Monday, August 6, 2012

Astros @ Braves: Series Recap

No brooms for this series, although there should have been. The Braves took 2/3, which is fine, but you would have loved them to really run the worst team in the MLB right out of town on a rail. As such, we are only 3 games back of the Nats instead of 2 going into our series against the Phillies. Still, we are in the hunt, and we're playing against sub-par teams for the first half of August.

Game 1 was dominant pitching mixed with barely functional hitting. Hudson was amazing with 7.1 innings of 4 hit, 1 run ball, while the Braves went 2-13 with RISP. If it wasn't for the fact that Chipper Jones and Dan Uggla doubled in the 3rd, this game could have gone sideways on us. Amazingly, the Braves had 5 doubles, and 8 walks, but only scored 4 runs. What??? That doesn't make any sense. Unfortunately that carried over into Game 2. However, the MVP of Game 1 had to be Tim Hudson and his 116 pitch performance to get the win and go 11-4 on the season.

Game 2 was a carryover disaster at the plate. Paul Maholm pitched a good game to the majority of the Astros lineup, but he made the mistake of pitching to Justin Maxwell. The CF Maxwell hit two bombs in the game that netted 3 runs. You'd think against the world's worst team, the Braves would be able to mount some offense to overcome a 3 run deficit. Well, you'd be wrong. The Braves only got 4 hits all game. FOUR. The fact we got 2 runs on those four hits was pure luck, considering that Dan Uggla singled after 3 straight walks by Lucas Harrell. Still, a major problem with this game was that Bourn was completely non-functional (and for most of the series as well), and we grounded into 2 double plays that killed the rallies. End of the day, we lost to crappy Houston team on nothing but one guy's homers.

Game 3 was the day where the bats finally woke up. Medlen and the bullpen did a great job holding the Astros to only a run, but the Braves finally opened things up by scoring 6 runs on 9 hits and 6 walks. The MVP was David Ross, who went 2/3 with a homer, a walk, and scored 3 of the 6 runs. It's great to see him come into the game as the best backup catcher in the business (which even Chipper Jones said in the interview). Honorable mention goes to Paul Janish who had 2 RBIs in the 6th to crack the game open. As a whole the Braves went 3-8 with RISP, which  is much closer to the numbers I expect from our team. As we head to Philly, we need to take that kind of plate presence with us, and forget about the first two mediocre games we played.

Go Braves!

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