I wish I hadn't watched that game. I told people not to watch it, and if I had just come in this morning and saw we lost 6-4, I probably wouldn't feel like somebody ripped my guts out. And yet, here we are. I did make the mistake of watching it, and watching our bullpen completely self-destruct. There are those who will hang the loss on Jonny Venters and say he needs to be moved out of that slot. I will defend Jonny and say that's reactionary and stupid. Until last night he hadn't allowed a run since May 29th in 6 appearances. I will blame our manager for putting him out there when he's not our strongest reliever right now, and I will blame him for leaving Jonny out there when it was obvious he didn't have his stuff that night. For some reason he doesn't see that Chad Durbin is our best reliever right now, and he deserves a shot at that setup role. Since May 11th, Durbin has been in 15 games, gone 11.1 innings, and has an ERA of 0.00 with 4 hits. Gee who would I want up there with the game on the line in the 8th? Venters or Durbin? You make the call.
I tip my hat to Minor. He tried his damnedest. When the game was coming unraveled in the 8th and they kept putting the camera on him, if your heart didn't go out to the kid you have no heart. He looked like someone just ran over his dog. He knows, we know, and he still went out there and pitched 7 scoreless like a champ. I'm tough on guys when they are bad, but I'm fair when they are great as well, and he was sparkling last night against the best lineup money can buy. It's cliche to say he deserved better, so I'll say that he earned my respect last night, even if I don't think he's completely ready for the day in day out job of a starter in the bigs. I do see the potential now that I hadn't seen before. By next season, I expect him to have earned a slot.
1-10 with RISP for the Braves. So that blows. Freeman is absolutely lost in this series. If he doesn't come up big tonight, the sombrero will be complete. Diaz did come up huge to show that Fredi was right to put him in over Heyward with his 3 RBI shot in the first inning, then Heyward got a sacrifice in the 7th to make it 4-0. In between? Lots of baserunners and no action. Bourn did get his 17th steal, so I like how he's running the paths right now, and Simmons continued his hot start at the plate with 2 hits. We just couldn't get the big hit against the Yankees to put them away before everything came unglued.
So who's hot and who's not over the last 7 days? Michael Bourn and Dan Uggla are red hot right now. Bourn is batting .467 with an OBP of .500 and 4 doubles. Uggla is slugging .727 with 9 RBIs and 3 home runs. Amazing work over the week by those two guys. Who's not? Brian McCann is ice cold. He's 3/22 over the last week, a horrid .136 average, and he's now batting .239 on the season. He's a career .284 hitter. Something has been wrong with Brian since the All Star break of 2011. I'll be the first to say it, I'm concerned about Brian as a long-term guy with this club. I never would have thought that 2 years ago, but ever since he's had problems with his vision, he's been in the tank offensively. People don't want to admit it, the media doesn't want to talk about it, but you need to keep your eye on him as the smart Braves fan. Once Chip leaves the building, there are no sacred cows on this team, and Brian is batting .221 since the All-Star break last year. That's over 348 ABs. When he's due for an option of $12M next season, and possible free agency in 2013? Let's put it this way, he's not known for his arm.
Moving on. Huddy is on the mound tonight. We need this. Really need this. You hear me Braves? You know those asshole Yankees fans will be showing up in our house with brooms tonight, right? Better do something to shut them up.