The Braves have won 4 in a row and they are the hottest team in baseball. Let that soak in for a minute. Rub it all over yourself like some SPF 20, because it's sunny out there and you need to protect that skin. Feel good? It feels good doesn't it? Did we really start 0-9 at the beginning of the season? I can't remember, brah. I'm just out here on Kicking Butt and Taking Names Island soaking up the rays.
Ok that analogy got weird. Anyway, the Braves had a spectacular hitting day yesterday on their way to 8 runs. The two heroes were Jeff Francoeur with his 2 hits, 2 RBIs, and 2 runs scored, and also Tyler Flowers with 4 hits, 3 RBIs, and a run. Basically, those two guys were more than half of the Braves offense that night, which was a huge deal against Alex Wood.
The repercussions of such an outpouring of hits may fall more on Flowers than Frenchy. With AJ Pierzynski old and missing balls at the plate, not to mention having issues throwing out a single runner that's tried to steal this season, if Tyler Flowers can provide a solid stick at the plate he will get the starting nod. And that's a huge benefit for the Braves because they need a productive catcher that can call a good game for this young staff. I question if AJ has lost that ability, leaving the door wide open for Flowers.
The other big story was Williams Perez and Ryan Weber combining for 7 innings of 1-run baseball in their split start. Julio came down with the flu so Perez and Weber were each going to take around 3 innings for a "combined" start. Somewhere Cy Young is rolling over in his grave. I grew up in an era where Nolan Ryan would pitch 9 innings and then punch guys in the face. Now we can't even rely on a guy who is supposed to be a starter pitching 5 innings. It's ridiculous. Alex Wood got so roughed up he didn't make it past the 4th inning, and while I don't wish him bad luck overall I'm glad we got to him inside the TED. Braves hitters were 5-12 with RISP which is almost always going to be a winning combination.
Although I will get on Williams Perez because although he didn't get dinged up on the stat-sheet, if you watched the game you were NEVER comfortable with him pitching. His pitches are meatballs that tail back to the high middle part of the plate, begging to be crushed into next week. I'm shocked the Dodgers didn't make him pay. When the game was 2-0 Braves, I'm pretty sure it was Howie Kendrick that blasted a shot to right field (UPDATE: And one of my Twitter followers @d8braves tells me it was Corey Seager so I'm a dumb dumb), and if the wind didn't blow it slightly foul the game was going to be tied. Several warning track shots happened as well, but Perez never gave up a run. That won't last. I want to see less of Perez and more of the younger guys in AAA who are lighting it up right now.
Braves win 8-1, and win their 4th in a row. Julio Teheran goes tonight.