Where would we be without Freddie Freeman? Well, we'd be a few less in the win column, that's for sure. Last night, the Braves did absolutely nothing for 8 innings offensively in a game that was delayed almost 4 hours by rainy weather. It was looking dim in the 9th inning when the Braves were down to their last 2 outs. A sharp grounder by Justin put a man on base and brought the winning run to the plate in the form of Freddie. As the stalwart crowd chanted "Freddie, Freddie, Freddie!" the powerful lefty looked at a 2-2 pitch as the Mets catcher set up inside. Immediately, in my heart, I knew that Gee had already made a mistake. He went inside on Freddie with the game on the line, and Freeman golfed one over the fence into right field to win the game 2-1 for the Braves.
The stat line for our hitters was atrocious. The Braves only had 5 hits, 3 of which were Freeman's. Justin had one in the 9th to set up the win. That means only one other Brave had a hit from innings 1-8, and that was Heyward. Everyone else got shut out. Only CJ got a walk. The rest were just flailing away in futility as the raindrops continued to fall. 0-4 with RISP, and no extra base hits by anybody except Freeman, who was a triple short of the cycle. This was Freddie's game, and we were all just witnessing it.
Hudson got absolutely screwed again. He pitched a 1 run gem of a game, going 7 innings, 6 hits, 3 walks, and 6 Ks. What did he get for his performance? Nary a run of support. Instead, he was taken off the hook for a loss by Freddie, and David Carpenter swooped in for the win. I know it has to be frustrating for Tim, but he's pitching like the Ace we know he can be. The problem is that game was so late, and the hitters were in such a hurry due to the oncoming double header today, that nobody was going to wait around to see a bunch of pitches. It was hack and go, and Tim got unlucky that the one run he gave up was to the pitcher on a 2 out rally.
What matters though is that Braves won, and we suddenly find ourselves back to 7.5 games up in the standings over the Nats, who had the courtesy to blow a game last night to the Phillys. Who would have thought after that wretched road haul? The Braves look like a wire-to-wire team the way the rest of the division is playing right now. Atlanta just has to keep up their end of the bargain by beating up on the bad teams like the Mets. Feast or famine means you can't skip a good meal.
The CPA (34-24) got lucky by predicting a big win, but it settled for a rain soaked comeback. Now we head into a weird territory. It's going to have to predict both games of the double-header, since there isn't time to do a recap in between. Let's see what it thinks.
CPA Prediction Game 2: Braves 3 - Mets 2
CPA Prediction Game 3: Braves 4 - Mets 2
The CPA likes the Braves in the first game in a squeaker. The second game should favor the Braves more with a young pitcher making his major league debut. By numbers, that means the Braves should rough up young Wheeler. In practice? The Braves have had issues doing that. However, with Maholm on the mound at home, that later game should be lower scoring with his 1.64 ERA in Turner Field. Can the Braves win 3 games in 1 day? The CPA thinks yes.