Sorry guys I was prepared to settle in and recap another disastrous game of Atlanta Braves baseball so you didn't have to suffer through the frustrating teeth pulling that is watching Andrelton Simmons hit into double plays yourself. Sadly, it seems someone slipped some sort of hallucinogens into my drink just before the game started without my knowledge. This is the only conclusion I can come to after the past few hours in which my brain perceived that the Atlanta Braves scored six runs on offense and won a game. Since I don't know what actually happened in the game and the rest of the Talking Chop staff are unavailable due to the three week bender they have collectively been on since the Braves season irrevocably went off the rails, I will recap my acid trip instead.
Things started out going true to form for the Braves over the past month. The Braves two terrible top of the order hitters got out at which point the only decent hitter of late Freddie Freeman came up. Freeman walked and Justin Upton followed up with a walk of his own. With two runners on and two outs the Braves did what they have done all month and Jason Heyward struck out to end the inning.
It was in the second inning that the hallucinogens fully took hold of my brain. Chris Johnson led off the inning with a double and went to third on a Christian Bethancourt groundout. BJ Upton came up with a runner on third and less than one out and somehow managed to not make an out when he walked. BJ then did something he has managed to actually do well all year and stole second base. With runners on second and third Teheran grounded the ball to first base where Ike Davis looked Johnson back to third but failed to actually get an out. The bases were now loaded with one out. It was at this point that Emilio Bonifcacio came up and somehow single to score two runs instead of hitting into the customary double play. The Braves took a two run lead and I was left to try to separate the hallucinations from reality.
It was in the bottom of the third that my hallucinations moved from the strange to the full on pants on my head crazy. Justin Upton singled and stole second base. After Heyward lined out, Upton was thrown out at third trying to advance on a Johnson grounder back to the pitcher. So far the level of Barves in the inning was going to form but then things took a bizarre Max Ernstesque turn. Bethancourt smacked a ground rule double to put runners on second and third with two outs. Clint Hurdle who was apparently on stronger drugs than me, then decided to intentionally walk BJ Upton to load the bases. After the intentional walk, God directly intervened in the game to remind mere mortals not to test his wrath by doing things like intentionally walking BJ Upton. Julio Teheran hit a single up the middle to score two runs and put the Braves up 4-0. Intentionally walking BJ Upton to load the bases with two outs is the sort of blasphemy that is such an affront to God that the deity had no choice but to remind Hurdle of the dangers of such extreme hubris. The Braves led 4-0 after three innings.
The Braves extended their lead in the fourth inning though they did so in a way that would have seemed perfectly rational in the long long ago when the Braves actually had some competent offensive players in their lineup. Freeman walked with two outs and Justin Upton crushed a homer to left field to put Atlanta up 6-0. If you have been out of the country and sunbathing on the beaches of Barcelona for the past month this probably sounds like a perfectly reasonable course of events. Justin came into this game with a 22 wRC+ in September. As good as he was all year, his recent form has been so abysmal it was shocking to see him stroke a ball over the wall like that again. The Braves had an actual big lead and were possibly in a position to finish with more runs than their opponents? Maybe?
Andrew McCutchen did his part in the bottom of the inning to make Braves fans sweat a possible collapse. Starling Marte singled with one out and McCutchen took Teheran deep for a home run to cut the Braves lead to 6-2. While this moment made things quite nervy for a bit this would be the last runs the Pirates would manage to bring home.
The Braves bullpen took over after five innings from Teheran who wasn't his sharpest but who finished off his excellent season on a good note. Teheran is 23 years old and is on a path to becoming a legit ace for Atlanta. In a season of dismal failure and frustration for the Braves, Teheran and Alex Wood stand out as two unmitigated positives about this year. The Braves bullpen was mostly effective the rest of the way though Craig Kimbrel did have to come on with two runners on and one out in the ninth. Kimbrel struck out both Pirates hitters he faced and the Braves actually won a game. Or at least that is what I remember I am still pretty sure that Atlanta hitting a homer and scoring actual runs must have been an acid trip. If it was I have no idea what actually happened so let us just go with this. It makes for a pleasant story anyway.