The rest of the Mets series is in the books, and none too soon. The Mets are my least favorite team this season by far due to how much injury heartache they've caused us. I can't say I'm sorry to see them go. We get to enjoy the rare off day while we wait for the Phillies series next on the docket.
The 3-1 victory on Wednesday was one that you can chalk up to Turner Field magic for sure. The Braves were getting pretty much dominated by Carlos Torres for 6 innings, but for one guy. The White Bear, Evan Gattis refused to be leashed by Torres. He went 3/3 on the day and had an amazing game-tying homer in the 7th that got everyone out of their seats. Then, in that same inning, Simmons hit a 2 run bomb to take the lead for good. When the Braves couldn't get it done with RISP, they relied on pitching and the long ball to take care of business. Meanwhile, Kris Medlen only allowed 7 hits and one run in his 7 innings of work. The Braves as a team only went 0-1 with RISP, which is semi-hilarious that they only had one runner in scoring position all night, and they still won the game.
The game yesterday was a complete disaster, but that's to be expected when Fredi G decides to roll out the giveup lineup. Kevin Loe was your starter, and he's not an MLB talent in my mind. I can say that after watching him struggle now in 2 games with an ERA near 8.50 on the year, all against the Mets. The Mets aren't good. They shouldn't be able to rough you up for that many runs. In any case, Loe only 4.1 innings with 11 hits, 5 runs, and 3 walks. The Braves never recovered from that at the plate, even though they gave it a decent effort. The main problem? 0-9 with RISP. You can't do that in a game where you spot a team 5 runs and hope for the best. The good news is that Paul Janish had two hits, and Evan Gattis nabbed another hit. The bad news? Gattis or BJ should have been charged for an error when they both misplayed a ball in the OF that cost the Braves the 5th run. They didn't charge it, but that's probably home cooking. Gattis continues to look lost in the OF, but his bat is getting hotter.
The loss means the Braves are only 2 games up now on the Dodgers in the home field advantage race, and the magic number holds steady on the Nationals at 10 games. As you can tell, we could really care less about the division magic number, because it's inevitable at this point. The real test will be getting home field from the surging Dodgers, because that means we hold the #1 slot against the WC team that wins the one game playoff. That could be a big boost for us in a game where we hold one of the best homefield advantages in all the MLB.
Series preview on the Phillies weekend series tomorrow. We're down the stretch now, and football is about to kick into high gear. I plan on running recaps until we win the division, and then doing updates as the Braves finish off the season every few days. That's the plan right now, and we'll hopefully be NL East champs by next week at some point.