Last night I brushed off a one-run loss. I said it is what it is, that tight losses just happen sometimes, that there was still a chance to win the series, all that good stuff.
I’m having a tougher time tonight. Once again the Braves took the lead in the first inning, once again the starting pitcher failed to establish a rhythm or go deep in the game, and once again the Braves lost a seesaw by one run. The final score was 7-6 tonight, but the bigger picture is that it was another very winnable game that got away.
The Braves are now 1-5 on this road trip and are 3-8 in this 12-game stretch against the Yankees, Giants, Dodgers and Rockies. The losses this week have all been tight and none of the issues look irredeemable, but losses are still losses and they hurt even more this time of year.
Here’s hoping they can salvage a split tomorrow.
- They’ve scored in the first inning in three consecutive games after failing to do so for six in a row. Sooner or later that has to pay off…right?
- The middle of the bullpen gave the Braves a chance to win, again. Edgar Santana, Jacob Webb and Jesse Chavez fired scoreless frames from the 4th-7th to carry the game through to the late innings.
- Then there’s the 8th, where reliever Drew Smyly looked really good. We’ve speculated for a while that his diminishing returns the second and third time through the lineup could make him more suitable as a reliever, and the early result on that tonight was positive. That would be a well-time addition to the bullpen for the stretch run if it stays that way.
- Ozzie Albies added two more hits tonight, so there might be some light at the end of that slump tunnel.
- Travis d’Arnaud: Professional pinch hitter.
- It was almost the exact same game as yesterday with just a couple more runs each way. Nothing more frustrating than getting beat back-to-back like that.
- Of all the Braves pitchers to possibly succumb to Coors, I was not expecting Ian Anderson to. He lost his command and the walks piled up into four in as many innings. He is a pitcher who relies very heavily on his changeup, and once that was a little it off he looked lost.
- AJ Minter probably shouldn’t be getting high leverage innings, especially against right-handed hitters. Those two runs in the 6th were the turning point of the night.
- I am very excited to not have to see Charlie Blackmon for a week and a half after tomorrow. He has roughed up the pitching all weekend, and did so with another homer tonight.
- Two big strikeouts with RISP were the difference in the game. First it was Austin Riley with two on and two out in the 5th in a tie game, then Joc Pederson with the tying runs on base to end the 8th. Once again, this game was very there for the taking.
Former Brave Of The Day:
Rafael Ortega had three hits and an RBI For the Cubs in a 7-6 win over the Pirates at Wrigley Field.
Quote Of The Game:
“It’s deja vu all over again.”
— Yogi Berra
A deep outing for Ian Anderson. The bullpen really needs it.