Is this real life? Are the Braves really scoring an average of almost 10 runs a game in this series? What is going on? Well, the answer is that they are taking advantage of opportunities they were constantly missing earlier in the season. Strikeouts are down, RISP numbers are up, and hits are coming from all positions in the lineup. I know what you're thinking, "Wow this coincides really nicely with Dan Uggla not being a complete failboat and BJ being on the DL." Congrats, you've located a large reason these rallies keep going through the lineup. With those two guys not acting as rallykillers, the Braves are free to wallow in buckets of runs. To quote a famous 7th inning stretch song, "I don't care if BJ ever gets back."
By the time the Braves finished the 3rd inning, the game was over. The Braves didn't like 6 run innings, so they decided to go one better and make it 7. Here's a recap of the 3rd. Heyward walks, Justin singles, Freddie singles scoring Jason, Gattis singles scoring Justin, BMac homers scoring everybody, CJ singles, Dan decides to be different and strikes out, Simmons doubles, Minor singles to score CJ, Heyward sacrifices to score Simmons, Justin strikes out to end the inning. I don't get tired of doing that. I wish I could do it every recap so I can detail how we batted around the order. That's awesome.
How about some individual numbers? Freddie went 4/4 with 2 RBIs, and 2 runs. Justin went 3/5 with a run. Heyward somehow got on base 3 times without the benefit of a hit and only one walk. Gattis, Simmons, and CJ all had 2 hits a piece. The Braves as a whole went for 9 runs on 15 hit with 2 walks. What was that RISP number? Oh, it was 7-17 that's all. Amazing. Simply amazing. We're not just winning these games, we're running the opposition off the field in the first 4 innings. Lost in most of this was the fact that Mike Minor had an absolute gem of a game going. He managed to go 7 innings with no runs and only 2 hits. TWO HITS? If it wasn't for the fact the Braves put a 9-spot on the scoreboard, we'd have been absolute lavishing Minor with praise. As it stands he just faded into the background with his dominant stuff.
Some other things to note: McCann now has his 15th homer on the season, Chris Johnson's average is now .342, and Freddie Freeman now has 71 RBIs on the season. If that seems like a lot of RBIs, that's because it's 5th in the NL. So yeah, it's a lot. Also, CJ is leading in batting average in the NL by 12 points. So that's awesome too. Man, it's an embarrassment of riches around this place. I'm almost giddy with excitement.
The CPA was deeeeeeead wrong about the game last night. What does it think today?
CPA Prediction Game 4: Braves 6 - Rockies 2
Why not? We can't have 10 runs every night, but the Braves are firing on all cylindars right now. No reason for them to cool off until the Rockies leave town.