Big innings cut both ways. While the Braves secured the first game with a huge offensive output in a single inning, the Giants bounced back with one of their own in the second game. The problem with the Giants 6 run 4th inning wasn't homers or a single clutch hit. It was a cavalcade of grounders that found holes, and a couple of early doubles. At it's very core, the Braves bled to death by 1,000 cuts in the 4th inning, and there's no recovering from a 6 run disaster on the road. The Braves end up losing 8-2, in a game that would have been extremely close without that one inning.
Did the Braves hit well? Absolutely not. Nor were we expecting a huge hitting performance against Matt Cain. Still, Brian McCann's 2 run homer was the only offensive output of the day, and 5 of the Braves hitters went without a hit. We got one single man into scoring position for the entire game. It was basically a shutdown performance by Cain with a 2 run mistake to BMac. Meanwhile, the Giants went 6-10 with RISP against the Braves. That's a ridiculous percentage, and it's unlikely they see that kind of production with runners on base for the rest of the month.
At face value, this game was supposed to be a pitchers duel, and it was setting up like that for the first 3 innings. Hudson completely lost it in the 4th when he couldn't seemingly get an out for the first 4 hitters. The good news, if any, was that he was getting a lot of the ground balls he wanted. They were just bouncing by, around, or over people. In some cases they weren't even leaving the infield for hits. It was frustrating to watch, but that's the way baseball can go. You can have a Murphy's Law inning where it completely goes to pieces around you. The thing to remember is that the Braves took advantage of that exact same scenario in Game 1, so you can't get too frustrated by the bounce of the ball. We're split at the moment and heading into a two game day series. That's the way I look at it.
The CPA didn't expect a 6 run outburst, so it went down swinging yesterday (17-12). How about today's matchup of Maholm and Bumgarner?
CPA Game 3 Prediction: Giants 5 - Braves 1
Maholm has really struggled with RH hitters, and his ERA is over 2.5 runs higher on the road. Guess what side the Giants best hitters bat from? The Right. The CPA believes this game will be a tough one to watch. Bumgarner is coming off a loss to Philly, but we only have 2 guys in the lineup with any success against him. Freeman and Justin can make a difference, but they will have to have people on base for that to happen, and guys like Uggla, McCann, and CJ have OBP under .250 against the Giants starter. We'll see what happens, but this may be a game with lots of Ks, and very few runs for the Braves.