I have no idea what in the world I watched yesterday. I expected a team to actually show up at Turner Field. I was sadly mistaken. The Braves are mired in a terrible slump right now at the plate, and it's like an infection in the bloodstream. Everything that infection touches is slowly dying. Pitching, defense, and hitting have all withered away into a display that would embarrass a AAA team.
The game started with a lead-off homer by the Giants. At the point, you literally could have turned off the TV, flipped off the radio, or got back in your car, because the game was over. I'm not joking, that one run was all the Giants needed to win, and it happened on the very first batter of the game. At one point, the crowd was excited because the Braves broke up a no-hitter by Bumgarner in the 6th. And it was in doubt that we would ever get a hit at that point. CJ broke it up with a high flying single that dropped in right center. The Braves could only manage a combined 3 hits yesterday, by Freeman, Simmons, and CJ. Right now, 8 players in the Braves lineup are hitting below .250 on the week. The only guys who aren't? Dan Uggla, Jason Heyward, Freddie Freeman, and Andrelton Simmons. Going into the game today, as I said in the preview, there's no way we should be playing Justin or BJ who are batting a combined <.100 off Gaudin. Brian McCann needs a day off because he's been awful over the last 7 days, batting .133 with no extra base hits, and 7 Ks.
But what is Fredi going to do? He's going to run them all back out there today, regardless of what's going on. Maybe things will change today, but I think we're starting to verge on the definition of insanity if we let this go on much longer. We're trying the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
The pitching has fallen apart with the hitting. That's a mental thing I think. We're verging back into the territory of the pitcher believing he has to be perfect because he knows he's not getting support any time soon. That means you have guys working corners, giving up more walks, and trying to do too much with breaking pitches. The problem with that strategy is that the more breaking stuff you throw, the more likely you are to hang one by accident. Hanging breaking pitches leave the park. Kris fell into that trap with the homer in the first inning, and then the bleeding started. He wasn't locating, he wasn't getting the calls on the corners, and the Giants weren't missing. Add in the fact our defense misplayed several balls, and you get some very big losses. Medlen went 6 innings, but gave up an astonishing 9 hits, and 4 runs.
The CPA was wrong again because the Braves couldn't score. I have a feeling it's not going to like this matchup since Fredi is ignoring the Upton's struggles.
CPA Prediction Game 2: Giants 4 - Braves 2
The CPA doesn't believe the Braves can hit right now. Until that turns around, and our weekly numbers pick back up, the Braves are at a disadvantage in most matchups. You have two good arms on the mound today, which could mean a lower scoring game, but the Giants have been swinging really hot over their last 3 games, meaning the momentum is with them. Minor will have to turn that tide by keeping the Giants off the basepaths while hoping the Braves can put a run in the board in the first four innings.