with a bunt and a sacrifice fly compliments of Dansby Swanson. Joe Simpson was found in the parking lot after the game smelling Dansby’s hair (among other things) and Dansby was re-thinking his night’s strategies.
All in all, it was a victory the Braves needed. It was clean. It was old school, and it was completely out of the realm of how the Braves have been winning in the 2nd half. Needless to say, it felt like an off day for the mind for the fans, and I’m sure, for the team.
I’m not a fan of Joe Simpson and I like a fun back and forth game as much as anyone, but sometimes it’s fun to grab a nice, quiet victory and to set things up for a September run of wins without all the antics.