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This week, the Braves outscored their opponents 32-19. They’ve had two walk-off wins, both against National League East opponents. Drew Smyly continued his streak of quality starts. They scored 20 runs, second time in as many years they’ve scored at least 20 runs in a game (they scored 29 against Miami in 2020). They’ve won three series-winning games. The Marlins continue to be a poverty franchise. And oh yeah, Max Fried hit a pinch-hit walk-off in extra innings on Sunday.
Smyly seemingly overnight, found his stuff again. He’s arguably the Braves best pitcher over the past few weeks. He’s 4-1 over his last five starts. During that time he’s pitched 36.1 innings (5.16 average per start), with a 3.72 ERA, 31 strikeouts, & a WHIP of only 1.24.
This is the Drew Smyly I thought in the offseason, that we would be getting. His first four starts when he was 0-2 with an ERA of 8.05 all but dissolved any offseason positivity for him from me. Over those first four starts, get this: 17 earned runs & 18 strikeouts. That’s almost so bad, it’s impressive.
Don Mattingly: Poverty Manager
He’s done it. He has done what no manager has been able to do. Don Mattingly has overtaken Bryce Harper, Juan Soto, and Jose Ureña as Braves Enemy No. 1. He passed Mike Schildt on this list last year.
Background: on Friday, the Marlins hit Ronald Acuña Jr with the first pitch of the game (Braves half). Brian Snitker came out of the dugout with a fire lit under his hind end that ain’t been there much this year. He gets to the baseline and just starts letting the umpires HAVE IT. He used a bunch of Not-On-Sundays, one particular one that the broadcast picked up was “I’ve had enough of this *expletive*”. The umpires get together, & decide to eject Marlins pitcher Pabló Lopez. He had thrown one pitch. Ronald ends up coming around to score the only run of the game. Don Mattingly was also tossed.
Pabló Lopez threw a one-pitch loss to the Braves.
A one-pitch loss.
Fast forward to the postgame press conferences: Don Mattingly had the AUDACITY to come up to the microphone, I. Front of recording devices with audio capabilities; and say it wasn’t on purpose. Not only that, as one of his arguing points for it not being intentional he referenced an incident in 2018 (actually 2019, he was mistaken) in which rookie Michael Soroka (Mike Soroka) hit Peter O’Brien.
Peter O’Brien isn’t even an MLB name, that’s a substitute teacher who moonlights as a mortician’s assistant. Who the heck is Peter O’Brien? If I don’t know who Peter O’Brien is, I guarantee you rookie pitcher Mike Soroka knew who he was, especially enough to be mad at him & intentionally hit him.
Mattingly also said Mike Soroka broke Peter’s ribs with the pitch. I find that hard to believe since Peter started each of the Marlins next four games. But Don continues to either encourage or condone the intentional beaming of Ronald Acuña Jr, while crying victim.
The New York Yankees longest World Series Championship drought in franchise history was from 1979 until they won it again in 1996. Don Mattingly played for the Yankees from 1982-1995. His entire career. If team chemistry was a large part of their failures, I know just the locker to start the search for the root of the cause.