Monday, June 11, 2012

Blue Jays @ Braves: Series Recap

Since the weekend games were so close together, and I went to two of the three, I figured I'll recap them all at once. I find that most of the readers don't check in over the weekend anyway, and they come to the blog to get the info when they get to work on Monday. I appreciate it! Anyway on to the games.

I showed up on Friday because I wanted to make sure I was there to see John Smoltz get his number retired. The ceremony was very cool, as Dale Murphy, Greg Maddux, John Sherholtz, Bobby Cox and Pete Van Wieren were all there. In fact, it was an Alumni weekend, so there were former Braves signing autographs all over the place. Unfortunately, the game didn't really live up to the event. It was a win, but it was probably the most bizarrely boring win I've seen all season.

We hit the ball well in Game 1, we just never hit it well when we had our foot on the Blue Jays throats. In fact, we went 0-12 with RISP in a win. That might lend you ask, how the hell did we win this game? Well, the answer was that the Blue Jays walked in a bases loaded run, balked in a run from third base, and then threw a ball into left field in the 10th when Jason Heyward stole third. That last error ended the game. Bear in mind we also had 9 hits and 7 walks, so there were baserunners everywhere. The game took forever. It was so awful to watch that I left after the 9th when it went to extras and listened to the rest of it on the radio. At that point we'd been there since 6:30 to watch the Smoltz thing, and it was 11:30PM. It just went on and on and on. The good news is that we won.

Game 2 was the exact opposite of Game 1. I went to this one as well and got myself a Sid Slides bobblehead for the trouble. Tommy Hanson was in complete control for this game, and the game moved very swiftly with the help of 11 combined strikeout between the two opposing starters, and a 3 run bomb by Dan Uggla in the 3rd. Also, Simmons got his first homer of his career in the 7th, so I was very proud of the kid. The game only took 2:34 to win from start to finish. That's my kind of game!

Game 3 I watched on TV since it was raining. We started strong, with Teheran doing a pretty good job of keeping the Jays hitters in check. Then, the 5th inning happened. As with all young starters, Teheran had a problem keeping problems from snowballing. Our 4-0 cruisefest suddenly turned into a 6-4 deficit in one inning. At that point, Livan and Christhian decided to hand Toronto the game. I turned it off after it got to 10-4 in the 7th. I didn't miss anything. Neither did you. We're just going to shelve this one as a series win with a bad finale by a spot starter.

The MVPs for the weekend were Jason Heyward and Dan Uggla. Both had key moments in our respective wins that sealed the game. Heyward's two hits and two runs in the first game, including his base-stealing pressure in the 10th were absolutely crucial. Uggla's 3 run bomb in the second game was the difference maker in giving Tommy the confidence he needed to go 8 solid innings with a lead. Dan's a regular in the MVP territory, but it's nice to see Heyward get a shot after some of his struggles at the plate.

Funny moment of the weekend was in Game 1 when my friend Howard was sitting with me at the game and they started to play the Canadian National Anthem for the Blue Jays. Howard turns to me and says, "Are any of the Toronto players even FROM Canada?" We laughed when we found out that only one of them actually was. The rest were from America or the latin countries. It would have made more sense to play the Venezuelan national anthem.

Today we start a series against the Yankees. As per usual no preview for interleague, but I will give you some trends on the two teams. We face Nova, Sabathia, and Kuroda, 3 pitchers with a combined record of 19-11. Supposedly we have Delgado, Minor, and Hudson going against them. The Yankees are on an absolute tear, winning 8 of their last 10. Well guess what? So have the Braves. Two teams at the top of their games are going to face off, and the funny thing is the Braves have actually scored more runs on the season. I will say you probably want to skip Game 2, because the idea of Minor facing off against Sabathia is frankly laughable. The rest should be pretty good!

Go Braves!

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