What a start to June! After being no-hit for 6 1/3 innings, their feast or famine offense was going to lose another game in the NL East race; the Braves come back from 5 runs down to beat the Cubs in 12. It’s not just a win; it could be the shot in the arm the Braves need to get going.
After scoring 3 runs in the 8th inning, I had this feeling that the Braves were going to pull it out. It made me feel like I was watching the old Braves- the Braves that no matter what happened in the first 7 innings, were going to fight back and make it a game. It was a lift the whole team needed, more than Jeff Francoeur—hitting the game-tying homer off the Cubs’ closer with 2 out in the bottom of the 9th to send the game to extra innings.
99% of Braves fans had lost hope when they saw Frenchy step to the plate, but for some reason I knew the Braves were going to do it. Maybe it was the rally cap…maybe it was the Miller Lite…maybe it’s the fact I’m too stubborn to acknowledge a loss until I actually see the score…It’s a feeling I haven’t had in a long, long time…Belief!
I always go into a season thinking the Braves are going to win. I follow the ebbs and flows throughout the season and until I see the “z” by another team’s name in the standings, I believe the Braves are going to do it. The 2008 season took a lot of wind out of those sails. I sat in Citizen’s Bank Park last July watching the Braves blow a 7-run lead and that feeling went away. I didn’t have much hope last August and September—the first time since 1990, when my biggest problem was trying to tie my shoes without using ‘bunny ears’ (I still can’t tie them the right way). Don’t get me wrong, I still watched all the games. It’s one of my favorite things to do. I’d rather watch the Braves lose than not watch them as all; sometimes in a room with padded walls.
Going into the 2009 season, of course I had the feeling the Braves were going to take back the NL East from the Phillies. The pitching staff has been terrific. The biggest problem (similar to 08) is offensive consistency. As I write this, I learn that the Braves have acquired Nate McClouth…finally making a deal for the bat and leadoff hitter so desperately needed. The demotion of Jordan Schafer is a start…I believe that Schafer is going to be a solid major league player, he has loads of talent, he just needs to get his swing down and gain some confidence. He will be back and he will be good.
Maybe it was nothing. Maybe it was just an exciting game that lacks any meaning. But maybe, just MAYBE it was just what the Dr. ordered.