Ben Sheets had a bad first inning, and the bats couldn't close the gap. The streak comes to an end, and we have to march forward as a team so we can win this series. Honestly, I'm not that shocked we lost considering both Bmac and Bourn had the night off. With two of your hottest hitters right now on the pine, it's no wonder we stunk at the plate in clutch moments. Also, we won seven games straight, so I'm not going to hammer the team over a loss. It's amazing we got that far into the streak, plus the Nats lost again.
Reed Johnson had a nice debut with the team, starting in the OF and going 2/4 on the day, but the downside was that Heyward and Prado were uncharacteristically awful, going hitless in 8 ABs. Chipper didn't have a hit either. Add it all up, and you get a 2-10 with RISP stat that is a sure fire way to lose you games when your starter digs a 3 run hole right off the bat. Uggla did manage to get one of those RBIs, though, and he's showing signs of not going quietly into the night. When we get the regular lineup in the game tonight, I would bet we see more of the same from him.
Sheets had a problem getting strikes against batters early in the counts, and they made him pay with big swings in favorable counts. Remove that bad first inning, and the effort by Sheets was pretty good. However, the Braves are having issues getting out of the gate strong in this series. So far in the 3 games we've played, the Marlins have put 4 runs on us in the first inning. That means they've only scored 3 runs in all the other innings combined. We need to stop the early bleeding in the first inning, and the Marlins seem to go into shutdown mode by themselves.
We need to make sure we take advantage of the gifts we get in August. Until about mid-month, we're scheduled to play nothing but teams with losing records. That's the kind of stretch where you can win or lose a division. If we take advantage of the teams that have sold off all their talent at the trade deadline (Phillies, Padres, Astros, Mets) then we stand a good chance of being up in the standings when we face the tougher teams (Washington, Dodgers, Giants) at the end of the month.
Tonight, Minor goes against Eovaldi in a battle of the barely legal to drink starters. If we get the good Minor, the Fish have no chance. If we get the bad Minor, this could become a disaster in short order. I'll just be happy to see Bourn back in the field, and McCann back behind the plate, so they can take a few hacks at this 22 year old out of LA.