The Braves took an early lead last night 2-0, but couldn't hold on down the stretch as the Dodgers caught up and passed them thanks to the long ball. How many long balls? Try four solo shots that gave the Dodgers the 4-2 win. If the Braves could just have kept them in the ballpark they would have been fine. And yet, here we are.
I've isolated one major problem with Julio, even when he's on his game, and he's on his game right now. It's probably the problem you've noticed too. Take a guess? Yep, that's right, it's the home runs. Just check out Julio's HR/9 rate, and it's about 1.2 this year. That means in a 9 inning period, he's giving up an average of 1.2 homers. That's basically a homer per start, and that's pretty bad compared to other pitchers. Right now Julio's given up 10 homers, which ties him for 23rd most in the league with qualified pitchers. Yikes.
That being said, the Braves can't just score 2 runs in the first two innings and then take their foot off the gas. That's hardly ever going to work with this pitching staff, and certainly not against the better opponents in the NL. Atlanta only managed 7 hits in the game, and their RISP rate of 3-7 was pretty good for the game. But we need three things to win. The starters has to have a quality start (Julio ALMOST did with 5.2 innings and 3 earned runs), the bullpen has to do well (they gave up a homer late), and Freddie Freeman has to hit well (we was 0-2 with 2 walks and a run). It just wasn't enough. Not terrible, but not totally what we needed.
The most frustrating part? The Dodgers only had 5 hits. And 4 of them were homers. Any other day, I think if you hold a team to 5 hits, you've got a chance to win. But 80% of your hits can't be homers. That's like, impossible man. How did they even do that? I went to sleep after Julio gave up the first one because I just figured it wasn't going to be a no-hitter (which he had to the 4th inning) and I had to move the next day. I'm actually typing this as the movers get stuff out of the house. Georgia Pack and Load, folks. They do it all, boxed it all up, and sent it to storage for me. I touched nothing after I picked up the trash and personal papers I had around the house. So they get a small plug here. And they sponsor stuff on 680 the Fan if you're a listener like I am.
Okay, so tonight is Kershaw and...yeah it's Bud Norris. I'll likely watch 2 innings to see how much blood gets spilled and call it a night again. I hate west coast start times. I have church and stuff.