DLR and Wisler duel ends in bloop

Today’s RoxWalkOff win was one of the more interesting games of the year.

Most of the scoring occurred in the first 3 innings. CarGo got the Rox off to a great start, photocopying last night’s home run with another on a pitch just off the outside corner. Shown side by side, the similarity in pitch location and swing was remarkable. With Blackmon aboard, it was a quick 2-0 lead. Atlanta responded with 2 solo blasts of their own, from unlikely sources: Juan Uribe in the 2nd, and Ryan Lavarnway in the 3rd.

Then it was three innings of the DLR and Wisler show. Both recorded 7 Ks, DLR was slightly better with only 2 BB and 4 hits. Matt Wisler looks to be another find for the Braves, part of the blockbuster Kimbrel deal – and maybe the best part. He was humping it up at 96mph, gassing Tulo a couple of times.

The prettiest play of the game was the Nolan Arenado swim double in the 5th. He dogged it just a bit around 1B, not expecting Jonny Gomes to come up with the ball off the top of the wall (Nolan may have thought it was over the wall) and fire a strike. He was out, except he gave Ciriaco the right arm, took it away, and touched the bag with his left.

Then our pregame script came out. DLR was lifted just as expected at the end of 6, even though RMH expressed incredulity. There was a GIDP right before he came up in the bottom of the inning, and with a pitch count of only 96 it seemed there might be one more inning in him.

Weiss opted to go to the new toy in the 7th: Rex Brothers. I’m of the opinion that relievers working the 7th should be able throw strikes and get people out, no matter what side of rubber they throw from or side of the plate hitters stand on. Just a pet peeve of mine. One of the dudes over at Purple Row apparently doesn’t agree, seeming to think left-handed relievers aren’t supposed to face right-handers:

Am I supposed to feel sorry for Brothers or something? When I responded Brothers isn’t a LOOGY:

Yep. Brothers got Andrelton Simmons to ground out, then walked Lavarnway on 4 pitches, then walked Eury Perez on 5 pitches. Fortunately, Walt was prepared and hooked him for Betancourt, who cleaned up the mess getting Maybin and Ciriaco out quickly. To me, Brothers looks like he may be picking up exactly where he left off last year, but I’ll save that conclusion for more sample size.

The Braves pen shut off the Rox offense in the 7th and 8th – it was an RE24 nightmare in the 7th with both Tulo and CarGo whiffing with Blackmon standing on 3rd. Betancourt made some of his own trouble in the bottom of the 8th, giving up immediate singles to Markakis and Chris Johnson. In a key play, CarGo gunned down Johnson before he reached second, upheld on replay. Betancourt then IBBed Uribe before Christian Friedrich was summoned.

In my pre-game digging, I was careful to say DLR leads our starters. There were two guys that kept popping up before him in stats like FIP: Axford, and Friedrich.

Friedrich gets Kelly Johnson (watching Atlanta is like a scene in Austin Powers – too many Johnsons) to ground to Paulsen, who comes up looking home, and drives Markakis back to third with a throw. Friedrich gets Simmons to fly out to Blackmon, not deep enough for a sac fly.

Then Friedrich Ks Lavarnway on 4 pitches. Inning over.

The 9th brought sorrow and joy. Hawk handled 3 up, 3 down just fine in the top of the frame.

Just as some folks on Twitter were noting the likeness between Jason Grilli, Tommy Kahnle, and the mythical Kenny Powers, all joking stopped. While hustling to cover first on a fairly routine Stubbs grounder, Grilli fell hard and reached for the left Achilles. I cry whenever I see the cart come out at a baseball or college football game. I know how hard these folks work, and to have something pop without contact is especially terrible.

But, the game goes on. Aardvark, er, Aardsma hits Blackmon, Ks Arenado, and walks Tulo who worked a full count. Foltynewicz comes in to face CarGo. On the first pitch, CarGo bloops a ball that Simmons chases before being called off by Maybin, who couldn’t make the play and then bobbled it again while Stubbs raced home with the winner. Line drive in the book, as they say.

Clutch, clutch day of pitching, and a little RE24 redemption from the two big guns in the 9th – CarGo even tipped the cap to Friedrich in the post-game.

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Bill
Bill
5 years ago

Saw and/or listened to parts of the game yesterday while doing chores etc. A few thoughts- 1) I was incredulous when hearing Jack Corrigan interview Walt Weiss before the game. He asked WW what they knew about Wisler and Walt said not much. He must be good because he’s starting for the Braves. Really? No scouting report for a guy who was in the Padres system before his trade to the Braves. Do the Rockies have advance scouts? Do they… Read more »

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