Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Braves @ Dodgers: Game 2 Recap

Finally, a comeback win! Also, in a celebration of his own birthday, the Old Gray Mare decided to take the Dodgers deep one more time. I will be completely honest about this game. After the fourth inning, when we were down by two runs and had only one hit, I was about ready to call it quits. That's when Chipper turned this whole thing around with a solo shot to deep right. He's a 40 year old sparkplug. It may not fire every single time you crank it up, but give it a little rest and that motor will run.

MVP of the game has to go to Marteeeeeeeeeen for his clutch hitting. A sacrifice grounder in the 5th tied the game, and a clutch triple in the 9th with two outs gave us the win. Tyler Pastornicky gets an honorable mention for being the only guy to have multiple hits during the game. Pastornicky went 3 for 3 with a walk, and he scored a run. Normally it would go to him, but Prado was clutch, and clutch is everything in life.

Minor wasn't great, but he settled down nicely after giving up a 2 out bomb in the first inning. What is it with our pitching staff and two out issues? There is something about giving up runs with two outs that makes it so much worse for me as a fan. It's like tripping over your shoelaces at the finish line. Regardless, he only gave up 3 runs, so it was no disaster by any means. Kimbrel continued to dazzle with 3 more Ks in his save, although he did make it interesting by giving up a hit and a walk.

The game featured one of the oddest double plays you are likely to see all season in the 6th inning. Runners were on first and second for the Dodgers, and Matt Kemp was at the plate. He grounds into a tailor made double play ball to Pastornicky. The feed goes to Uggla who tosses a cricket ball over to first. Freddy, who made so many digs in this game I lost count, couldn't pick this horrible toss. The ball gets away, the runner from third scores to tie the game, and Kemp saunters back to first. However, McCann comes running up the line and tells Freddy to tag Kemp. The Braves do, and the first base umpire calls Kemp safe. McCann loses his mind and Fredi G comes rambling out of the dugout. The umpires huddle for a while, and upon further review note that Kemp actually did make a move towards second as he rounded first. They call him out, and the scoring goes as a double play with a throwing error that scores a run on Uggla.

This brings me around to my one complaint about this game. Uggla needs to get his act together in the field. Right now Dan has 5 errors on the season, and he's dead last in the NL amongst second baseman in terms of his fielding percentage. A lot of his errors have ended up costing us runs. Now, Dan's not known for his spectacular defense, but he only had 15 errors last year in 159 games. Putting up a third of those errors in the first 18 games isn't giving me a warm fuzzy feeling. I think he's rushing throws because he knows Special Fred is back there digging out anything and everything, but that has to stop.

On a more positive note, we broke the 3 inning curse. Heads were never down. The mental strength of the team seems to dramatically improve when Chip is in the lineup. Since Beachy and Lilly face off tonight, we're going to need all the mental strength we can get. This game should be about who can manufacture runs better. Both pitchers are neck and neck leading the majors in ERA. The good news is that Lilly is pitching way better than he career 4.14 ERA, so there's room to knock him around. I'm a big believer in the back of the baseball card, or the Leo Mazzone "You are what you are" theory of pitching. So, get out there and mow em down, Beachy. Also, if I'm looking for one guy to step up tonight at the plate, it's Uggla. He's due to punish one of the Dodgers pitchers.

Go Braves!

1 comment:

  1. I was down on Prado early in the game, but he came through late...On to the next game.