Thursday, June 28, 2012

Diamondbacks @ Braves: Game 2 recap

We got 6 runs on 5 hits. What? How? What is going on here? How do you win a game 6-4 when you got 5 hits and went 0-4 with RISP. This makes no sense. Yet, here we are. I think the only thing you can really credit here is that we got extremely lucky, and Trevor Cahill was really bad. Not only did he give up 6 runs, but he also committed an error to give up one of those runs, and he gave up two homers. Thanks Trevor! If we win tonight to complete the sweep, I think it's official that we own the Dbacks this season. Go get em JJ.

Hanson pitched ok during this game. It was nothing special, and he sort of imploded in the 7th, but hey it could be worse. Three runs and a jack on 7 hits in 6.1 is probably going to be good enough to win a 50/50 game if the Braves are swinging. Let me just say that even though Hanson struggled late, I've completely lost faith in Venters. It seems that opinion isn't shared by Fredi since he keeps putting him out there in ridiculous situations. Fredi is dangerously close to me calling him an idiot for the way he's handling JV, and I rarely if ever question a managerial call. Mostly, it's because it's easy and lazy to monday morning QB a pitching move. This isn't one situation though. This is all the damn time. Jonny has a 4.82 ERA in June. He's walked 6 batters in 9 innings. Bear in mind, this guy's job as a reliever is to come into crunch innings and shut the place down. Now who would be more trustworthy in those spots right now? Hmmm. Maybe CHAD DURBIN? He's only got a 1.74 ERA in June, and a 2.38 ERA in May. But we can't have him in there right? He screwed up April, so he's dead to Fredi. Wake up, Gonzo, he's the best guy you have on your staff, and he hasn't pitched in 4 days.

On to the hitting. Honestly, the fact we were able to get sacflys is encouraging when we need them. That was a situational hitting issue last year that almost made me jump out of my highrise. We'd get a guy to third with no outs, and he'd stand there looking like a lost puppy for 3 straight batters as they struck out. This year, we're much better at that scenario. In fact, we're 6th in the majors in sacrifice fly runs. In 2011, we were 29th. So yeah, that's about as much of a turnaround as you're likely to see with a team. As much as I wanted to believe the hitting coach didn't matter, the results for Walker's approach speak for themselves. Last night's game is a testament to what we can do when we're patient at the plate and put pressure on the basepaths. It's not about hitting well all the time, it's about hitting well in key situations.

MVP of the game was Chipper Jones. He hit a towering shot out over dead center. Is that even possible for a 40 year old? He also gets the nod for his attempt at a ball in the 7th where he ran at a grounder, realized he was old, and mentally went "Screw it, we're up by 6 runs." As one of the commenters said, he looked like an 85 year old man who wanted the kids to get off his lawn. Chip's 2 RBIs turned out to be the difference in the game though, so he gets the MVP by a hare over Jay Hey turning his hitting streak into 12 games, and Kimbrel taking the lead in the NL in saves. Good job you Old Gray Mare!

Tonight, we have the battle of the unknowns. The new and improved JJ goes against some young guy who's never tossed in the show. What will happen? All I know is that we've never lost with ten runs this season. Hitters, make it happen!

Go Braves!

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