It's a bad thing when the announcers talk more about random ducks roaming the outfield than the actual game. It reminded me of the 80s. Please talk about anything else but the product on the field, because last night that game was wretched. If you watched it all, you probably had a drink in your hand, and you got to witness first-hand what happens to a sinkerball pitcher when his sinker doesn't sink. You could tell that Huddy was in trouble in the first inning when the Pirates were pounding line drives at people. That shouldn't happen to a pitcher known for ground balls. That's why in the second inning they lit him up with liners all over the park. When there's no movement on the sinker, it looks like a big fat duck coming over the middle of the plate. See how I tied it back to the ducks? Moving on.
Once again, when the Braves get shutout, we lose (obviously you have to score to win). We had two hits all day. That's better than zero hits, but only because we didn't want old Wandy Rodriguez to make history against us. That would be silly. You know what the Braves hit with RISP? I don't know either, because we never got a runner into scoring position. Simmons got a hit, and Heyward got a hit. Take your palm, apply it to your face, and then shake your head in disgust. That was yesterday's hitting in a nutshell.
Huddy got lit up for 6 runs in 4 innings on 9 hits. That really ruined the tone of the game. You could feel our lineup's stress trying to get back in the game from the second inning, but we couldn't string anything together. I'm not worried about Huddy at all, but I do think he was probably more focused on studying for his Government test at Auburn than the game yesterday. He made a 92 on that test, so good for him. I'm not making that up, either. Huddy is actually trying to earn his degree at Auburn after all these years. While I like the idea, I'd prefer him not to take tests on gameday. It didn't go well. Plus he was going for his 200th win of his career, so it's possible the pressure got to him. It won't next time. Huddy was one of the best starters in the rotation last year when it came to rallying after a bad start. In 2012, when Hudson lost a game, the Braves never lost his next start all season long. Let's hope that is a positive trend we see for 2013.
Speaking of trends, I've noticed there hasn't been much of a trend in our losses. Besides the fact that they have all been shutouts, they have all been to different starters, in different games of the of the series, and to both LH and RH pitchers. That's a good thing in my mind, because you will have bad days in baseball. What you don't want is for those bad days to become trends, either psychological or actual. Everybody remember the Monday's trend from last year? That's what I'm talking about.
The CPA has had a small slump over the last few games, and it's now 10-6 on predictions. The Braves still have some good pitching matchups left, so let's see how it sees the game tonight.
CPA Prediction Game 3: Braves 3 - Pirates 1
The CPA thinks we'll bounce back from getting shutout. The Pirates have lost the next game after their two shutout wins this season. The Braves have won their two following games after shutout losses. Also Maholm hasn't given up a run yet, and the Pirates have been hitting .158 against LH pitching so far this season. The only thing that worries me is that the Pirates have a good lifetime history against Maholm, so we have to hope recent trends pay off more than long-term trends.