A baseball game is simply a nervous breakdown divided into nine innings.
— Earl Wilson
Well, judging from the (non)response to my last two posts on the Braves, none of you people care about them. That’s ok with me, but don’t think it’s going to stop me from telling you my stories.
I was at the game last night, Braves v. Nationals. I was hopeful: Jair Jurrjens, a good young pitcher, was on the mound for us, Chipper is hot (batting .410 with a .690 slugging percentage – that’s awesome, in case those numbers mean nothing to you), and the Nats are struggling.
The game was scoreless into the 6th, each pitcher doing a nice job – not many strike outs, but lots of pop ups and ground balls. Each team scored one run in the 6th, and then, despite a Nats threat in the bottom of the 9th, we went into extra innings. No score in the 10th, though the Nats loaded the bases – and McCann made an awesome double play at the plate to save the day – then the 11th.
In the top of the 12th, Teixiera hits a double, McCann grounds out to first, Francoeur grounds out to second, then Teixiera scores on a base hit by Kotsay. I lose my mind cheering wildly while Nats fans, including my companions, shoot me murderous looks. Braves up 2-1. Gotay takes a walk.
Now it’s 2 on, 2 out, top of the 12th with a 1-run lead. The Braves have not won a 1-run game all season (no other team in the majors has fewer than three 1-run wins). The pitcher’s spot is up. What does Bobby Cox, arguably a baseball genius, do? Pinch hit for the pitcher to try to drive in at least one more run, right? Uh no. He inexplicably lets Acosta bat, essentially conceding the third out, and Acosta heads back to the mound in the bottom of the 12th. And that’s when the wheels fall off.
Acosta walks Kearns, and Willie Harris follows up with a single. Then Wil Nieves (who, if I were a Nats fan, would be my baseball boyfriend) mixes up the signs and lays down a bunt that goes right back to the pitcher. Easy double play, right? Uh no. The ball, essentially your basic grounder, goes right between Acosta’s legs and the bases are loaded with no outs. Then, although Acosta should have been pulled at that point, he wasn’t, and he WALKS IN THE TYING RUN. Oh my god. THEN Bobby decides it’s a good time to switch pitchers, and Buddy effing Carlyle, failed starter, becomes the Braves’ last hope. By this point, I’m not even in my seat anymore. I’ve been pacing, then I sit in the aisle, on the steps, with my hands on my head, partially covering my eyes. I can hardly stand to watch.
The Braves pull everybody in so they can make the play at the plate – the trouble with that, as you may know, is that anything hit over the short outfield ends the game. And damn if that isn’t exactly what happens. On Carlyle’s first pitch, Lopez hits a blooper to left that, had Gotay been playing at his usual depth would have been caught. That doesn’t matter, of course, because Willie Harris is faster than a cheetah on Red Bull, and would have beat any throw home from left. But still. Kill me now.
So the Braves find yet another way to break my heart when I’m in attendance. Let’s review:
1. Lose to the Mets 7-0 at Shea Stadium when the Braves are in first place and the Mets are in next to last.
2. Lose both games of a double header at Shea, neither one by very many runs.
3. Lose to the Nats at RFK last September on shitty pitching by Lance Cormier, when if I’d gone to the Sunday game instead I would have seen Tim Hudson pitch a complete game shutout.
4. Lose to the Nats on opening day at Nationals Park on a walkoff homerun by golden boy Ryan Zimmerman.
5. Lose to the Nats last night on crappy relief pitching and a poor management decision.
I have tickets for a game in August. Maybe I should stay home?
In other news, my camera? Is awesome. Here’s the view from our nosebleed seats, taken without any zoom at all:
And here is my baseball boyfriend Brian McCann batting, taken from way up there with digital zoom to 24x:
P.S. Thanks to Jane, technological genius, all of my photo resizing problems have been solved and HMITH will ever after have perfectly sized photos! Yay!