Thursday, May 26, 2016

Game 1-2: Braves v. Brewers May 24-25, 2016

I missed the recap yesterday because I got sidetracked with work and the NFL Demands for the Super Bowl. If you missed that, just catch my Twitter thread @BentheCPA and you can fill in the gaps on all the ridiculous stuff it takes to get a Super Bowl in your town. HINT: the NFL isn't going to pay for anything, including fire and police, and that's just the tip of iceberg.

Anyway, speaking of ridiculous, that's what the Braves home record is right now. 2-19 at home after these two fiascos against a Brewers team that had lost 3 games in a row coming into town. They can burn Turner Field down for all I care. The place has brought nothing but misery since it was built. It's not an accident in my mind that we stopped winning World Series the year it was erected, and it's horrible spectre has dominated the Braves with unchecked misery in the playoffs (or just regular season collapses) since it was converted from the Olympics. Move to Cobb now. Beat the rush.

Why have the Braves lost 2 games in a row against the Brewers? In a word: RISP. The Braves scored 1 run for Julio Teheran in game one, and Julio was outstanding but gave up a handing slider dinger of his own. The bullpen sealed the deal by giving up a second run late in the game. But none of that should matter when the Brewers only scored 2 runs total. The Braves SHOULD be able to overcome that at home. Most teams can overcome that at home. Not when you go 1-7 with RISP though, and your best hitters: Freeman and Markakis go 0-6 with 2 walks.

Freddie and Nick are mired in a terrible slump in May. Nick is hitting .160 on the month with a .496 OPS. That's impossible given how he's played in April at .302 average and a .836 OPS. Freddie in the last two weeks can't find his butt with both hands. In his last 10 games he's hitting .190 (8-44) with just 2 doubles, 2 homers, and 2 walks. Without the two homers coming in one game, he's a complete trainwreck again. Which is troubling because he started the season horribly, picked it up in late April and the beginning of May, and now he's falling apart again. Hitters are streaky, but this is VERY streaky for a guy like Freeman who is normally a gale-force with RISP, but this year is barely a stiff breeze.

Game 2 was even worse with RISP, as the Braves went 0-9 with RISP, and Freddie Freeman and Nick Markakis were 0-6. That's unreal. Your two best hitters cannot be that bad with runners on base. Seriously, it's like they both decided it was time to go in the tank in concert, and now the offense is in free-fall. Markakis and Freeman were 0-12 in that game. They are 0-18 in this series. I'm agog.

If Freddie and Nick can't get it going, I have bad news for you. We're screwed in the interim. There's nobody else on this team that can consistently hit, and the Braves are insistent on playing a guy like Aybar that can't produce. They need to turn up the intensity quickly, or it doesn't matter how well we pitch.


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