Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Braves @ Phillies: Game 1

One down, two to go. We can sweep these fools if we play our game, and they continue to make hilarious errors in the field. McCann was good, Heyward was great, and Sheets was electric. The Phillies got a solo shot in the 4th, and Sheets quickly shook that off for 7.1 innings of shutdown ball. Worley, on the other hand, only made it through 74 pitches and 3.2 innings before getting chased. He took the loss and dropped to 6-7 on the season. Sheets moves to 4-1 with a ridiculous 1.41 ERA, and has cemented himself as the best mid-season aquisition of any club all year.

The MVP of the game goes to Freddie Freeman for his performance in the 3rd inning. The difference in the game happened when Freddie came up to bat with 2 outs in the top of the 3rd. Bourn had walked and moved to second on a Prado single. It was looking like Worley might be able to wriggle off the hook again. Freeman thought otherwise. On a 1-1 count, Freddie laced a ball down the right field line into the corner, scoring Bourn easily, and Martin tested the Phillies D with the play at the plate. The result was that Prado beat the tag, and Freddie moved to 3rd on the throw. That turned out to be key since Freddie scored during the next AB on a wild pitch. By continuing that inning, Freeman was responsible for the Braves scoring 3 runs, and winning the game. He was clutch, and clutch gets you the MVP.

The Braves only went 2-9 with RISP, which doesn't make me very happy. I'll blame that mostly on wasted chances at the back end of the lineup with Janish and Francisco. The thing that DID make me happy was seeing Dan Uggla get two rocket hits during the game. Dan now has hits in 7 of his last 9 games. Yesterday was his first multi-hit game since July 20th, over 2 weeks ago. So far, he's batting .273 in August and showing signs of life. I can't tell you how huge it would be for him to get right down the stretch when we need him.

Dan's the positive story. The negative story is that I'm worried about Michael Bourn. Michael has been struggling since mid-July, and I've been quietly ignoring it because I thought it was an anolomy. Also, I think he's an awesome player so I'm biased. Michael's a career .275 hitter, and you have to expect that his numbers would come down to earth some since he was batting over .300 in June. However, he sets the table, and he's been having issues with hits in August so far. Right now he's only batting .150 on the month, and his walks have decreased over his last 3 games. Since July 15th, Bourn's batting average has fallen 25 points, and his OBP has fallen 22 points. The reason I point this out is because we're playing the worst teams in the league over these last two weeks, and Bourn isn't capitalizing. It's something to watch as we head into the later part of August.

Today we have Minor v. Hamels in the battle of the southpaws. Who will win? The overpaid fancylad or the plucky underappreciated youngster? I'd love to see the Philly fans continue to watch their million dollar signee struggle to get his first win since the payday. We can make that happen.

Go Braves!

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