Thursday, May 30, 2013

Game 1 Recap: Toronto

It took me a while to figure out what to say about this game. I don't really understand how we could come out there and look as bad as we did, but it was a pretty gutless effort on behalf of the team. Not only did we stink at the plate, we kicked the ball around the infield, we misplayed fly balls, we were out of position on several grounders, and we did it all against a cobbled together mess from the Blue Jays pen. They made us look like fools, and if you were booing at that game, I don't really blame you. I was there, and I was just flabbergasted at the lack of focus. Also, the crowd really turned on BJ. Again, I can't blame them. He's literally the worst hitter in the MLB right now. Out of 170 guys with over 140 ABs, he's dead freaking last. #170 out of 170. The Braves have 2 of the 8 guys in that category under the Mendoza line, Uggla and BJ. We're going to add a third of Heyward doesn't improve over some more ABs.

Fans will forgive you in Atlanta if you hustle, if you have a good attitude, and you absolutely don't act like a fool. BJ broke that rule last night. In a moment of frustration he went full prima-donna mode tossing his helmet into the ground in a huge double fisted spike, throwing his bat at the dugout, and sauntering down the entire right field line under a showering of boos, tossing off batting gloves as he went. That kind of stuff doesn't fly at the MLB level, and I'll be really shocked if Fredi puts him back in the lineup after that display tonight. You can't argue every corner strike, you can't act like a child with a tantrum on your home field when you strike out, and you can't show up your team. That's not good sportsmanship, and you and I know for a fact that Bobby Cox wouldn't stand for it. It almost reminded me of the stuff Yunel Escobar used to do when he got mad. There's no pouting in baseball.

Now, I also know that BJ has been very amiable in the clubhouse, that he's working overtime to get right, and that he's not going to be hitting sub .150 for the rest of the season. He's mad, and he's frustrated. However, that wasn't the way to handle it, he knows that, and the club needs to give him a reminder of that today. I think the stress is hurting him at this point, and he needs to take a page from Dan Uggla's book. The fans are mad at Dan at times, but Dan has made a point of being very low key in his struggles, acknowledging the problem, and working very hard at his OBP. You don't see Dan throw tantrums. He'll argue occasionally, but he doesn't get into it on every AB.

The game only had 4 hits, and most of them were Freddie Freeman. Honestly after Freddie got the leadoff triple, and the 6-7-8 Bermuda Triangle of Uggla-Francisco-BJ couldn't even get him in? I should have just left the ballpark. The game was over right then. Nothing else happened for 6 more innings. 0-5 with RISP? Sure. 11 Ks? You better believe it. The only positive I can take away from this game was that after Medlen got hit in the back of his leg on a shot up the middle, the bullpen gave up absolutely nothing for 7 straight innings. What a difference having Walden back makes. I can't tell if it's something Medlen did to tick off the Baseball Gods, but he needs to sacrifice a chicken to Jobu for some hitting support.

The CPA was dead wrong due to the Bermuda Triangle, which if Fredi is merciful we will never see again this season. What about today? Can we pull off the home split with Minor on the hill?

CPA Prediction Game 2:  Braves 4 - Blue Jays 3

The CPA likes a closer game here. Right now, the total metric is favoring the Braves by 30%, so it's not an extremely tight match without respect to the way that Toronto is swinging the bats this week. The whole lineup for the Blue Jays is batting with a .892 OPS in the last 7 days, and that is LARGE. Minor has been a put-out specialist over his last 4 games though, all wins. Dickey has struggled with a 2-3 results record in May, 2-2 on decisions. Also, Dicky is above a 5 in May ERA, and Freddie Freeman (whose having his bobblehead night tonight) hits him at a .500 clip. I think Freddie has a chance to be a hero. Hugs for everyone!

GO BRAVES!

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