Thursday, September 6, 2012

Rockies @ Braves: Game 3 Recap

Minor was firing on all cylinders yesterday, and that was the only thing that saved our bacon. In a game where you absolutely needed your starter to show up, Minor had a no-no going through six innings. I think it's a given that he was the MVP, so I'll put that right up here in the top paragraph where it belongs. He was awesome. After seven innings of work, Minor had a one-hit shutout with 4 walks and 7 Ks. Our staff had the Rockies completely off balance, as they only managed 2 hits on the day. All we needed was the single run to come up with a much needed 1-0 victory that helped us maintain our pace in the Wild Card race.

A win's a win, but they aren't all sunshine and roses. This was far from a win that should make you feel comfortable as a Braves fan. Why? We went 0-11 with RISP. Our one run came on the throwing error by the Rockies in the 4th. We only had 4 hits. Brian McCann and Dan Uggla were both back in the lineup and equally worthless. Our pitcher had more hits than half of our lineup. We're in complete disarray at the plate, held together by the almost unreal contributions of a magic 3rd baseman, who is closer to drawing a social security check than he is to the beginning of his career.

Theoretically, if you look at the game in all it's pitching glory, nobody actually scored a run. The Braves just happened to shamble across the plate because the other team booted the ball around. That was the difference. Doesn't exactly inspire confidence, does it? Let's see how the Braves are doing on the week with the "last seven days" stats. Well, for starters we're dead last in the NL in runs scored on the week. We're hitting .228 as a team, which is one point better than the Marlins and Cubs. Great company there. We're 14th in slugging, and 8th in OBP, which means we're drawing a ton of walks, but no big hits.

We need to do a rain dance for runs. We need to do everything we can to break this streaky cycle of desperation and drought. Our approach seems to be good as we're coaxing baserunners, but we can't rely on the other team to literally throw the ball into the stands to win games. I guess my point is, don't be fooled by this win, or fall into the trap that we're a playoff caliber team. We're not right now. We CAN be. I've seen us look like that before. But as it stands, we would get smoked by any team with a remotely functional pitching staff and a pulse at the plate. Luckily the Rockies have neither, and we face them one final time this afternoon.

Go Braves!

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