Saturday, April 9, 2016

Braves & Cardinals Game 1 Reflections 4/8/16

There's a scene in the movie Major League where a fan approaches a young Ricky Vaughn, asking for his autograph. Rick is surprised, given how badly he just played, but he agrees to sign for the guy saying that nobody has asked for his autograph before. The fan says thanks, and then remarks about the terrible record he just set saying, "You made their Hall of Shame! Thanks man."

That was the Braves last night. We set an MLB record by allowing 3 pinch hitters for the Cardinals to hit 3 homers in the same game. Now, it's not often I can say that the Braves are finding RECORD SETTING ways to lose, but here we are.

So what's the upside for a team that's 0-3 and gave away leads in all three games? Well, if we focus on the fact that the Braves did in fact score 4 runs in the game, and they had a lead in all of the games, that should give any fan pause. Because a lot of the more ridiculous fans are already jumping to the "we're going to lose 100 games" narrative. I doubt that for a lot of reasons, mainly because 100 loss teams don't score and don't get leads. Blowing leads is something that will improve over time in my mind. Never having leads at all doesn't.

What's the downside? It's freaking hard to watch your team take a lead and then wonder if it will hold up every single night. Well guess what, buttercup? You better grab some Icy-Hot for that soreness because this kind of butthurt is going to exist all year. This team isn't good enough to win consistently yet, but it is good enough to give you the kind of hope that it might win night-to-night. And that can honestly be more frustrating than just sucking outright.

To make matters worse, Ender Inciarte pulled a hamstring on the first AB of the game, and I don't know when he's coming back. If it's minor, he'll be fine. If not, a bad hammy can take weeks. And that would be a shame for a guy like Ender who is on the short list of Braves players that are fun to watch.

I also know Freddie Freeman is dealing with some kind of illness, which apparently has infected his bat as well because he's hitting .100 on season. While I have no illusions that Freddie will hit sub-.200 this year long term, it also couldn't have come at a worse time when the team is desperate for some positive offensive news.

But on the positive side, there were no errors in this game in the field. Just errors on the pitching staff by serving up gopher balls. I liked Tyler Flowers in the game over AJ because he had a hit, an RBI, and he called a decent game for Wisler who really only struggled in one inning for his 6.2 IP start. Could he be better? Absolutely, and I think he will. However, it was a decent starting point for Wisler who got a no-decision on the night because it was 4-4 when he left the game.

Braves lost 7-4, they play again tonight with Teheran on the mound.

GO BRAVES!

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