We won? WE WON! WE WON A HOME GAME! Finally we have two wins inside Turner Field and we can put to bed the curse that held us in check inside our "friendly" confines. And of course, I missed the whole thing when it was live. I was on a date, and it was going well, so I came home in time to see the Braves close out the final inning. Then I watched the replay.
Williams Perez looked good. I'm floored. He shouldn't be functional since we traded away Chacin to the Angels, forcing him to fly in from Rochester, NY where he was with the Gwinnett team, in order to make the key start. Maybe we should fly him in on short time for every start, because that obviously worked.
My rules for Braves success are simple, but I'll add on one more. The first two are that Freddie Freeman has to be productive (check, he had a homer, 3 hits, and 2 runs scored), and the bullpen has to be good (check, they only needed Vizzy in the 9th to shut it down). I'll add another rule. If the Braves get a quality start from the starter (3 runs or less in 6 IP), then we will win 95% of the games when we get all three of those things. And we got all of that last night.
Perez really didn't look like the Perez I've seen before. He was economical with his pitches, throwing strikes, pitching to contact, and had only 4 Ks with no walks. His control looked good, and the Phillies couldn't really do anything with what he threw. In fact, they only had two total hits off him for one run. Granted, one of them was a Ryan Howard homer because we can't have a series against Atlanta where Ryan Howard DOESN'T homer (geez). But the rest of the time he was straight dealing (and getting lucky, let's be fair), not allowing another player to touch second base.
It shouldn't shock anybody that the pitching for the Braves, especially the starting pitching, is coming together as the season rolls on. The more young studs we bring up, the more confidence I have in this team's ability to compete and win. That's why the early rebuild is so frustrating, because we're waiting on guys like Aybar, Frenchy, Kelly, Beckham, AJ, etc. to get out of the way for the younger talent. But, that's not the way the front office operates, and in the meantime we're waiting on both service time restrictions and AAA seasoning.
Aybar continued his streak of having meaningless hits late in games, as he plated an RBI in the 8th when the team was already up 4-1. Good job Aybar. Please continue to boost your fake stats so we can get you above the Mendoza line and pretend you have some sort of trade value to a dumb West coast team. Hi Padres and Arizona, I totally don't mean you guys, yall are smart as whips! Because you shouldn't still be playing over a guy like Castro, or Albies, or Dansby. Give me somebody young that really wants to compete at that SS position. #NomoreAybar
Kelly Johnson was the other hero of the game with 2 hits, and his first RBI was the first score of the game giving the Braves the lead. Kelly is quietly putting together a great month going 6-17 hitting (.353) with 2 doubles, 2 runs, and an RBI. He's doing all that while playing a platoon bench role, which is impressive. Personally, of all the guys that are old vets in the way, he's the one I'd keep. The rest of them can get traded, or do community service on the highway for all I care. I want to see the AAA guys. Did I mention that. I think I did.
Braves win 5-1, that's the 2nd win in Turner Field this year.