Tuesday, October 8, 2013

NLDS Game 4 Recap

Well, it's all over. The Braves couldn't get past the Dodgers, and that's how the season will come to a close. I said back when we were fighting for the home field that I didn't believe the Braves took it seriously enough, and that if they caught the Dodgers early it was a likely loss. Turns out that's true. I'm not sure knowing what we know now about the Pirates that it would have been any better, however. Frankly, this team wasn't the team we thought they would be coming into the season, either by injury or under-performance.

Brian McCann, Justin Upton, and Freddie Freeman were mostly marginalized in this series. BMac in particular didn't even get a hit all series. He's on the way out, and I think he may have mentally folded under the pressure of trying to put one more outing together. David Carpenter folded again by giving up big home runs, and the last one to Uribe was the coffin nail. Freddy Garcia kept the game together for as long as he could, but the Braves simply wouldn't capitalize. They stranded 8 runners in the game, and they only had seven hits compared to 12 Ks. Every "strikeouts don't matter" guy that was screaming that in the beginning of the season needs to bookmark this team, and then shut up. They matter. They may not be the difference in the regular season, but you CANNOT win with a strikeout heavy team in the playoffs against Ace pitching.

I'll do a season recap on Friday after I've had some time to let the wounds heal, and let the season digest a bit. However, I'm not ashamed of this team. I'm proud of these young guys taking it this far after all the problems they've faced, all the injuries they witnessed, and having about $30M hit under the Mendoza line all year. This was a team that had no right to win a division, and it did. It also has a huge upside going into the next year, although probably one catch lighter. In the meantime, let's take a few days, let the salves work their wonders on our broken sports hearts, and look toward the weekend.


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