Sorry for the late recap!
So here’s what happened last night: Jason Heyward came back and got two hits and a walk, both Paul Maholm and Eric O’Flaherty gave up a homer to Scott Van Slyke, and Justin Upton did this when the bases were juiced:
According to hittrackeronline.com, it went 454 feet.
Maholm is an okay pitcher who has pitched quite well in a Braves uniform. He’s fine as a #3/#4 starter; he usually tends to keep his teams in a position to win, which is what happened last night. Eric O’Flaherty has been worked awfully hard, and we’ll just have to hope that he isn’t broken like Jonny Venters is. Fortunately, Avilan was good and Craig Kimbrel was his nasty self. (For what it’s worth, according to Brooksbaseball.net, his four-seamer averaged 98 mph last night.)
Heyward’s 2-4 night raised his average to .145, while B.J. Upton’s 0-4 night lowered his average to .141. It’s going to be a long slog for Upton. We just have to hope it won’t be as long as it was for Carl Crawford, who suffered through two awful injury-plagued years in Boston before finally finding rejuvenation in a new city after his old team managed to dump his contract. But the only way that Upton will get out of this is by playing. We’ve heard that he’s working hard and has been seeking out the help of the coaches, so he’s approaching this with the right attitude. But he may have to stay in the 8th hole for a while.
However, Heyward’s night was great to see. He saw 24 pitches in five plate appearances, reaching base three times with a double, a single, and a walk. He had a nice, quick stroke on the double, and played his usual beautiful defense. A healthy Heyward makes this club so much better.
Beating the Dodgers is one of the great joys in life. Let’s go do it again.