Bud Norris isn't long for this team. Not that we thought he was going to be an answer anyway coming off spring training, but his home run totals are killing any chance the Braves have to win games when he starts. This particular game was decided early by a Curtis Grandson grand slam in the second inning, and the Braves never recovered. That's all on Norris not being able to put his pitches where he wants, and that lack of control and movement means (like Williams Perez) that the balls get crushed into the stratosphere.
Once again a Braves starter didn't make it past the 5th inning. If you look at the games we've played and lost so far, that lack of innings is being a major issue because it's burning down an already struggling bullpen. The Braves had to bring up Casey Kelly from AAA to eat innings in his debut, and he did an admirable job of 3 innings with only 1 run conceded. Grilli and EOF filled out the gaps with the bullpen taking 5 innings of 1 run ball, while the starter only took 4 with 4 runs. The Braves can't live like that all season, or we'll need to carry a pitching staff of 15 guys (which isn't realistic).
Adonis Garcia and AJ Pierzynski both had 3 hits each last night, reminding us all why they still have jobs on this team, because they are both defensive nightmares right now. At what point does a guy's defensive liability outplay his offensive statistics? We're going to find out this year, because I don't have a good answer to that question. Maybe never with this ragtag group of misfits! At the very least neither one of them committed an error in this game. However, Norris had a throwing error, so the Braves didn't escape defensively either.
The Freddie Freeman watch continues. He went 1-5 in this game with a single, no runs or RBIs. He's about as big a non-factor in this lineup as he's ever been in his career while playing. I joked last night on Twitter that Freddie is wandering in the woods, eating bugs, drinking rainwater, and looking for his swing. And God-willing he'll find it soon because I'm going to hammer my Braves winning mantra over and over again. Freddie has to produce and the bullpen has to lock it up. If it's 50-50, which it was yesterday, you better hope the starter was good. He wasn't.
Tonight we get the best chance to win against the Mets in my mind with Chacin on the mound. The Braves need to take the second game because otherwise it's deGrom on Sunday against a TBD (likely Aaron Blair from AAA) and that's not a big advantage for us.
Braves lost 6-3, they've dropped 3 in a row now.