Saturday, April 28, 2012

Pirates @ Braves: Game 1 Recap

Well folks, since I'm on vacation I bring this recap to you live from the Big Chief Hospitality Lounge at Jazzfest in New Orleans. Braves did two things I'm really excited about last night. First, they won game one of the series 6-1. Second, Medlen went out there, got a 3 inning save, and got himself a hit! Talk about an all-star day for the flat-brimmed reliever! If we could teach him how to wear a hat, imagine what he could be capable of in the big leagues? So, he's batting 1.000 on the year. Stay hot Medlen! Better yet, don't hit again.

Bourn, Prado, and Chip all had a multi-hit game. Freeman, Uggs, and Pastornicky also came through with hits during last night's affair. The key to the game from my point of view was the ability to get to the Pirates bullpen, which is god-awful. AJ was good, but he wasn't good enough to walk out after six innings with a lead, and that meant Tony Watson came out on the mound with the gas can and oily rags in the seventh. The Braves took pleasure in lighting him up to crack the game wide open.

It's not often that you can leave 9 guys on base as a team and make me happy. Somehow, we managed that. Against a team with a real offense? We probably get our heads kicked in before the closer comes in to shut us down in the ninth. Luckily we are playing the Pirates. BMac had a rough game at the plate and in the injury department since he had to leave with some sort of ribcage strain. Knowing the kind of stress that catchers have to put on their bodies, I think we should be safe playing Rossy for the rest of this series and resting him up. It's a big luxury that we have on the team when your #2 catcher is as strong defensively behind the plate as his counterpart. Maybe better, but if I meet BMac in person I wouldn't say that.

Once again, the key to the game was two-out RBIs. Both Prado and Pastornicky came up early with big two out RBIs that gave us the lead. Those had to be demoralizing for a guy like Burnett who knew he wasn't going to get much run support. The key to breaking the game open in the 7th was our patience at the plate. Both Freddy and Rossy walked after a Marteeeeeen single to load the bases up, and the rest was an offensive explosion by Uggla and Chipper.

In my mind, the MVP can be only one person. That's right, Chipper Jones! The Old Gray Mare himself! 2/4 with 2 RBIs, and he's batting .300 on the year at age 40. Can you really argue that 40 is the new 20? No, but if we gave him some new knees, I'd let him go out there and hit for another 20 seasons. Hell, his knowledge of hitting and attitude in the clubhouse alone is enough to help these young guns learn a thing or two about a solid plate approach. You're seeing a Hall of Famer put together a hell of a going away present for the fans, folks. Enjoy it while you can.

Go Braves!


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