Do we hate scoring early that much? It's a late game, Braves. I could use some early runs to let me know if you're going to make the effort. Scoring in the 8th and 9th isn't a good strategy for success, and it didn't work here either. They made it close at 7-6, but fell short because the hole was just to deep. Teheran looked like crap all game, and the stats line showed it. 6 IP, 5 runs, 2 homers. That's never going to cut it for a Braves offense if they don't have 5 runs themselves in the first 4 innings. Add in the fact that the Braves didn't score the first run until the 5th, and you have a game that was 7-1 when I declared it impossible to win. Despite the rally, that was still true. At least Gattis got his 4th pinch hit bomb. He's ridiculous. All-Star team, if you asked me.
Once again RISP has been a total disaster on the road. 1-7 with RISP means we lost. I don't care that we had more homers in this game, it isn't going to be enough to dig yourself out of a 7 run hole. Both Uptons, Jason, and Gattis had a great game, combining for 7 hits, 5 RBIs, and 3 homers. The rest of the lineup was not great. We're forcing Simmons into the leadoff spot, but he still doesn't know how to work counts for walks, and he's still swinging at way too many bad first pitches. He went 0-5 as a result, and his OBP is only .288 on the year. That's 14th on the team in OBP. Why is he our leadoff guy? I think it's a terrible place for him to be hitting, honestly. Even Chris Johnson would be a better choice at .357 OBP since he's the everyday guy now. Before you say, but what about the stolen bases? Simmons only has 2 of those. Relax. It's not a big enough deal to keep him in that slot for speed. Guess who has 7 stolen bags? Schafer. Guess who has the best OBP on the team? Schafer. Guess who's not an everyday player? Schafer. The mind boggles.
Gearrin came out there and stunk the joint up again. When he's good, he's great. But when he's bad, he's a greasefire. He went for 2 innings and 2 runs in relief. That turned out to be the difference since the Braves rallied to 6 runs. I want fans to note the importance of that. Keeping a game close in the late innings is extremely important for a team with power. If you're within 4 runs, the game is never over. If you get outside of that range late, it's an almost certainty that you will lose. That's why starters controlling the bleeding, and relievers keeping the score static are so key. We failed on both counts last night, and it cost a chance at a win.
Certain players have been heating up in June. Uggla is now batting .348 on the week, but that won't last so I'm not going to get excited about it. I plan on staying on his case all season if that's what it takes. I will get excited about Heyward batting .414 on the week. He's trending in the right direction after his injury layoff, and I think his swing looks better and better as the games go on. BJ is hitting .278 on the week, which moves the meter slightly out of the .150s on the season. Also, congrats to Heyward for getting over the Mendoza line! WOOOOO! Break out your party hats. Dan Uggla's at .195 now. Will he get there too? What will we do with ourselves if that happens?
The CPA (31-21) was dead wrong about run support yesterday since Marquis got it all, and Teheran got jack.
CPA Prediction Game 2: Padres 5 - Braves 3
Several people in the Padres lineup have success off Tim, and he's only one game into a road turnaround. That doesn't impress the numbers robot. Recent successes are are issue for a Braves team that has almost no experience against a guy like Cashner. If you've learned anything from our hitting woes, you know that the first time our batters usually see a guy, we hit terribly. This one could go the Padres way unless the Braves finally get some early runs for Tim (which they haven't in a while).