Braves Thump Brewers Behind Aaron, Nichols (LWOS All-Time Tournament)

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Braves 10, Brewers 5

(This game was the result of a simulation done through What If Sports. It matched the Milwaukee Brewers All-Time Team against the Atlanta Braves All-Time Team. This game did not actually happen.)

Braves Brewers
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The Atlanta Braves toppled the Milwaukee Brewers by a final score of 10–5 at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium behind some great pitching and an incredible offensive performance by an all-time great. It began as a good pitching performance between a Hall of Famer and his opponent’s ace. Then, it turned into a tussle of lumber. It’s truly a tale of two contests. One between the pitcher and the batter and one between the eventual winners and simply hanging on to the lead. In fact, there’s something of a comeback story here. Yes, it falls flat in the end, but it’s still a comeback story. Without any further ado, here is the Braves and the Brewers recap from the All-Time Team Tournament!

 

The Early Innings

Braves’ All-Time Manager Bobby Cox sent his ace Kid Nichols, to the mound. Brewers’ manager Craig Counsell countered with his own number one, Teddy Higuera. Things got going rather slowly as Nichols punched out Paul Molitor, Robin Yount, and Prince Fielder in order. Higuera quickly reeled off his own shutdown frame, putting the ice on Herman Long, Andruw Jones, and Freddie Freeman. The second inning was more of the same, as Gorman Thomas, Ben Oglivie, and Ryan Braun went down. Eddie Mathews, Dale Murphy, and Hank Aaron were set down by Higuera as the haymakers continued.

In the top of the third, Jonathan Lucroy, Rickie Weeks, and Cecil Cooper all met Nichols’ fury. Del Crandall led off the third for the Braves with the game’s first hit. Glenn Hubbard followed that up with a hard double, pushing Crandall to third. Alas, as is the case with a lot of real Braves games, they couldn’t bring him in. Chipper Jones flied out, and Long followed that up with a groundout, with both putouts recorded by Fielder. Finally, Andruw Jones crushed a ball that flew to the warning track in center field, but Thomas was there to make the catch.

 

The Braves’ Offense

Nichols ran into some traffic in the fourth inning. Molitor picked up the Brewers first hit, a sharp ground ball that made it past the lunging Braves leather. After Yount flew out, Nichols walked Fielder to get to Thomas. Nichols picked up the grounder he wanted, and the defensive prowess of Herman Long proved beneficial. He grabbed the ball and hurled it to Hubbard, who quickly relayed it back to Freeman. However, Thomas managed to beat the rap at first base. Thankfully for the Braves, it came to nothing as Oglivie was quickly retired to end the inning.

The Braves bats finally came to life in the bottom of the fourth. Freeman started things off by reaching on a walk. This was followed by cleanup hitter Mathews poking a ground ball into the outfield for a single. Murphy pushed a base hit of his own, packing the bags full of Braves as the team’s all-time home run leader, Aaron, came to the plate. Higuera delivered a pitch that caught a tad too much of the plate, and Aaron walloped it over the left-center field wall for a grand slam. The Braves now had a 4–0 lead, with more to come.

 

Trading Runs

After Crandall recorded the first out via a fly ball, Hubbard cracked a double to left. Chipper Jones brought him in, and then Long picked up a hit. Things were unraveling fast for Higuera, who promptly served up a bad pitch to Andruw Jones, who was hit square on the arm. With the bases loaded again, and Freeman and Mathews due up, Counsell chose to leave Higuera in the contest. It turned out to be the right decision, as the rest of the Braves went down quietly. However, they still had a 5–0 lead, and a man with 48 career shutouts on the mound.

The Brewers would not go down quietly, though. In the top of the fifth, Braun picked up a hit, then advanced on a Lucroy groundout. Two batters later, Cooper cracked a single that scored Braun, putting the Brewers on the board. Nichols would retire Molitor, ending the threat. However, the Braves got the run right back in the bottom of the inning off new Brewers pitcher, Rollie Fingers. Murphy walked and then stole second. Aaron picked up his fifth RBI of the game, punching a single into the outfield to score Murphy. Two batters later, Long picked up an RBI hit, scoring Aaron and giving the Braves a six run advantage.

 

The Brewers Surge Back

Things remained relatively quiet until the top of the eighth. This was when Nichols began falling apart. Cooper, Molitor, and Yount all tagged him for base hits, scoring the second run for the Brewers. The Braves were starting to show cracks, but Cox elected to leave Nichols in the game. It appeared to be the right move, as Nichols fired back to get Fielder and Thomas. However, Oglivie cracked a three run shot that landed just to the right of the batter’s eye. This made it 7–5, and the Braves began sweating even more. Through it all, Nichols remained on the mound, trusted by his manager to get the team out of trouble.

 

The Braves Respond

The Braves’ bats roared to life in the bottom of the inning off Brewer reliever Dan Plesac. Freeman and Mathews led off with back-to-back hits. Murphy then smashed a hot grounder to Molitor, whose only play was to the second baseman Weeks. The Braves now had runners on the corners with one out. Aaron promptly brought home Freeman, giving the Braves a little more wiggle room. Crandall followed that with an RBI base hit, as the Braves continued to run the train around the bases. Hubbard joined in on the action, scoring Aaron, before Plesac stopped the bleeding by getting Chipper Jones to ground into a double play. Nichols had relatively little trouble in the top of the ninth, striking out Yount to officially end the game.

 

Looking Ahead

The Braves’ most dominant pitcher proved his worth here, despite it being a rough outing. All-in-all, he gave up ten hits and five runs. However, his longevity helps the bullpen rest up for the next round in the tournament. It’s sure to be interesting, as the Braves will either match wits with the two-seed Los Angeles Dodgers, or the 15-seed Miami Marlins.

Main Photo:
Embed from Getty Images

Players/Managers Mentioned:

Bobby Cox, Kid NicholsCraig Counsell, Teddy HigueraPaul Molitor, Robin YountPrince FielderHerman Long, Andruw JonesFreddie FreemanGorman Thomas, Ben OglivieRyan BraunEddie Mathews, Dale Murphy, Hank Aaron, Jonathan Lucroy, Rickie WeeksCecil CooperDel CrandallGlenn HubbardChipper Jones, Rollie Fingers, Dan Plesac