Monday, June 4, 2012

Braves @ Nationals: Game 1 & 2 Recap

Splitsville isn't that bad when you have a rainout, and your starter gives up two solo bombs in the second game right off the bat. Still, I hate the fact that we've only won one game so far against the Nats all season. That's not going to fly in the long run due to the tightness of our division.

The pitching matchups got thrown off by the rainout, so Minor got skipped (YEAH!) and Beachy started against Strasburg. However, instead of a favorable matchup, the tide turned against us quickly when Strasburg came out with fantasic movement on his heater. It's probably the best I've seen him pitch this season. In fact, the numbers (7 IP, 9 Ks, 4 hits, no runs), rank amongst his best starts since 4/11 against the Mets. Beachy was certainly good enough to get a win, but the bats weren't. Uggla, Freeman, and Prado all had 0-fors, and anytime that happens you can be pretty sure we got skunked.

Game 2 started poorly with the aforementioned homers off Hanson. However, Tommy held tough as he continued pitching through 7 strong innings. It was not a pretty day at the plate at all for the Braves, as they went 1-7 with RISP and struck out 8 times. The key to the game was Tommy holding the line, and Jason Heyward coming off the deck with a big 2-out-2-run RBI single in the 5th. With the lead, the Braves really battened down the hatches for the rest of the game. Hanson retired his next 9 straight, then EOF gave up 2 walks immediately in the 8th. It looked like a disaster waiting to happen, but Eric induced a double play and flyout to wriggled off the hook. Then, Ho-Hum-Kimbrel struck out the side in the 9th. That dude makes it look too easy sometimes. I love it.

MVP of the second game has to go to Jason Heyward who had been struggling so much coming into the series. It was his RBI that gave us the win, but also he's now knocked in 25 RBIs on the season. Considering he only knocked in 42 in his poor season last year, things are already looking up for the young RF, even if his average isn't there yet. I'd rather have a clutch .240 hitter than a guy who hits .280 with nobody on base.

I'll also take a moment to vent at how mad Venters is making me lately. So, not only can he not pitch an inning without giving up a hit and/or run, he also crossed up BMac and knocked him out of the game with a fastball to the knee. Who knows when Brian is coming back? It's literally all JV's fault that we're short our starting catcher for another extended period.

Now we get a Monday off (Thank God, since we're 0-8 on Mondays), and we head to that Neon Vegas Reject down in Miami to face the fish. The Nats, Marlins, and Mets are all tied for the NL East first place lead, and the Braves and Phillies are bringing up the rear. WHAT?!?! It's like they've taken the standings and turned them on their head this year. There's no way this can last.

Go Braves!

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