When last we met, I was in Augusta watching golf. I have since relocated. I’m at the ballpark for Saturday’s titanic tilt between the first-place Phillies and the third-place Braves. (Standings subject to change.)
The Braves won last night, as you’ve heard. They beat Cliff Lee, which isn’t easy. Today they’ll face Roy Oswalt, who’s no slouch. The Braves will deploy Brandon Beachy, whose first big-league assignment came on 12 hours’ notice last September when he was summoned to face the Phillies in Citizens Bank Park in Game 1 of what would be a three-game sweep for the home side. Not that Beachy was bad that night: All things considered, he was quite good.
He went 4 1/3 innings, yielding four hits, three walks and only one earned run. (Jason Heyward flubbed a ball in the outfield that led to Beachy’s undoing. You might recall that the Braves were making errors hand over fist at the shank of last season.) The Phillies won 3-1.
Beachy would start again against the Phillies in the season’s 160th game, and that was more of the same. He entered the sixth inning with the game tied at 2, whereupon Brooks Conrad made an error. The Phillies would win 11-4.
There’s a bit less pressure today. But it’s never too early to beat the team you know you’ll have to beat. And I’ll be here to chronicle every last putt … er, pitch. I’d be mighty pleased if you’d join me.
By Mark Bradley