So, does anybody else feel like they just watched Game 163 of last season? Because that's exactly what I felt like when I watched the Braves struggle yet again at the plate. The positive is that I like Tommy's new delivery, and he was pitching a gem before David freaking Wright came by to burn us again. My distate for that man grows along with my respect for him as a player. If there's one guy in the lineup for the Mets that can hurt us, it's him.
Digging deeper, as I am prone to do, where can we see what went wrong? Well, for starters, our leadoff man went 0-4 on the day and didn't touch a base. That's problem #1. Also, our silver slugger catcher didn't have a single hit during the game. That's problem #2. And lastly, I will pick on Heyward who continues to strike out just like he did in spring training. 0-4 with 2 Ks will drive me nuts if we are still seeing that out of him in late April.
There are some things I did like out of our day. Despite the fact that Bourne didn't get a hit, he is working counts like a lead off hitter should. He saw 22 pitches in 4 ABs, with only one strikeout. That's the kind of effort I want out of a #1, and it WILL lead to hits and production if he keeps putting the ball in play like that on long counts. It also goes a long way to knocking out a starter when we force him to get his count up. The second thing I liked is that our young SS hit a triple, had a walk, and was on base in 2 of his 3 plate appearances. For a guy that struggled in spring training, that's a great start to the regular season. If he wasn't batting behind the turnstile that is Heyward, I think he'll be in good shape.
Medlen continues to amaze in long relief, and I'm going to continue pushing hard for him to get the starting nod. Two innings with only one hit? Between him and Venters the bullpen I was never worried about giving up runs in the late game. I was worried about the game ending 1-0, and getting shut out by the freaking Mets.
Next game on Friday we need to improve a few things, obviously. First, let's work on our BB/K rate as a team. At the plate, we struck out 8 times to only 3 walks. I'd prefer a 1-2 rate at worst, a 2-3 rate is ideal. Second, BMac needs to work the count a little more to get some pitches in his favor. I feel he was a bit too aggressive early on and it cost him. Lastly, we need to put the ball in play on pinch hit situations. Both Hinske and Constanza we put out without any action (Hinske a foul out, Constanza a K with RISP).
Luckily, it's one game out of 162, so better luck tomorrow with JJ on the mound facing the knuckleballer RA Dickey. Let's take it to them this weekend. Go Braves!