Friday, January 27 2023

You scream, we scream, everyone screams for …

Ice cream is the delight of several folks dreams, and Thursday night, it was ice cream, plus a win, that brought a collective gleam to the Atlanta Braves.

Winning professional ballgames is the aim for any squad on a nightly basis, and though Atlanta has become especially astute at doing so as of late, some extra motivation to continue producing is always a fruitful allurement.

Flavorful inducements are just what Braves GM Alex Anthopoulos had in mind ahead of the team’s crucial series against the division-leading Mets. Atlanta became synonymous with the dessert last season when word began spreading that the team had equipped its home clubhouse with a soft-serve ice cream machine.

The machine disappeared at the start of the 2022 season, but during Atlanta’s recent road trip to Miami, catcher Travis d’Arnaud approached Anthopoulos with a special request: Reinstate the ice cream machine as soon as possible.

Antopoulos’ response: “If you guys win three out of four against the Mets, the ice cream machine is back.”

“Obviously there was a lot of talk last year about how we had the ice cream machine in the clubhouse,” Anthopoulos said Thursday in an interview on “The Steakhouse,” a local radio show broadcast on Audacy’s 92.9 The Game. “When I was in Miami, Travis d’Arnaud came up to me, and he said, ‘Can we get another soft serve ice cream machine in the clubhouse?’ So these guys were so fired up after they won the first two … “

Thursday’s matchup was a pitchers’ duel between two of baseball’s best starters — Max Fried and Jacob deGrom — who, despite surrendering two runs apiece, had some of their best stuff working as they sent batters packing in succession.

The former’s curveball was his go-to extinguisher, while the latter’s fastball teemed with life as it stayed around 100 mph all night. It was DeGrom’s sharp heater that carried him into the seventh inning, but after retiring 12 straight hitters, Braves youngster Vaughn Grissom willed his way on base following a dribbler he slapped to third. 

deGrom was pulled after Grissom reached, but relinquished an earned run anyway after Michael Harris II’s squeaker into center field plated Grissom from first. The Braves’ defense held steadfast into the ninth, and closer Kenley Jansen closed the curtain with a runner on a second to seal Atlanta’s win.

Jansen’s heroics capped the Braves’ serious business endeavor for the night, and with the win taken care of, the team’s attention turned to another important matter. 

Thus began the celebration. 

As fireworks blasted, Harris II pointed to the sky, Jansen whirled his fist in a soft-serving motion — ice cream was on the way.

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Source: FOX Sports


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