The Braves have a .500 record now under Brian Snitker because they won the game last night. I'm clinging to that 1-1 record because I don't want to look at the mess that happened under Fredi Gonzalez when this season started. Julio was great as he pitched 7.2 innings of shutout ball, and then Vizzy came in to get the two inning save by getting McCutchen out in the 8th, and then knocking out the Pirates in the 9th despite a solo homer by Kang.
What made this game different? Well for starters, the offense actually scored some runs. That's rare in a Julio Teheran start, since he usually gets jack for support. But in this case you had a homer by Tyler Flowers, an RBI by Freddie Freeman, and an RBI double by Gordon Beckham. My three keys to victory played out in this game: Freddie Freeman was productive with a hit and an RBI, the starting pitcher Julio had a quality start, and the bullpen was good by shutting down any rallies. Get those three things, and the Braves will win almost every time.
Now for the things that drive me crazy. Aybar started again and went 0-4 on the night. He's batting .174 and has gone 0-9 against the Pirates in this series. He's hitting .111 in the past week. He's hitting .141 in all of his road games. Frankly, I wouldn't even let him get on the plane to play on the road. I'm shocked he's still with the team at all, because it's obvious he provides ZERO value over a guy like Castro, Kelly Johnson, or Beckham playing up the middle. And yet, somebody is starting him over these other guys. I have no idea if it's the front office or not, but if it is they have made the completely wrong assessment. It's time to cut bail with Aybar. DFA him and eat the $6M worth of salary that the Braves are on the hook for. You're getting nothing out of watching him flounder out there and he has NEGATIVE trade value.
Braves won 3-1 despite Aybar. I'm a happier person because of that.