Yarrr! We took the Pirates to the YARDarm. Ok, enough of that. The Braves beat the Pirates like a drum last night, thanks to some timely homers by Heyward, Freeman, and BMac. It's not really amazing that the Braves can win with Medlen on the mound if he gets some runs. Yesterday, he finally got some runs. The entire starting lineup got on base somehow in the game, which is always a good sign that the Braves are winning. Also, McCann picked up a large milestone in his 1,000th hit of his career. I'm glad he did that while we can still watch him in a Braves uniform, because those days are drawing to a close.
Heyward's homer was his first since April. Yeah... he's been bad. I'm glad he's getting sort of back on track after a dreadful end of May. So far, most of the Braves are loving June a lot more than May, unless your name is Dan Uggla or Evan Gattis. Here's the hilarious thing about last night's game though. The Braves won 7-2, do you know what our RISP numbers were? 0-6 on the evening. How is that possible? It's possible because all the runs except a CJ sacrifice fly came off a homer with a runner on first. A weird set of circumstances to be sure that you can score 7 runs without a single RISP hit, but it happened. Another key feature was that the Braves only struck out 6 times. We're cutting down the the bad ABs so far in June, and it's showing up in the box scores.
Medlen really had the changeup working yesterday, and with the exception of a horrific missed call at second base that led to the Pirates scoring an undeserved early run, he was spot on with his command. He goes 7 innings, 0 earned runs, 7 hits, no walks, 6 Ks. I'll take that every single day. All of them. Medlen also went 20/27 first pitch strikes to hitters, getting ahead in the count, and then mowing them down over 102 pitches. AJ Burnett was cruising for 3 innings before he got crushed in the 4th and 5th innings, prompting an early exit and the loss. The strike zone was a particular issue for Burnett, who kept looking for an outside corner strike that Dan Iassogna wasn't ringing up as the ump. This argument kept building and building until eventually the Pirates catch, Russell Martin, said the magic word and got himself tossed from the game. Then, the Pirates manager got the heave-ho. AJ somehow stayed in the game after the 4th, but the Pirates probably would have been better off if he did get tossed, since he gave up 4 runs in the 5th inning on his way out the door.
The CPA picked up another win, moving to 29-18. Today it's Locke v. Minor in a young guns battle.
CPA Prediction Game 2: Braves 4 - Pirates 2
The Pirates as a lineup find themselves in a terrible week long slump at the plate, while the Braves are firing on all cylinders. The CPA likes the weekly numbers, and it likes that the lineup is hitting for a .900 OPS against Locke in limited ABs. Look for the Braves to work counts so they can smoke a few balls over the fences in order to rough up Locke, who will walk a few folks if you let him.