The original HBT post is here.
The board position was impossible to refute; Detwiler to Q8, Checkmate! And the Nationals took another series from the Braves. The white pieces with their curly Ws on their caps looked smug and triumphant. The grey pieces with the A’s on their caps looked sullen, defeated. The man on the high chair could only puff bubbles in frustration from his pipe. Adjusting his robe there was nothing more to do but to collect the pieces and put them away.
There was one final shot, the Braves would have to take the series from the Phillies to at least guarantee a one game tie breaker. Curse the schedule; The Cardinals would play the ASTROS of all teams! He was not optimistic as he looked at the starting pitchers Atlanta would trot out; how could they have fallen so Lowe? … even his puns weren’t as amusing anymore.
He pressed a button on his chair, and the large 1995 Braves Championship Team portrait above the fireplace, recessed into the wall to give way to the massive 70″ LED screen. He stood up, holding his pipe to his mouth; there was much to analyze, the Phillies were tuning up for the post-season so they were not going to do Atlanta any favors by filling the lineup with dregs. On the other hand, their starting pitchers were working on pitch counts, so Atlanta would face them 2/3s of each game… tops. The last game may even be a bullpen game. Even if Hamels pitches it wouldn’t be for more than 2 innings, maybe 3 tops… too many variables. He would need a top baseball analyst, an intelligent GM to help him sort this all out. Who to call?
Pressing the communications button on his chair that activated his microphone he spoke into thin air: “Computer, establish secure comm link with Brad Pitt…
A friend has invited me to go see Moneyball this Tuesday, it should be fun. Alas, the girls will not be going, but then again they’re not exactly Brad Pitt fans. I had to bring out the Chessboard for the last two posts because it was Braves vs Nationals. One day I have to come up with a humorous story on how Craig obtained that weird set. The Braves and Cardinals are fighting for the wild card spot.
The Giants would be in the conversation if they hadn’t tanked so miserably against Arizona. Geez, I guess it’s official that the defending world series champs were 1 year wonders. The feel good story wouldn’t even have happened if the Padres had played good baseball and not collapsed in the last month the way they did. This isn’t at all surprising; the pitching was always there but the veteran lineup of last year had barely turned it on at the right time while the Padres tanked at the right time. To somehow think this would translate into sustainable success is odd, and Sabean should know better. I guess they’re still working out the bugs in the Giant’s version of Carmine. What would they name that? Something nice and orange I’m sure. The Great Pumpkin perhaps?
Anyways, The Phillies break out of their funk to win 9-4 versus the Mets. This win coincides with the first time their line-up is at full strength since the 9-2 thrashing of the Cardinals the weekend before. Coincidence? Well, you can probably inject your own analysis and come up with ten different answers. I think it’s a balance of the Phillies trying to take it too easy and the AAA line-up and bullpen pitching they were offering to their opponents.
So contrary to expectations, there is going to be a race to the finish after all! Yankees vs Rays, Sox vs Orioles. The Angels… meh, they need a miracle. Maybe they should seek help in the outfield. We covered Cardinals vs Astros and Phillies vs Braves. But there are also seeding games. Arizona and the Brewers, Texas and Detroit. The playoff schedule is not yet set in stone. Stay tuned!