Good thing we have Justin Upton. Otherwise, we could have been in Miami for 18 innings waiting for somebody else to score. It was not a pretty offensive effort on either side, but our 2 runs was enough to deal with a Marlins lineup getting zilched. Maholm was completely on his game with a 1 hitter in 7 innings. Kimbrel was completely off his game with a walk and a hit to put the game in doubt, but he rallied to get the final out, and his 3rd save as a consequence. I'd like to see better control of the zone next time.
The Braves went 0-7 with RISP, a fact I continue to cringe at every time I see it. Luckily Justin Upton decided to become a one man wrecking crew, going 4 for 4 with a double, a homer, and 2 runs scored. In Jeopardy, the response to "This was the Braves offense last night," is "What was Justin Upton." The man is slugging 1.192 on the season right now. That's not even real. That's like some fictional entity coming down to earth and hitting a baseball. He is the God of War come to flesh and poised to lash out with thunderbolts into the stands. Hear his name and quake, mortals! Drive pitchers before you, and hear the lamentations of their women!
Let's take a quick look at where some of the other players stand on the season. Gattis is batting .333 with an OPS over .900, Francisco is batting .300, Chris Johnson is batting .357, Laird is batting .400, and Pena is batting .273 in limited action. Sounds awesome right? There's some guys I'm not talking about. Uggla is batting .174, Simmons is batting .143, BJ is batting .120, and Heyward is batting .083. Honestly, Teheran and Hudson are only one hit behind Heyward on the season. This fact has been completely overshadowed by the fact we're winning games. That cures a lot of ills, and those averages would make anybody ill.
Luckily our pitching has been lights out. No starter except Teheran has an ERA over 4.00 right now, and the bullpen as a whole has a 1.64 ERA on the season. Our bullpen is 2nd best in the majors right now in ERA, behind only the Dodgers who haven't given up a single run in 5 games. That kind of pitching keeps you in games, especially when opposing teams are actually AFRAID to get to your bullpen. I love the fact that they'd rather take their chances with a guy like Tim Hudson than deal with Varvaro, Avilan, Kimbrel, Gearrin, O'Flaherty, or Walden. The only reason we have an ERA over 1 is because Cristhian Martinez had to do some mop up duty.
The CPA moves to 5-2 on the season with another Braves win last night, although it was overboard on the amount of runs scored. Turns out the massive fan support in Miami didn't translate to offense. Insert snicker here.
CPA Prediction Game 2: Braves 4 - Marlins 1
The CPA notes that while Medlen didn't pitch well in the cold, he has solid career marks against most of the Marlin lineup. The exception is Stanton, and Solano. Avoid them, and we should be fine. Also, look for Heyward to snap out of his slump against LeBlanc tonight. He's feasted on him in the past.