If you're like me, and many of you are when it comes to your Braves fandom, you're seriously wondering if AJ Pierzynski can see the baseball. Because if he can see, then I wonder how in the hell he missed the ball blatantly that cost us yet another game against the Nationals on a play at the plate. Freddie Freeman made a strike throw to home that would have ended the inning, but AJ missed it on the fly. Not a bounce, not a carom, not some weird hop. It was flying through the air. I've never seen anything like it. The only thing I can compare it to is that Vine on Twitter where one guy is tossing his dog to his friend in the ocean, and the dog just goes right past him into the drink. It was like that, with baseballs.
I'll be honest, if this is the kind of baseball we have to look forward to defensively for the rest of the year, 1 - I'm going to be all too correct about how bad our defense is in my Bold Predictions, and 2 - Most of you will find better things to do with your time this summer. Like binge drinking or macramé.
So what do I take away from this game? Well, on the positive side I really like what Ender Inciarte is doing out there. He made a spectacular diving catch on a ball hit into the gap with Bryce Harper on first, and then had the presence of mind to pop up and throw a strike to first base for the double play. It as easily the play of the game and had several Braves fans swooning. But it didn't stop there. He ran down several more great catches in center and had me thinking of the old adage, "Two-thirds of the world is covered by water, the rest is covered by Ender Inciarte."
The bad? I'm not sure what we're going to do with AJ if he continues to play like this. He's not hitting especially well yet, although he did knock in the only run of the game. But right on that same play he ran himself out at second trying to advance on a base running mistake. Couple that with the other Braves players like Adonis Garcia and Jace Peterson running themselves out at second, and I was demanding we hold a base running seminar for dummies. As in, HEY DUMMY, stop running at first when it's an obvious single. Don't try to stretch out doubles if it's not there. Oh, and if the guy boots the ball, be fast enough to make it to second or don't try. All good pointers.
Also, Gordon Beckham doesn't deserve to be on this team. I have no idea what he's providing so far except for bad defense and no hitting. I can do that. You can do that. I'm going to mark that signing as a failure and hope they use the time to bring up Dansby Swanson so he can get some time on the roster. Because that's the point of this season: getting the younger guys time at the MLB level before we open the new park. Let's do that instead of pretending we're competing for anything.
Braves lost 3-1, and AJ is public enemy #1 until he gets his act together.