JJ pitched great, as per usual. That man Prado had another RBI. Chipper hit a homer. Esky made a heads-up play afield. Glidin’ Garret looked to have won it. Then Soriano entered and it all fell to pieces, and now the Braves are not just way behind the Phillies but also a game in arrears of the Fish.
Killer loss. Wasn’t it?
Nah. It’s baseball. This stuff happens. Even Mariano Rivera blows the occasional save. (He blew one in Game 7 of a World Series on a weird night when it rained in the desert.) The Braves are playing well. More to the point, they’re pitching beautifully. Keep doing that and they’ll have a realistic chance to win the wild card, which is all they can ask at this late date.
Back to Rivera and that blown save. It came in a World Series the Arizona Diamondbacks looked to have blown. Two nights in a row they’d carried a lead into the ninth inning in Yankee Stadium, and both times Byung-Hyun Kim yielded two-out tying home runs. (The first to Tino, the second to Brosius.) Headed back to Phoenix that team was down 3-2 and all but dead.
But this is baseball, and in baseball — I believe the saying originated with Earl Weaver, though it might have come from Eddie Haas — momentum is tomorrow’s starting pitcher. That’s why the work Frank Wren did over the winter was so important. On Wednesday the Braves will start Kenshin Kawakami, who’s pretty good. And then on Thursday they’ll have Javier Vazquez, who’s really good. And then Tommy Hanson and Derek Lowe and Jurrjens against L.A., and on and on the rotation spins.
A bad loss? Sure. But nothing that figures to leave a scar. So long as you can pitch, you have life. The Braves can pitch. They don’t need to panic. They don’t even need to make a trade. They just need to keep pitching.