We’re back ladies and gentlemen for another week of Braves baseball. One that started off so promising, stopped…stopped right there. It was an awful week for the Braves with only a few bright spots and we’ll get to that.
The Week That Was
Braves began last monday finishing their 4-game set with the Padres. In a game started by a good Jaime Garcia, the Braves still managed to come from behind thanks to bullpen woes. It all came down to heroics by Dansby Swanson. Swanson hit a line drive with the bases loaded and the first ever Walk Off at Suntrust Park is now in the books. Braves win 5-4 and sweep the Padres in the first series.
The first series with the Gnats began with a Folty-Scherzer matchup.. Ultimately Scherzer takes home the win, but Foltynewicz pitched very well (7IP,2R, 3K’s) and got the loss. Braves lose a tough one to begin the series 3-1.
Game 2 was a matchup of Julio Teheran and Joe Ross, who had pitched well in his debut against the Braves in the previous season. This game was over early. Julio only went 4 innings, giving up 7 runs and the pen kept letting them score. Freddie Freeman supplied some offense getting 2 rbi’s. Braves lose 2nd in a row and the series 14-4
Game 3 of the series with the Gnats put Dickey on the mound for the good guys. Tell me if you’ve heard this before, the starting pitcher pitched very well. Dickey goes 7 giving up 3 runs, but Stephen Strasburg matched him and only gave up 2. Braves lose the final game of the series and get swept 3-2.
The Braves then departed for another road trip where a meeting in Philadelphia and the Phillies awaited. #Bartlanta started the game and went 7 innings giving up 4 runs which was all the Phillies needed as Jeremy Hellickson matched him and gave up 2. It got interesting in the 9th, but ultimately the Phillies win the series opener 4-3
Another strong start by Jaime Garcia in game 2 of the Phillies series, another wasted by bullpen woes. Garcia goes 6 giving up only 2 runs. Braves come back to tie in the 9th, go ahead in the 10th, only to lose it on a walk off single scoring 2 runs in the the bottom of the frame. Braves lose their 5th straight and the series 4-3.
The final game of the series, the Braves had Mike Foltynewicz on the mound. This is the Folty we saw with potential when the Braves traded Evan Gattis to Houston. Folty goes 7 strong, 1 run baseball and the bullpen….the friggin bullpen again..ruins the game for the Braves, giving up 4 runs in the next inning. Braves lose the game 5-2 (their 6th straight loss) and get swept out of town by the Phillies.
The Wretched Bullpen
Ok, so last week I gave the bullpen it’s due.It pitched well last week. But this week…this has been a week for the ‘pen. The bullpen took 2 losses.this week and had a 7.27 ERA. That’s not how you get things done folks. 2 games were clean, but unfortunately the SP didn’t get enough run support. The ‘Pen has to be better in order for the Braves to compete. Ian Krol, a career 4.27, has a ERA of 11.57 this season. Something is fishy here.. I’m not sure if he’s hurt, but something’s not right. Get it together Krol.
Freeman has certainly done his part this week. I understand why MLB gave Harper the player of the week honors, but Freddie gave him a run for his money. Freddie batted .455/.586/1.091 with 4 HR’s, 2 doubles, and 6 RBI’s. Freddie is on fire and we need to get more opportunities with people hitting in front of him. Swanson being moved down in the order might help since Dansby is having a rough start. Stay Hot Freddie Free.
Braves went 1-6 this week and ultimately that tells the story. However if you look deeper into the box score you’ll see that in those 7 games, 4 of them were 1-run games. Actually aside from the blowout against Teheran, the braves were within 3 in all 7 games. It’s still early but the Braves need to start turning those 1-run losses into 1-run wins.
Braves had the day off Monday and start a 3-game series against the Mets in Citi Field starting Tuesday night. Then it’s off to Milwaukee for a 3-game set with the Brewers. The Braves need to win at least 3 to gain some respectability back.
Until next week, in the words of the incomparable Skip Caray: “So long everybody”