Atlanta – when Drew Smiley He left the Braves camp briefly near the end of spring training, not knowing if he had a chance again on Tuesday night, when he was thanking his dad in attendance.
“He had a pretty routine surgery at the end of spring training and ended up spending three months in the hospital,” Smiley said. “We weren’t sure he would make it some of those days.”
After overcoming colon cancer, cirrhosis and other ailments that necessitated a lengthy hospital stay, Todd Smiley was at Trust Park to see his son in the opening game against the Reds. Drew did not disappoint as he built six strong innings with seven strokes while helping the Braves stay hot with a stretch 3-2 win.
“He’s my biggest fan, so it’s sexy,” Smiley said. “The baseball season has helped him for the past few months, just give him something to do and watch. He loves the game and he loves the Braves. We have grown up fans of the Braves.”
With his parents seated in one of the Infiniti suites located behind the board, Smyly succumbed to Homer Aristides Aquino in a second, then kept the powerful Cincinnati squad unbeaten for the remainder of the outing.
Adam Duvall provided an early boost with Homer in the fourth and Stephen Vogt drew a decisive rule-laden run off Prince Garrett in the sixth.
Then Smyly’s efforts were maintained by a more reliable base. Tyler Matzik made his 11th consecutive goalless appearance by twice stranded in eighth and Freddy Freeman kept Will Smith out of trouble with a double play at the end of the game 3-6-3.
With their sixth win in their past seven games, the Braves boosted their bid to win the Eastern National League title for the fourth time in a row. One match for first place After the Phillies lost 5-0 to the Dodgers. Their resurgence was similar to that experienced by Smyly after faltering during the first few months of the season.
“[Smyly] Shortstop Dansby Swanson said. “It looks like we won many of his matches.”
As Smyly scored 5.98 ERA in his first nine games, the Braves have lost seven of the games he started. But the team went 10-1 as the veteran left-hander scored 3.09 ERAs over his past 11 games.
This last outing was Smyly’s best since he narrowed the same strong Reds squad to one round over six runs on June 25 in Cincinnati. He’s only completed four rounds in each of his previous three rounds and there was reason to wonder if he might fall back at the wrong time.
But motivated by the opportunity to add to the importance of his father’s presence, Smyly has shown that he has the potential to be a major asset in the future. He spent his childhood savoring those days when he and his father watched the Braves of Arkansas.
On this night, he realizes his childhood dream and relishes the chance to see his father once again pulling the brave.
“He’s very happy now,” Smiley said.
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