Monday, July 9, 2012

Braves @ Phillies: Game 2 & 3 Recap

Philly Brooms are my favorite brooms! Sweep, sweep Braves fans! I think there is a solid chance we just turned the Phillies into sellers at the break, AND we picked up two games on the Nats over the series. Downside, Andrelton Simmons broke his hand in the 3rd game. There's also a solid chance he may be out for up to 3 months, but we'll have to wait on word from the doctor. I'm hoping for less, but it doesn't look good for a confirmed 5th metacarpal break.

In Game 2, Prado, McCann, and Bourn all decided to carry the team at the plate, while Tommy Hanson held on in a start that could have spun completely out of control in the 2nd inning. However, after that flurry of offense by the Phils, Tommy went into shutdown mode for 5 innings, and EOF and Kimbrel shut the door. MVP of the game has to be Martin Prado with a single and a double, 2 RBIs (one with two outs), and two stolen bases. Prado was all over the place, creating havoc for the defense and the opposing pitchers. BMac gets the honorable mention nod for his 2/4 day with a long bomb, and Bourn for his 3/5 day with a swiped bag. Dan Uggla and Heyward got the sombreros for this game, both going 0/4. A key pitching moment in the game was EOF coming in for Tommy in the 8th, and immediately hitting a batter, putting two men on with no outs. He then induced two ground balls, one for a fielders choice, and one for a double play that got out of the jam. Great work by the fake Irishman!

In Game 3, everyone got in on the hitting act. Even Dan Uggla with a fourth inning bomb! This game was all about Dan Uggla and Brian McCann going deep. It was SOOOOO good to see both of them get going at the same time. I really can't imagine what we are capable with if both those guys start to get right at the latter half the season. It's going to be epic. Brian was admittedly lost, but since talking to a friend of his, he's completely broken his swing down to ground zero and started over. I have to say, I love the results. He looks like a different guy at the plate. Brian gets the MVP with his 2 hit, 2 RBI game, with his game-winning solo homer in the 7th. Honorable mention goes to Uggla for his 2 RBI longshot in the 4th to tie the game. Also, Jurrjens went 7 innings with only 6 hits and 3 runs. Where has this guy been all season? The turnaround has me almost flabbergasted. I don't understand how you can be THAT bad in the first month of the season, go to AAA, and then have a 2.13 ERA on your return? WHAT?!? I guess I shouldn't question the cook, because the meal is outstanding.

A series sweep is ever sweeter when it comes against the Phillies. It's doubly sweet when it makes them realize they are done for the season, and they start offloading their players. Can I tell you how excited it would make me if they dumped Shane Victorino to the AL? I can't stand that guy. He's done nothing but bother us for years like a pesky little gnat. Somewhere, Philly writers and fans are blaming their front office, their team doctors, and their gloriously awful bullpen for their trainwreck of a season. I feast on their tears.

On to the All Star break. This week, check back to the blog for a couple of features on where we're heading for the season. Tomorrow, I'm going to do a recap of the season thus far, with some highs and lows, and our Heroes and Heels of the first half. Wednesday, I'll do a breakdown of our upcoming second half schedule, with the series we have to win, and the series where we'll struggle to make our hay. And on Thursday, I'll do some bold predictions for the rest of the season, including how the rest of the National League might shape up for the playoffs. Make sure to check it out!

Go Braves!

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