The multifaceted and many-opinioned baseball internet came together in a rare show of unity yesterday to agree on one singular point: The Braves’ success in 2019 is entirely unsustainable. From individual fans to entire media outlets, they stepped forward in solidarity with this web site’s conclusion: As fearsome and dominant as these Braves are, there’s no way it will last.
Whether by the pivoting of good fortunes, the degradation of high level talent, the completion of the MLB schedule, or our solar system’s sun morphing into a red giant and swallowing the planet on which the Braves have so utterly dominated the NL East this year, the Braves’ run will end, and everyone of us who has ever donned a Phillies or Braves cap agreed yesterday that such a statement was unarguably accurate by repeating it en masse the entire afternoon.
It was a soothing thought, then, to envision the world being lassoed by a gravitational noose as Ronald Acuna, Jr. led off the game with a monstrous home run. With Aaron Nola on the mound, one might have hoped that this series would have gotten off to a promising start for the third-place Phillies, but instead, they lost their fourth straight game in which Nola made a start.
The Braves, under intense pressure from the day’s Twitter debates, totally panicked and scored a bunch of runs on the Phillies because they felt like they had to, and made it quickly 4-0. Following Nola’s disappointing performance (6.0 IP, 4 ER, 4 BB, 7 SO), Nick Pivetta (1.0 IP, 2 H, 3 ER, 1 BB) was dispatched from the Phillies bullpen to ensure that the Braves’ offense completely depleted itself. Atlanta then wasted a ton of energy scoring three more runs against a team that is lagging behind them in runs scored (Braves: 778, Phillies: 699) and team batting average (Braves: .259, Phillies: .248), as though four runs would have for some reason not been enough to defeat them. Here’s hoping they don’t need those three extra runs in the playoffs!
The Phillies offense did its thing, which is essentially whatever runs Corey Dickerson feels like knocking in before he is inevitably off the team next season, and a garbage time Cesar Hernandez bomb that prolonged the conclusion of the Braves’ 90th win.
You would think that with a fun, unstoppable team playing in Cobb County this season, the focus would be on how good the players are, and how far the home runs go. But thankfully, we Phillies fans, the frequent victims of the Braves’ offense, were able to convince Braves supporters that their attention was much better served being in agreement with us. In doing so, we taught them to watch baseball the Philadelphia way: Enjoy yourselves, sure, but always keep one eye on the ominous shadow that lurks behind us, causing us to curse and shudder as it whispers: “This too will end.”