Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Holiday Weekend Recap: Braves and Marlins at Fort Bragg

OK so I was at the lake all weekend, and like many of you out there in your parts of the South I was ridiculously hot all day. Man. It was brutal on the field too, as I saw temps were around 110 degrees on the Turner Field grass. That's absurd for Georgia baseball in early July. But you know what they say? A hot dry summer usually means a very cold snowy winter. So look out for snowpocalypse 2016 this year.

I have to be honest about playing the Marlins in this series, for the most part is was incredibly boring. The best game was the first one, which saw the Braves rally back from 3-0 early, only to win on a 4-run flurry in the 6th. Tyler Flowers was the hero of that game as he had not one, not two, but THREE doubles. Freddie Freeman had a triple, Snyder had a triple, Chase had a double, and the Braves team had 19 chances with RISP. They cashed in 6, which was enough for 8 runs, but they easily could have scored 12+ if they were on point. The rest of the games were noncompetitive blowouts for the most part, with the Braves splitting the series wins 2-2.

The pitching was mediocre to bad all weekend. Folty was meh in game one giving up 3 runs in 3 innings. He was coming off injury so I get it, but with all these injuries he needs to get back to long-form in a hurry. Julio Teheran got smoked for 5 runs in 7 innings in game 2, and Wisler gave up 3 runs in 6 innings at Fort Bragg which was a QS in only the statistical sense. The best pitching performance of the weekend was in Game 3, by a guy named Lucas Harrell. Lucas went for 6 innings and only 1 run in his first Braves start of his career. Not too shabby for the journeyman AAA/MLB player with only 63 starts in the show at age 31. He might be a good fill-in since we traded Bud Norris last week to the Dodgers.

The hitting was very up and down in the 4 games. Braves scored 8, 5, 9, and 2 runs respectively, of course looking their worst offensively on national TV at Fort Bragg. I quipped that if the Braves played every game on National TV, we'd probably go 10-152. We just never seem to look good under the bright lights, which is probably why the nation takes such a dim view of Atlanta sports. Every time they are exposed to the product, it sucks.

Still, the highlight of the Fort Bragg game was the location and the service men and women who got to attend with their families. That's a very cool outreach event for the MLB to do after getting stung a year earlier with taking large payments from the DoD to do sponsored hometown hero events. I think they should continue the tradition at a new fort every year on the July 4th weekend, and give other teams a chance to play in front of our military.

Currently we're playing the Phillies, although I didn't get to do a preview since I was on holiday. Needless to say we got crushed in game one, but I expect a bounceback in game 2 with Folty on the mound. We certainly don't need to be losing any series for Philadelphia.


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