That didn't really go the way I thought it would go. The Braves gave up the early lead, and then started hitting with RISP shockingly. After that they gave the lead back, and I thought we were in trouble. Then, Jason Heyward went deep to regain the lead, and I thought we had it in the bag. Then, Craig Kimbrel had to put runners at 1st and 3rd with no outs, and I thought we were toast. So many rollercoaster emotions on that 4-3 Braves win, but it was a win at the end of the day.
Heyward's late inning homer did more than just lift the Braves to a win, it gave Medlen the much needed decision in the W column that backs up his status as one of the better pitchers on the team. For too long I've heard talk that Medlen, one of the best ERA guys on the Braves, should be sent to the pen when Beachy comes back because "he's done it before." That argument is not only flawed, it's also a lie. People wanted him sent to the pen because he wasn't winning. Now that Medlen is starting to rack up the W's I think they'll have a harder time pushing him out the door on a hypothetical basis. Note, I don't believe it would ever happen because the Braves aren't that stupid, but it at least stops me having to hear about it from myopic fans on the radio and forums.
Who likes hitting? Granted 3-12 with RISP isn't an outstanding number, but with what we've normally had, I'll take it at this point. We're still falling woefully short of our opportunities at times, but the team as a whole has rallied in the latter half of the shortened road trip. Schafer continues his ho-hum awesomeness with a double and single including a stolen base, Heyward hit a double and the game winning homer, and everybody else in the lineup got a hit EXCEPT Brian McCann. Grand slam or not, he's still on my watch list. I like the fact he still has the power, but he's starting to worry me a bit with his lack of hits all this month. Over the last 7 days, Brian has only been 3/17 with the grand slam as his only RBIs, and he's fallen to .240 on the season.
Medlen made a huge mistake in the 5th inning with 2 outs by giving up a mammoth homer to Kosmer that tied the game at 3. Other than that, he danced around trouble pretty well. 7 innings, 7 hits, 3 runs, a walk, and 5 Ks. Not a bad line if your team is hitting the ball and the bullpen holds up. Both of those came true, except for Craig making everybody nervous in the 9th. I think he's bored. Maybe he needs to put 3 men on base to really have his closer juices start flowing. Either way, he gets the job done, and the Ks were huge in that win.
The CPA missed on its estimation of a Braves loss yesterday, so what does it have in store for the final game of the road trip?
CPA Prediction Game 2: Braves 5 - Brewers 2
The CPA likes Minor on the mound in this game against a Royals pitcher that struggles with his command at home. In a high WHIP v. low WHIP game, the advantage goes to the Braves lefty, and the extra batter in the lineup can't hurt our chances with the DH.