The White Bear strikes again! Evan Gattis has the clutch gene this season, and he cashed in on it last night in the 8th inning. With the Braves down 1-0 going to the bottom half of the 8th, Gattis came to bat after BJ got on base with a rare single. The AB was a thing of beauty. After going 2-2 on the count, Gattis fouled off 3 straight pitches as he started to time up Jansen's fastball. On the 8th pitch, Jansen tried to sneak another one by Evan, and he didn't miss it. Gattis planted that pitch 375 feet into the left field stands for a 2-1 lead. And then, Simmons took advantage by doing the exact same thing back to back. Within a matter of minutes, the Braves were on top 3-1, and cruising to a comeback win after Kimbrel shut the door.
I discussed how the Dodgers pen is a mess in the prior entries, and it was never more obvious than last night. Capuano had shut out the Braves for 7.1 IP, and then the bullpen gave up 3 runs on 2 batters. The only thing that could have made this game better was if Medlen was still in the game for that outburst. Unfortunately, he gets a no decision for his 7 innings of 1 run work, and it wasn't even an earned run. Medlen looked great, and the Braves gave him nothing offensively. For a guy that's been hunting for good luck, he's been skunked a lot by his teammates. Nonetheless, Medlen was in great form on the mound, and he kept the Braves in the game. He held the Dodgers to 2 hits. TWO. And he was about to lose the game until Gattis came up. That's almost criminal.
The Braves were lost at the plate for most of the day. The only guy who had a handle on Capuano was CJ, who went 3/3 on the day. The rest of the lineup? 5 guys didn't touch a base. Medlen got a hit, though. Heyward, Justin, Freeman, McCann, and Uggla went fishing. That says a lot about Capuano's stuff. Gattis was just a late inning pinch hit that turned the tide of the game. It sort of played out like the CPA thought. You had two starters that were much better than their ERAs, and they locked in against two lineups that struggled to make contact. Luckily, the big play went the Braves way, and Fredi's late inning decisions on pinch hitting saved the game.
The CPA wins again (21-14), and we look for that sweep I discussed on paper at the beginning of the series. Can the Braves get it done? What does the CPA think?
CPA Prediction Game 3: Braves 6 - Dodgers 4
The CPA thinks there will be runs in this game. Lots of them. The Dodgers have several guys in the lineup who have hit lefty pitching well, while the Braves are facing an rookie with no team photo and a 6+ ERA. Also, we'll get to see a lineup without BJ and Dan in it for once. Will that make a difference? Will that mean more production? We shall see, maybe with some brooms. They need to dodger the raindrops though.