Losing stinks. Losing by 11 stinks, and losing by 1 stinks. But losing the way the Braves lost last night was the kind of kick in the balls that's only reserved for Draymond Green. That's an NBA Finals joke, look it up. Anyway, the Braves lost the game yesterday by a score of 9-8, and it happened because Vizcaino walked in the losing run with the bases loaded. It was bad in a way that only the Braves can be this year, setting new lows as we trundle along on this magical misery tour.
On the offensive side there were several positives, so I'll start there. Freddie Freeman went 3/5 with 3 RBIs and a homer. Adonis Garcia went 2/5 with 2 RBIs, a double, and a homer. Even Eric Aybar had a double in the game and an RBI. Mallex Smith had a hit, 2 walks, and 2 runs scored, PLUS 2 stolen bases. There was so much good offensive baseball here that surely the Braves could have pulled out of victory on even a mediocre pitching night.
We didn't get mediocre, we got dreadful. As I said on Twitter last night, I've campaigned over and over again how Aaron Blair needs to learn at the highest level and take his lumps as he goes along. But this was the Reds, the absolute worst road team in baseball, and he got lit up for 6 earned in 5 innings. I don't really think there's anything more he can learn here right now if he's getting demolished by Cincinnati. The only team worse to get demolished by is frankly...THE BRAVES, and he can't pitch against himself. So I think he has to go down to AAA and sort out his mechanics before he gets a second chance up here in August or September.
And the hilarious thing is the Braves STILL could have won this game if the bullpen didn't implode. Ryan Weber screwed up the 6th inning with a walk, 3 hits, and 2 earned runs making it 8-7 Reds. But it STILL wasn't over as the Braves tied the game 8-8 going to the 9th inning, and probably could have taken the lead if they didn't screw up a bases loaded situation. That's when Vizzy came out there to close things out, and instead melted down in front of our eyes. THREE walks were the difference.
I can forgive almost anything out of my young pitchers, but I can't forgive losing games on walks. Vizzy has been great this year so he gets the benefit of the doubt, but dammit you can't have that kind of thing happen late in games and expect to win long term. Lock it up with the walks, Braves. You're driving your fans crazy.