Sunday, July 1, 2012

Nationals @ Braves: Game 1 & 2 Recap

Vacation throws my timing for a loop. On the spur of the moment I decided to head to Colorado to visit my family for the holiday instead of hanging around in the 100+ Atlanta sweatfest. It's 62 degrees this morning as I write this on the patio with my coffee. Feel free to hate me. Now, on to the games!

Game 1 was a another typical hitting day for Delgado, with an atypical finish. Delgado didn't have it again, giving up 4 runs in the heat in 4 innings on 8 hits. It didn't help that we had 2 errors that helped 2 of those runs cross the plate. The third inning was a complete disaster by Wilson and Simmons committing errors one on top of each other, allowing the game to go from a manageable 0-1 score to 0-3. By the time a homer left the stands and Delgado left the game, it was 0-4 and the Braves looked lost. What kills me is that we rallied in the 7th to tie the game, and then blew it in the 8th. It was Durbin, too. He made a bad first pitch and it left the park. After that, he settled back in and we got out of the inning, but the damage was done 4-5. See those two runs on the 2 errors? Those were the difference between us winning this game and losing in a sad fashion. I don't blame Durbin for making a bad pitch either. He's still more solid than most of our bullpen. We lost this game because of the errors, and because our 3-4-5 guys went 1/12 on the game.

Game 2 was one I wrote off due to the matchup. Minor v. Strasburg on paper looks like a rout. However, what I forgot was that the heat was horrible, and the people handling Strasburg treat him like he's made out of balsa wood. After 3 runs in 3 innings, he was gone. He'd walked 4 and given up 2 hits. His command was way off, throwing 36 strikes and 31 balls. The Nats then put in some guy named Wang who completely wet the bed for 4 more runs in 2 innings. Bear in mind we were down 0-2 in this game before Strasburg went into the tank. I question whether this was us winning the game or the Nats completely mismanaging this thing, but either way, we ended up on top 7-5. Minor was still terrible going 5 innings giving up 4 runs. Sorry folks, but that won't cut it with me, even though he did get the win. The bullpen came in to save the day with 4 innings of one run, 4 hit work. We won because the Braves went 4-12 with RISP (remember that .300+ number I mentioned last week, it's a winner) and because everybody was getting in on the hitting act. Except BMac. My kingdom for the rest of our games to have Uggla and Mac right on the same day, because we'll score 10 runs easily. MVP of game 2 is Simmons, going 3/4 with a 2 out RBI in the game. Good job, young gun! Also, honorable mention for Uggs getting an RBI hit. Let's snap out of it!

Today there's a solid chance the infield may catch on fire. Huddy is going against Gio Gonzalez, and both guys produce plenty of grounders. Not to mention it's supposed to be a high of 111 degrees at the field today. Holy crap. If you're elderly, fat, have high blood pressure, or a brain, stay the hell indoors. I can't believe we're playing baseball in the daytime in this weather. Huddy will go through a hat an inning just to keep the sweat off his face. I'm not going to lie to you about the matchup, we hit .204 against Gonzalez lifetime. The only guys who hit him well are Bourn and Simmons, so look for them to provide some spark on the paths today if we can get the rubber game win. Better yet, nobody get hurt or pass out today. That'd be at least a half-victory.

Go Braves!

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