|Shave that thing, Folty. Do it now.|
The Braves finally won a series! And they've won two in a row. For those of you keeping score at home, that's called a "winning streak." Take note, because they are a rare and elusive bird when you are trying to rebuild your franchise.
Game 1 Alex Wood just pitched really poorly. I seriously blame his outings on the fact that Alex is trying way too hard to place his fastball, and he's overthinking. At some point, you just need to throw the pitch and trust your stuff. Alex gets off kilter and suddenly starts trying to fine-tune everything. If you play golf, it's like trying to aim your shot. Everything just goes wrong when you don't trust your swing, or your pitch. You should see what happens to my golf game when I don't trust my swing. I'll hail somebody's roof with golf balls. That being said, he got dinged 3 times in the first inning with two outs, and the rest of the game might as well have not happened at that point. It was over. Braves lost 5-2.
Game 2 Shelby Miller did the exact opposite of Wood. Everything Miller threw was working. Shelby ended up throwing the first complete game shutout of the season in less than 100 pitches. He was efficient, dynamic, immaculate. I give it a 10, A EFFING 10! Braves offense wasn't too shabby either. Kelly Johnson in an attempt to shrug off Old Father Time continues to hit well. In fact, Kelly had 4 RBIs on 2 hits and a homer in this game. Freddie Freeman went yard as well on a 3/4 night. It was all coming up roses in this 9-0 drubbing off the Phillies.
Game 3 was Mike Foltynewicz's second start, and he pitched well. My main complaint about Folty is the ridiculous molester looking mustache he's rocking right now. Seriously, that thing is heinous, and the fact he's blonde makes it look even more ridiculous. However, despite Folty's mustache and his struggles in this game, he got the kind of powerful offensive support that only Andrelton Simmons can provide. I complained on Twitter that I didn't like Simba hitting in the 2-hole because he grounds into double plays a ton. This opinion is not unfounded, as Simmons does actually lead the majors in grounding into double plays. However, on this particular evening, he decided to cram that opinion right down my loud pie-hole. Simmons went 3/4 with a homer and RBI, and Freddie Freeman followed him with another 3/4 day and 3 RBIs. The Braves would go on to win 7-5, and Folty would get dinged for 4 earned runs, although two of those came after he exited the game courtesy of the crappy bullpen.
Three Things I liked:
1 - Freddie Freeman being all see-ball-hit-ball: Freddie went 7/12 with 6 RBIs in this series. He can hit, folks. He just might make it in this league yet.
2 - Shelby Miller getting a complete game: We absolutely needed that as a team, because the bullpen is a disaster right now. We've been calling for longer outings by the starters, and Miller finally delivered.
3 - Simba's hitting the ball: He's not falling all over creation, he's not letting homers unbalance him, and he's not giving in on his approach. In fact, I heard on the radio today that Fredi G said it's the longest he's ever seen Simba stick with an approach at the plate. Which is frankly terrifying. What the Hell were our coaches doing with him before?
MVP of the series has to be Shelby Miller. The first complete game shutout of the year with less than 100 pitches? That's straight balling, son. He earned it. Now use that power to make Folty shave that thing.
Next up, the Braves face the Nationals in Washington. Take those hot sticks up to DC and pound in some more runs!