What a bizarre game. The Braves established an early lead with a sacrifice fly by BJ to score Freddie Freeman, who doubled to lead off the 2nd inning. In the bottom half, the Marlins immediately took the lead back with a 3 run homer that clanged off the right field foul pole. Then in the next inning, the Braves knocked in two more runs to tie the game, thanks to Brian McCann and Justin Upton. After that, the Marlins knocked in another run to take the lead 4-3 in the bottom half of the 3rd. Then, the Braves tied it at 4-4 in the 5th, took the lead in the 6th, and pushed over some insurance in the 7th. It was a back and forth tug of war in the first half, followed by slow and steady hitting in the later innings.
Meanwhile, the Marlins committed more horrible errors, including a tailor-made double play ball that went right through the shortstop's legs, and the pitcher Alvarez tossing a ball into right field that scored a Braves run. Alvarez had a bad game, and the Braves made him pay several times for missing his spots. He went 6 innings with 8 hits, 5 runs, 4 earned, and 4 walks. On the flipside, Julio Teheran went 7.1 innings with only 7 hits, 4 runs, 1 earned, and 2 walks. A lot of the Marlins runs came on the error by Chris Johnson which lead to the 3 run homer by the fish. It wasn't a great day in the field for either team.
The bats were alive and well if you were an Upton. Justin went 3/5 with 2 doubles and a homer, 3 runs, and 2 RBIs. BJ went 2/3 with a run and an RBI off a sacrifice. A combined 5/8 for the Upton brothers? That's what we all signed up for. With 11 hits and 6 walks, every Braves player got on base, and only Simmons didn't get on base at least twice in the game. Even Julio Teheran got a hit in the game. The Braves didn't do well with RISP, only 2-10, but they did do well in a category that makes up for it. That would be sacrifice flies. Both BJ and McCann hit sacrifices in key situations early in the first 3 innings, and those 2 runs made the difference between winning and losing this game. If you can't get a hit with a runner on, at the very least you can be productive and win games.
The CPA correctly predicted a Braves win last night. Will it predict the sweep?
CPA Prediction Game 3: Marlins 4 - Braves 1
The CPA doesn't like when the Braves face young pitchers, especially when those pitchers hold an ERA in the 2s. The trend seems to be the Braves struggle to hit, and Maholm has struggled to give up less than 4 runs in his last 4 outings. However, if the Braves can keep the game close, a late long ball might be the ticket to victory.