No matter what Chipper Jones and David O’Brien say, the current Braves manager is league average, at best. Today was not one of his better performances.
Don’t get me wrong, a baseball manager can win/lose you six to ten games a year. Their main job is to manage the bullpen and keep the clubhouse calm. I assume he also hires the coaching staff, or at least has a very strong say.
Today’s loss is 100% on the manager.
Aaron Harang was not sharp at all today. He gave up four hits and six walks through six. However, he managed to get out of a jam almost every inning. After six innings and a two run lead, it seemed like Harang was done.
It really looked like Harang was done when Gerald Laird doubled with two outs in the top of the seventh. For some reason Fredi decided he didn’t care about getting an insurance run and let Harang “hit.” He struck out and that was that.
In the bottom of the seventh, Harang gave up a solid single to the first batter and gave up a home run. So Fredi goes to the pen and brings in the worst player on the team. No not Dan Uggla. Luis Avilan, who promptly walked a guy. Then Fredi decided to bring in David Hale, who for some reason hasn’t pitched in a week. He gave up two monster shots and when the inning was over, Arizona had scored a touchdown and missed the PAT.
Don’t worry, it gets better.
With two out in the eighth, Freddie Freeman went downtown. Then Justin Upton walked and Chris Johnson singled. With the tying run coming up to the plate and Evan Gattis on the bench, Fredi let Tommy LaStella hit. LaStella actually had a great AB and drove in JUp. Then Andrelton Simmons walked to load the bases.
I can only assume Fredi sent Gattis to the airport to make sure the charter was ready, because Laird was sent to the plate with the winning run at second. I can only assume Ryan Doumit went with Gattis. THERE IS NO WAY GERALD LAIRD SHOULD BE HITTING WITH THE GAME ON THE LINE AND EVAN GATTIS IN ATTENDANCE!
Of course, Laird struck out, swinging at five pitches off the plate. Even Atlanta Braves Diplomat Brian Jordan questioned this on Braves Post Game LIVE.
Ramiro Pena hit one in the pool to lead off the ninth, but it was too little too late.
Evan Gattis has the charter ready and the Braves will fly to Colorado to face a guy making his big league debut. I hope his parents are there to watch. Maybe Gattis will get to bat. Who knows?