Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Game 1: Braves v. Nationals 4/11/16

As long as the losing streak continues from this point, I'm going to put it in perspective. So here's what happened last year in regards to losing streaks. The Braves lost 6+ games 3 times last season. They lost 7+ games twice. The longest losing streak in 2015 was 12 games, so we're not there yet. Still, HALFWAY HOME!

Last night was a carbon copy of the other Nats games we played at the TED. Braves start out hitting and get a lead. Braves immediately give lead back. Braves get lead again, but get it tied up heading to the late innings. Then Braves lose the lead late and lose the game. Set your washer to the cold cycle for like colors and repeat as needed.

Three things stood out to me from last night:

First, Mallex Smith is still impressive. So impressive that he managed to get on base, and score one of the early runs on a Markakis double, making it from first. He's fast, he's lithe, and he sort of reminds me of a young Otis Nixon before the chemically induced unpleasantness. He's also so fast he ran out from under his own helmet trying to steal second, and subsequently busted his face open like he was a prize fighter. Blood was everywhere. Luckily a couple of stitches and a helmet that actually fits should solve the problem.

Second, Markakis and Garcia can hit. That's a good thing because when Freddie Freeman finally wakes up this lineup will have some formidable sticks in it. If we keep Mallex at the top, then Markakis, Freeman, and Garcia? That's a 1-4 that will produce night after night. Which is what the Braves will really need if their pitching continues to look like a crack in the Holland Dyke.

Third, I would gladly put $10 in the collection plate, and so would every other Braves fan if we could get some bullpen pitchers that don't walk people. Seriously, the walks are murdering any chance we have to win games. It's the worst part of what the Braves pitching staff does, because so often they come back to haunt us, along with errors. With 5 walks and an error, you gave up at least 6 free bases to the Nats, and that's at best 1 run minimum. More likely 2 runs in most cases. And we simply can't have that.

Even though we lost, I'm more optimistic about the team than I was before, simply because I can feel the offense starting to gel a little. Not a lot, because that will take Freddie getting in the game, and right now he's hitting .111 on the season. Which...I mean we'd have already strung up Dan Uggla by now for that. So hopefully he turns the corner soon.


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