So this weekend has pretty quickly turned to crap.
Today’s game featured the biggest mismatch of the series in terms of pitching matchups – Paul Maholm v. Madison Bumgarner – and it basically played out exactly as one would assume: not well for the Braves.
In order for the Braves to have had a real chance, Maholm needed his best stuff today. He didn’t have it. He gave up a solo shot to Pablo Sandoval in the 1st, and another run off a Brandon Crawford double in the 4th. Yet that was all prelude for the 5th inning, when the Giants blew the game open. Maholm, with one out, surrendered a “triple” to Marco Scutaro – it really should have been a single and two-base error on Justin Upton, but scorekeeping in baseball is still stuck in the last century – hit Sandoval, served up a double to Buster Posey, and intentionally walked Hunter Pence to load the bases. Cory Gearrin then entered the game and promptly gave up a triple Grybo – to Gregor Blanco, of all people. That was all she wrote, though San Francisco added 4 more runs off the Braves’ rapidly-deteriorating bullpen in the 8th. I mean, why not?
On the other side of the ledger, Madison Bumgarner was dealing. With the exception of a lone 5th inning run, the San Francisco southpaw stifled the Braves’ attack with his nasty 4-pitch array. For the game, Bumgarner struck out 11 in 7 innings while walking 2 and surrendering only 4 hits. Of the offense’s woefulness, Dan Uggla stands out especially: the supposedly-revitalized second baseman reverted to form with a golden sombrero. Chris Johnson meanwhile earns an honorable mention with three strikeouts in three plate appearances. I’d say the honeymoon with that guy is over.
There isn’t much good to say after a game like today’s. I guess Evan Gattis had a pretty decent day? He got a couple hits and made no errors in LF. So that’s something. Otherwise, I’m stumped. Hopefully the Braves can manage a win tomorrow and escape this series with a split. I’m not holding my breath, though. They’ve been on the road since around the Nixon administration, and they look like it.