Thursday, May 31, 2012

Cards @ Braves: Game 3 Recap

FREDDIE CAN SEE! It's a miracle! Can I get an "Amen" from the back of the congregation? Thank you brothers and sisters! Let us all look toward the new winning streak of 2 games, and the hopes it can extend to 10. Hallalujah!

My bad Baptist preacher voice aside, it was a great game last night. 10 runs, 14 hits, 5 walks, 3 doubles, and 2 HRs. Whew, that's more offense than we had in the entire Reds series. Everyone got in on the act (except Jason Heyward). The team went 4-12 with RISP, and hit .412 for the game. The pitching was...well let's be honest, it was pretty terrible again. If the bats didn't wake up; I mean we gave up 7 runs so you do the math. Huddy gave up 5 runs, and EOF gave up 2 more. I guess technically Huddy only gave up 4 runs, then Venters came in and couldn't get one out without giving up another run. Venters, and I thought I'd NEVER say this, is on the list. I can't trust him anymore. The last 7 innings he's pitched, he's given up 7 runs. Everytime he goes out there, it's odd on he's going to give up something. The last time Venters had a full inning of work where he didn't give up a hit? May 2nd, about a month ago against the Phillies.

The MVP was Freddie "Jeepers Creepers I Finally Got My Peepers" Freeman. First AB after the new goggles? 419 feet into the center field stands. That's not a cheapy anywhere. Second AB, double to left to score Uggla. Fifth AB, a single that scored 2 runs in the 8th. So, after going 3/5 with 3 RBIs, I think we can conclude that the goggles work. In fact, it's quite possible they are super goggles. Order some for the whole team. Better yet, order a bunch of them for Jason Heyward so he can hit.

STAT OF THE SERIES! This time the stat of the series was...HOME RUNS! Throughout the series agains the Cardinals, the Braves were able to hit the long ball well to score runs, and it wasn't just one guy. Bourn, Uggla, McCann, and Freeman all had homers in our 2 wins during this series, totalling 7 runs of offense. When the bats are ready, the pitching woes look a whole lot better. Don't be fooled, though. They are still there, and we need to fix them. Perhaps Medlen coming back up will help with the rotation, and moving Venters into a less key role can shift the weight. Hell, at this point I sorta want Durbin pitching the setup 8th. Terrifying how that's changed.

I'll go into a brief synopsis of why I'm starting to get frustrated with Jason. After coming out of the gate strong in April, his May has been horrific. Nobody wants to beat the kid over the head about not hitting the ball, because he certainly wasn't the only one struggling, but we need to get more out of him in June. In May Heyward's batting line looks like this: .200 average, .389 slugging, 14 RBIs, 4 HRs, 1 Triple, 4 Doubles, 14 walks and 30 Ks. The first half was certainly better than the second half. Situationally, Jason hasn't been bad, but those strikeouts are looming again. I can't live with a hitter that strikes out once a game on average and hits .200 for a month. Now that we have moved past the skid, I want to see Jason get hot along with the team. June will be a very important month from him in terms of his future. We put up with him hitting .227 last season. I don't think we can afford to put up with that again this year. He's dangerously close to dropping below .250 as a hitter for his career.

Also, as a side note, we optioned Pastornicky back to AAA, and the word is that Simmons will replace him for the Washington series. Considering that Tyler was pretty much a disaster in the field, so much so that Jack Wilson hitting less than .200 had to replace him when Freeman couldn't dig him out of trouble, I think this is probably the right move. Pastornicky needs to go back to the minors and work more on his glove. SS isn't a position like OF where you can just try to hit and things will work themselves out. In fact, it's one of the most important defensive positions on the field. Supposedly, Simmons is a defensive whiz. I guess we'll find out this weekend.

Now, we head to Washington for revenge. Guess what Nats? You didn't see THIS lineup last time you came to town. Oh and we get a nice day off to rest up some of our players. You know the last time we had a day off was? Three weeks ago on May 10th. Enjoy the travel day boys, and let's see if we can't take it to Washington on their turf.

Go Braves!

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