The Braves won the game in extra innings 4-1 on the force of a CJ homer, but it came at a terrible cost. Jason Heyward was struck in the face by a fastball from Niese, and that broke his jaw in 2 places, forcing him to have surgery today to repair the damage. The surgery went fine, but the recovery time for the injury is between 4-6 weeks, during which Jason will likely lose some weight and strength due to the lack of solid foods. Who is to say we get back the same Heyward we saw dominate the top of the order when he is able to swing the bat again? That's going to be right in the heart of the playoffs if it goes 6 weeks, so it's safe to say that this might put Jason out of the lineup for the rest of the regular season, if not more.
The game itself almost seems to have no real meaning knowing we've lost our leadoff hitter for a long time, but I'll do my best to put a bow on the 2 game series split with the Mets. Simmons had 3 hits, Freddie had 3 hits, and CJ had the 3 run homer in the 10th to win the game. Everyone else pretty much didn't show up at the plate, especially BJ and Paul Janish at the back end of the order. With those two on the field at the same time, I feel like our 7-8-9 hitters are just a complete waste at the plate. That's not a combination I would want to see often.
Wood was actually very good going 6 innings with only 1 run on 6 hits, and the one run was a mistake homer that he gave up in the 4th. The bullpen was really solid with 4 innings of shutout work on only 2 hits. Craig came into the game in the bottom half of the 10th to get his 40th save, and Avilan was the beneficiary of the win. Niese for the Mets went 7 innings of only one run work, but his bullpen couldn't hold off the Braves in the latter innings. They gave up 4 hits and 3 runs in 3 innings, and that was the difference in the game.
Again, all this sort of lacks luster when you take into account all the late injuries the Braves are facing. Hudson, Reed, Jason, Uggla, Pena, and Pastornicky are all currently on the DL, and only half of them are going to come off by the end of the season. We really need the September callups to roll around so we can fill in some gaps in our pinch hitting, as well as our fielding. In the meantime, it's never been more important to have a big lead in the division. We can weather this storm, although it may have a large effect on our chase for home field advantage.
Next up, the Cardinals series preview. Let's take 2 of those 4 and come back home to sort out this lineup.