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Swanson plays Hero Again as Braves beat Marlins 4-3

After another bullpen hiccup, Dansby Swanson delivered the victory and the series win with a Walk-off single.

MLB: Miami Marlins at Atlanta Braves Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

My wife’s favorite show of all time is Gilmore Girls. One of the main characters in the show is named Luke Danes. When I first watched an episode with her ( I am man enough to admit I watched them all), I pointed to the character and asked her “Do you know who that is?” Her response, “That is Luke. Luke Danes. His real name is Scott Patterson.” And my immediate quip was,” That is Mcgreevy. Mike McGreevy.”

If your immediate reaction is “WHO?’ to the Mike McGreevy reference, I am sorry. That means you have not watched the movie “Little Big League”. It also means you have missed out on one of the most underrated sports movies of the 90’s.

In the movie, Mike Mcgreevy is kind of a pseudo villain, as he is not a fan of having a kid as a manager. In one game against the Yankees, it is clear McGreevy is not giving it his best. During the half inning, Billy and Mack challenge his manhood and then McGreevy goes out and strikeouts Paul O’Neil with one of the prettiest curves in Hollywood history.

My point of the reference is that seems to be what may have happened with Sean Newcomb in the bottom of the 2nd in today’s game. After a another NEWKBOMB of an inning that included giving up 2 hits, 2 walks, and 2 runs in the 2nd, it seemed like we were in for another unfortunate wild ride of a start. But in the words of Lee Corso, “Not So Fast My Friend!”. Whether something was said or Newcomb just got fed up, Newcomb went out and dominated the next five innings.

Over that span, Newk threw 56 pitches, 41 strikes to 16 balls. He faced one batter over the minimum, including retiring the last 14 batters he faced. Yes, it was the Marlins. Yes, there was still the bad inning. But Newcomb came into this start with speculation his rotation spot could be on the line. And while there is still valid reason for concern, Newcomb showed how good he can be.

As for the offense, it was a bit quieter than expected. Freddie Freeman connected with his first home run of the year in the bottom of the first to give the Braves a 2-0 lead. After the Marlins tied the game at 2-2 in the top of the second, there was only one combined hit until the bottom of the 4th.

That is when Dansby Swanson connected with his third homer of the year, and the Braves went up 3-2. Swanson seems to be showing no ill effects from his injury scare the other night, and seems more locked in than ever. Before his injury last year, Dansby was off to a great start in April. He is significantly surpassing that so far this year.

Besides a Josh Donaldson double in the 6th, the teams again combined for only one hit between the 5th and the 7th innings. In the top of the 8th, the Marlins got going with two singles against Jessie Biddle. After a mound visit, Biddle got Brian Anderson to strikeout and Starlin Castro grounded into a double play.

Heading into the top of 9th, Aroyds Vizcaino came in and immediately got a Lewis Brinson pop out for the first out. Then Curtis Granderson pinch hit and connected with a game tying home run to tie the game at 3. Another game, another ineffective outing for the bullpen. Vizcaino would sit the next two batters down with a strikeout and fly out.

In the bottom of the 9th, Freddie Freeman lead off with a single. Then, in a stroke of luck, Ronald Acuna Jr. reached on Catcher’s interference. After Nick Markakis, who had entered the game as a defensive replacement, walked to load the bases, Dansby Swanson ended it on a walk off single. His hit landed almost in the exact same spot as the one he hit in the walk off win the Braves got in their 7 run comeback last year against the Marlins in Atlanta.

Overall, it was a needed win as the Braves will head out on the road for another early season trip to Denver. It definitely seems that after three full series, this team is right where most expected, and not far off from last year. The offense is quite good, maybe one of the best in the league. The defense is certainly one of the league’s best.

That is a good thing because the pitching continues to be cause for concern, especially the bullpen. While reinforcements may be on the way for the staff, the lack of effectiveness in the pen may lead to changes soon. At some point, some of the Braves heralded young arms may be finding their homes in the Braves bullpen.

Regardless of what may come in the near future, leaving Atlanta 5-4 after starting 0-3 is a very positive turnaround. Hopefully the offense will continue to click in Denver if the pitching continues to be inconsistent. Stay connected with us here at Talking Chop for complete coverage as the series gets underway tomorrow night at 8:40 pm EST as Julio Teheran takes the mound against Kyle Freeland.

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