Normally when a player has a bobblehead night, they play well. BJ must not have received that memo, since he went 0-5 with 2 Ks, and he grounded into a double play. It might have gone better if he'd just been tossed early in the game for arguing balls and strikes. Then we'd have a pinch hitter in the game who could actually hit. The Braves had no reason to lose this game, except for the holes in their lineup. Somehow, with 13 hits, they couldn't push across more than 3 runs. I'm not even sure how you pull that off in a 9 inning game, but it happened. 5 guys (Pastornicky, Heyward, Freeman, Justin, and Laird) had multi-hit games. CJ had a single hit. Simmons and BJ came up snake-eyes. That added up to a 3-13 night with RISP, 0-4 from BJ and Simmons, 11 runners stranded.
Chris Johnson had 3 errors in a single game, and 2 on the same play. On a team which is supposed to be about pitching and defense with bang or bust hitting, the defense has been the most suspect. The Braves are now 20th in fielding the majors, 9th in the NL, and we are the worst fielding team that's leading a division. That has to improve, because we're making too many mind-numbingly-stupid errors. The Mets beat us in a 5 game series because we couldn't hit runners in, we committed an astonishing 7 errors, and we got outpitched in a double header. In a series where you expect to move up in the standings, the Braves lost ground. The worst part is that now they go on the road, where they are notoriously bad at hitting the ball, and to a park where they are 0-6 in the last 2 years.
Dan Uggla supposedly has vision problems. They apparently knew about this in spring training and did nothing about it. I guess sitting below the Mendoza line heading into July finally got somebody's rear in gear. Now Dan is getting his astigmatism checked out, and may or may not have new contacts for the series in Milwaukee. Part of me hopes it really makes a difference, part of me thinks that if it does make a difference I'll be pissed off he didn't try it sooner, and another part of me thinks he's so hopeless that they could replace his eyeballs with Ted Williams' and he'd still swing at pitches in the dirt.
Minor wasn't sharp in Game 5, and that was another problem. If you give up 3 homers in one game, the chances of a win spiral down into Hades. Mike gave up 9 hits, 4 runs, 6 Ks, and 2 walks. The bullpen came in for 3 innings and gave up nothing between Walden and Avilan. The Mets pitching staff started with Niese, who gave up 3 runs on 8 hits in 3.1 innings, but then the Mets bullpen came into the game after Niese got injured. The Mets bullpen had an ERA over 4.50 when they were forced to pitch 5+ innings against the Braves. Somehow it only gave up 5 hits and no runs. If you could see my confusion when typing out some of these stats, imagine a Labrador trying to do integral calculus. These are impossible numbers. Stupefying abnormalities. Frankly, that's Braves baseball this season, and it threatens to send us all screaming to the men in white coats.
Braves play in Milwaukee tonight. Series preview next.