The Braves are good. The Braves are always good. Occasionally, they're great. Here are things I know about the Braves:
1. Pat Burrell should have had another chance to drive in a run
Because I'm tired of hearing that Buster Posey should have been called out stealing (because he was!) in Game 1 of the 2010 NLDS. Sure, he scored the only run of the game, and there's a chance that the Braves would have won in the 10th or 11th if Tim Lincecum were pulled from a scoreless game.
I don't begrudge Braves fans their right to complain, because I sure as heck would still be annoyed. But I'd like to think it was evened out right away:
With one out, Buster Posey doubled and moved to third on a wild pitch. He struck out looking on an inside pitch that wasn't a strike. McCann stabbed at it a little, too, so it wasn't like there was Molina-esque framing going on. Burrell didn't have the chance to put the ball in play, and Posey was stranded at third.
That run should have scored … is what I tell myself to deflect attention from the fact that the only run in that game scored after a blown call. That whole first championship could have been ill-gotten!
2. The Braves used to be terrible
Growing up, they were the Royals. They were the Pirates and Royals combined. They were the Astros, but for years. In 1981, the Braves drafted 34 players and not one of them made the majors. Not even for a cup of coffee. They drafted players from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University in back-to-back rounds. Which was a lot funnier until I clicked on the link and found out that Andre Dawson, Marquis Grissom, Hal McRae, and Vince Coleman all went to FAMU. Well, now.
But before the days of Giantsvision and regional cable channels, you didn't always have a Giants or A's game to watch. There were usually Braves games on TBS, though. And that was great, until you had to watch them. TBS used to run a promo for the baseball games that was a montage of disappointed Braves reacting negatively to something Bravey that happened. Maybe I invented it, but I'm pretty sure it existed.
So when Glavine and Smoltz came around, it was kind of a novelty that the Braves were good. Bad team does well! Check it out, Ma! Little did we know that it would last, like, forever. Little did we know.
3. Fred McGriff was almost a Giant
It's true! Before the 1997 season, when the Giants decided they were contending even though it was ludicrous to think so, the Braves offered Fred McGriff up for Shawn Estes. This was a thing in '97, when Estes was the bestest, and everyone was like, "Thank god that didn't happen." Except here's what happens if that trade goes down:
a. The Giants win the 2000 World Series on a McGriff home run, and McGriff dislodges the ball from Pudge Rodriguez in 2003.
b. Estes wins 200 games because the Braves rub Braves juice on his arm and tell him Braves things as needed.
It would have been better all around. As is, we'll just have to wonder. And enjoy Estes's commentary after Giants games!
4. The Padres will never win anything because of how they traded McGriff to the Braves in 1993.
This goes back to the whole solipsism thing, and how the universe doesn't exist but in my own imagination, but I'm pretty sure it's true.
5. Andrelton Simmons is hitting enough to win the Gold Glove this year
So is Brandon Crawford, dang it, but more voters watch Simmons play, so he'll get it. Why am I obsessed with Crawford getting a Gold Glove? How does that validate my existence? Dunno, but it does. And I have a bad feeling that Simmons (who is amazing, too, by the way) will get it.
6. Jordan Schafer has more walks than strikeouts this year, and he has a .453 OBP
If you don't know who he is, he's a former Braves prospect who was very highly ranked (#25 in baseball on the Baseball America list in 2008), but then he was busted for HGH. Then he was busted for weed. And then, after all that, he was traded to the Astros. Now he's back with the Braves, and he's had a great first 50 at-bats.
Again, 50 at-bats. But it's still amusing to see. That would be like a random pitcher from the 2000 Giants showing up 11 years later and making an All-Star team after kicking around Japan and Triple-A. Nonsense, pure nonsense.
7. Juan Francisco is just Pedro Feliz in Groucho glasses
And he'll hit a home run against one of the Giants' starters.
8. The only trade the Braves and Giants have made since 1985 was Russ Ortiz for Damian Moss and Merkin Valdez
Which is a shame because they used to have such a long trade history before that. Why, in 1939, the Giants bought Johnny Dickshot from the Boston Bees, who eventually became the Braves (and were before they were the Bees, for that matter).
The Giants also traded Jim Thorpe to the Braves in 1919, which isn't funny so much as it is neat. They also traded my great-great-uncle to the Braves in 1900.
9. Jordan Walden is weird
Just follow the link and watch the GIFs. It's the freakiest thing I've ever seen in a pitcher's delivery.
10. The 2013 Braves have already struck out more than the 1918 Pirates did all season
Of course, Justin Upton has three fewer home runs than the '18 Pirates had all season, too, so there's a bit of a tradeoff.
Best name on the 1918 Pirates: Cy Slapnicka.
That's all I know about the Braves. They hit a lot of home runs and they strikeout a lot and all those things up there. What could possibly happen, the Giants get a lot of strikeouts yet allow poorly timed home runs with runners on base? Pffft. Like that can happen.
Hitter to watch:
Freddie Freeman, silly.
Pitcher to watch
Tim Hudson is usually pretty dominating against the Giants, so tomorrow night's probably a pretty good night to see one of those new space movies out in the theaters.
I'll complain about the length of this four-game series, possibly at the end of this very post.