The stadiums on this road trip are obsessed with strikeouts. In Cincy, if the opposing team strikes out 11 times, everyone gets a free pizza. In SF, if the opposing team strikes out 13 times, everyone gets a package of bratwursts. Can you imagine what these fans think when they see the Braves coming to town? We are like the food bank to these people. I could also make an off-color joke about San Francisco fans getting excited about winning free sausage, but you can fill in the blanks on that one. Moving on.
The Braves won 6-3. Yes, I stayed up and watched it. Kimbrel looked just fine getting his 100th save. Also, they actually waited to put up the stupid graphic until AFTER he did it on the broadcast. Apparently they learned their lesson via the angry outpouring of thousands of twitter fans. Or maybe just me screaming at them on my twitter account. The Braves got their six runs in two big innings. Brian McCann started the power hour with a 2 run homer to right field, proving he's ready to face MLB pitching again. In fact, McCann went 3/5 on the day with 3 RBIs. That's a great effort from the returning catcher after a long layoff. The 5th inning featured the biggest Braves rally, where the Braves batted around the order for 4 runs, 2 triples, 2 walks, 3 singles, and a sacrifice. Everyone got a hit in this game except Teheran. No really, everyone. Yes, even BJ with an RBI no less. Yes, I'm just as shocked as you. And, the Braves went 3-10 with RISP. MAGIC NUMBER! Love it!
Julio Teheran struggled early. That seems to be a pattern with all our starters. By the third inning, he'd given up 3 runs to Buster Posey alone, and the Braves were trailing 3-2. That's when he got mad. From that point on, Teheran only gave up 2 hits, and he pitched through the 7th inning. Now, why we can't achieve that kind of dominant pitching from our starters in all the innings? I have no idea. It seems they need to screw around and spot the opposing team a couple of runs before they get serious. Maybe they should try to get serious before the game. Perhaps they should watch a Law and Order SVU marathon before warmups. That'll put you in a serious mood.
The bullpen had no issues getting the game the rest of the way. EOF walked one guy, but gave up no hits in the 8th, and Kimbrel gave up a hit in the 9th but no runs. Everyone seemed to have moved on pretty well from the issues in Cincy, plus you feel a lot more comfortable playing in the ballpark by the bay when it comes to home run distances. Noisy pop flies don't just jump out of SF's house. To their credit, the Giants pen was just as strong, going for 4.2 innings of shutout work. They just couldn't overcome the fact that Vogelsong got shelled in 4.1 innings for 6 runs. He's been off the beam lately, and the Braves took advantage when he went on tilt. That being said, Buster Posey did his best to ruin our day. He went 2/4 with a homer and 3 RBIs. He and McCann were probably having an "Anything you can do, I can do better" conversation across the diamond.
The CPA was right again with a Braves win (17-11). Will Game 2 with Huddy on the mound be another notch in the win column?
CPA Prediction Game 2: Braves 4 - Giants 3
The CPA likes Huddy's prior record against the Giants with a 1.76 ERA, and his recent successes in his last two games. The fact that his road ERA is high creates the only concern. Meanwhile, Cain has been struggling at home, but has good history against the Braves hitters. Hudson will have to watch out for the three P's of the Giants (Pence, Pagan, and Posey), while Cain will have to fret about McCann, Uggla, and Justin. I think this game could go to extras, but I hope not. It's going to be a late night as it stands.