Dansby’s debut – two hits on four hours’ sleep

Atlanta Braves rookie Dansby Swanson connects  for his first Major League hit with a single in the fourth inning of a baseball game  against the Minnesota Twins in Atlanta, Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2016. Swanson was making his Major League debut. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

His first big-league hit was a flared single to right. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Afterward, Dansby Swanson said he hadn’t been nervous — emotional, yes, but not in a jittery way — and he hadn’t looked it. He hit the ball hard his first and last time up. (The first at-bat yielded a lineout to center that produced a lustier cheer than any Atlanta Braves’ homer of this forlorn season.) He went 2-for-4 with a strikeout on a breaking ball. He didn’t fumble any grounders because the ball wasn’t hit to him.

“As close to a dream come true as you could get,” Swanson said, and he did this on four hours’ sleep after a six-hour drive from Pearl, Miss., to Kennesaw on Tuesday night into Wednesday morning. He did it as the first No. 1 overall pick to make his big-league debut the year after his drafting since Darin Erstad in 1995/1996. (Erstad’s debut: 0-for-4 with a walk and three strikeouts.)

In sum, Dansby Swanson’s first game in the majors was among the few good things that have happened with the 2016 Braves. The game itself was another in a series of nadirs. The Braves lost 10-3 to the second-worst team in baseball on a night when Kyle Gibson, who’d never worked a nine-inning complete game, worked a nine-inning complete game.

The Braves’ pitchers — they deployed six — combined to throw 213 pitches. (Gibson, who entered with an ERA of 5.09, required a mere 115.) The 201st pitch enabled Gibson, who’d reached base twice in 26 big-league plate appearances, to draw a ninth-inning walk. Eric O’Flaherty entered a tie game and rendered it untied, and then he suffered the ultimate indignity: The left-handed reliever was pulled in mid-inning for another left-handed reliever.

But enough about the Braves: We’ve known for 4 1/2 months that they’re terrible. The first sight of Swanson generated a hope that they won’t stay terrible forever. The very best news: He did not look overmatched. He looked as advertised, and he arrived as MLB.com’s No. 5 overall prospect. He should be here a good long while. At issue now is whether the Braves can find enough good young guys to go with him.


Swanson stuff:

Tears in his eyes, Dansby Swanson brings hope.

Here’s what Braves fans can expect from Dansby Swanson.

Braves trade Aybar, promote Swanson. Yeah, I can live with that.

Did the Braves sell high on Shelby Miller or what?

The Braves just made a tremendous trade (Miller for Swanson, et alia).

Reader Comments 0

19 comments
DawgNole
DawgNole

Hey, MB, you filed a column August 10 about the Braves suddenly winning--"The Braves are winning! Is this even possible? (If so, how?)"

Have you noticed how many games they've won since then?

LOGS1973
LOGS1973

Beautiful Bradley.. Now, can Dansby Swanson pitch??

DrTruth
DrTruth

Swanson, so far so good.  Matt Kemp, what a joke.  Coppy was so obsessed with trying to salvage the sunk cost of the Olivera mistake, that he let the Rangers snag Lucroy at the deadline.  Lucroy has 7 HRs in 15 games since the Rangers picked him up.

Since Coppy doesn't understand sunk cost fallacy, the $28.5 Million Olivera mistake has become the $54 Million Kempenstein Monster.

But don't tell John Hart.  He's already proudly proclaimed that Kemp, the guy who can't catch a fly ball in LF because he's used to playing RF, is "the first piece in the 2017 roster build".  

But hey, we've got Swanson, right?

LOGS1973
LOGS1973

@DrTruth Yea,, Let's hope Swanson can pitch a few innings when needed...lol

Gomez Addams
Gomez Addams

Somebody explain to me why the internet brings out the negative sliminess of many people.  Was it always there?  Or is it just more obvious now?  The Swanson story is a fine and uplifting thing regardless of what the people below this comment say.  (Rickster is OK, but the other 2.....I dunno)

OH:IO
OH:IO

Dansby Swanson is no Jacob Eason

TideDawg
TideDawg

@OH:IO Wow! OH:HOHO You are the smartest (man/Woman?) I have ever heard of.

OH:IO
OH:IO

@TideDawg


Will you please break down your sentence grammatically?

TideDawg
TideDawg

@OH:IO @TideDawg OK! I'll try again. You are he smartest of the three (man/woman/transgender). Sorry I left off "transgender" I wasn't tying to hurt your feelings.

Rickster_
Rickster_

They gotta come up with a nickname like "Swanny" or "Danny Boy" for the kid. "Dansby Swanson" sounds like a polo player.

Steve_W
Steve_W

Remember Brad Komminsk?