Take your hands, put them firmly around your throat, and then apply pressure. That's an adequate impression of what happened with the Braves lineup last night. What a gag-fest. They took a pitchers duel and turned into into a laugher with extra innings. I think the worst part about this game is that it completely takes away the outstanding effort by Mike Minor, Medlen, EOF, and Kimbrel. You can't win a game with only one run given up in 9 innings Braves? REALLY?!?! I'm disgusted. Minor went 6 innings with only 1 run on 3 hits. It was outstanding and he would have gotten an MVP if we won. Sadly, we let em off the hook, as Denny Green was prone to say.
No more excuses from you, Dan Uggla. You went 0-4 last night with 4 Ks. You're now 1-10 with 6Ks. You are pathetic at the plate and it's killing our lineup. We are running out of time and patience for you to "get it together" or "turn it around." It's almost August. If you can't make hay over the next two weeks, we're not only going to be out of the division, we're going to be 6 games out of the playoff hunt. Just so it's clear on how Dan can get better, let me lay it out for you. In the bottom of the 2nd he got his first AB, and it was a great one. 3-0 count to start, he looked at 2 strikes to make it full, fouled off two, and then struck out. I will never fault a batter for striking out after battling for 8 pitches. That's what we want. If you can't get action on the ball, at the very least make it hard on the opposing pitcher. HOWEVER, when Dan strikes out on his first AB, patience often goes right out the window. Case in point, in AB #2, he's got Heyward on 2nd with one out. A base hit = a run at that point. Now, bear in mind, Vogelsong hadn't throw strike one on his first pitch to any of the 3 previous batters that inning. What does Dan do? Swings at the first pitch and fouls it off. Too aggressive, and we stranded Heyward at second. In the 6th, Heyward gets on base again, gets all the way to 3rd, and Dan strikes out. It just went on and on and on.
But Dan wasn't alone. Far from it. Janish and Bourn struck out in the 9th with runners on 2nd and 3rd. Hell, Bourn struck out 3 times. BMac failed to get runners over. Prado went 0-6. We had 8 hits and 13 freaking strikeouts. Nothing, absolutely NOTHING will drive me as completely over the top crazy as strikeouts in a close game. We have to have action on the ball, and anything would have helped us. Yet, we didn't, and we went to extras like lambs to a slaughter. I don't even care that BMac got a homer to tie it or that Chipper got one late. It didn't matter. The damage was all done in the first 9 innings where we should have won that game.
We're losing games to what I believe is the eventual NL West Champion. Does that make it easier? No, but this is probably the second best team we'll play all year. We need to weather this storm and not get swept in this series. With Huddy on the mound, we always have a chance of winning. I'll tell you this, it won't get any easier heading into this weekend on the road in Washington. We're better than this. We're 3rd in the NL in runs, 4th in OPS, and 2nd in sacrifice RBIs. We can move runners, and we can win close games. We just need to stop getting mentally out of the game because we're overly aggressive at the plate, or because things don't immediately go our way in the first 3 innings.
I'm calling you out, Dan and Brian. This is the time when great players shake off the adversity and put a team on their shoulders. You are both 2-13 lifetime against Bumgarner, but he's nothing more than a 22 year old punk with a 4+ ERA on the road and in day games. Do what the Falcons can never seem to do, and RISE UP! Find me Samuel L Jackson, and we'll make a commercial with Martin playing every instrument in the background. I'm not even sure he knows how to play an instrument, but he could learn in about 5 minutes, because he's Marteeeeeeeeeeeeen.