Saturday, April 21, 2012

Braves @ Diamondbacks: Games 1 & 2 Recap

Well, we are already halfway into my expectations for the Braves on this road trip. Two games, and two wins. The rest of the series from this point on is gravy, in my opinion. Just keep everyone healthy for the series against the Dodgers.

The MVP of game one goes to Freddy Freeman. 2 homers, 5 RBIs, and a double. He was a one man wrecking crew in the first game. Mike Minor also went 8 innings with only one earned run on five hits. With 9 Ks during his outing, he gets a strong honorable mention for the MVP of the game.

Game Two had an unlikely MVP. Brandon Beachy threw 7.1 innings with over 110 pitches of shutout ball on only one walk. That's frankly amazing for a 25 year old starter who has now pitched 14 straight innings without giving up an earned run. Folks, and I can't stress this enough, Brandon is LEADING THE MAJORS IN ERA. Let that soak in. There is nobody better in baseball right now than Brandon Beachy. What an awesome accomplishment for this kid early in the season!

The Braves offense continued to amaze in both games. As I expected in my series preview, Freddy Freeman owned Collmenter and that led us to a victory. In game two, the sixth inning was our hot inning that really killed the Snakes. It all started with a simple error that got Chipper Jones on base. Heyward singles, then Pastornicky gets to first on a FC with Heyward out at second. At that point, with runners on the corners, Beachy earned his MVP by bunting home Chip in a squeeze play where the DBacks failed to tag him out. After a Bourn double, a Marteeeeeeeen sac fly, and a Freeman double, the Braves had locked away the game with 4 runs in the sixth inning. That was the dagger.

Were there downsides to these games? I'd really be reaching to say there were. We aren't flawless, obviously. In game one Uggla had a stupid error that cost us a run, but in the larger scheme of things it wasn't a huge deal. In game two, Kimbrel struggled and gave up a run, but that's a closer in a non-save situation. We all know that they don't have the same intensity that you expect from a closer when the game isn't really on the line. Overall, I'd say we executed what we wanted to execute in these two games, and the people that we needed to step up did just that.

Going into the games tonight and tomorrow, I will say I made a mistake in my series preview. I didn't realize that Chris Young was put on the DL the day before we started this road trip. You know what makes it easy not to pitch to Chris Young? When he isn't in the lineup. Nice research there Ben. Might want to check the injury report before you go spouting off on which players can burn you. Where's that bear facepalm...

Go Braves!

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