Atlanta avoided getting swept by St. Louis thanks to rookie Matt Wisler. The Braves won 3-2. It shouldn’t have been that close.
It’s ho-hum routine for Wisler to pitch well. He did so again today, going seven strong innings and limiting the Cardinals to two runs despite a blown double play and a mistakenly overturned appeal at the plate that turned a St. Louis out into their first run.
Atlanta’s runs were provided by unexpected heroes. In the second Eury Perez walked with one out, and Ryan Lavarnway doubled him home. Cameron Maybin then continued to work his two-out magic with a single that scored Lavarnway.
In the bottom of the fourth, Jace Peterson caught the ball, touched second and botched the throw to first to allow Jason Heyward to reach. I know you cannot assume a double play, but Jace provided further evidence that, yes, sometimes you should be able to assess an error when a routine play is botched.
Anyway, The World’s Greatest Rightfielder was safe at first. Randal Grichuk singled Heyward to second. Then Stephen Piscotty singled to left, and Eury Perez threw Heyward out trying to score. The home plate umpire got the call right, but the cheating Cardinals appealed; and after a review that lasted longer than John Smoltz’s Hall of Fame induction speech, the idiots in New York overturned the call, giving the Cards a seriously unearned “earned” run.
The Cardinals put together a pair of doubles to knot the game at two in the bottom of the fifth, but virtue prevailed in the top of the sixth when Adonis Garcia hit his first major league home run to give the Braves the lead for good.
Random observations and philosophical musings:
- Matt Wisler is a stud. Pretty soon he’s going to be something very special.
- St. Louis gets the calls. Perhaps it’s because the Cardinals play the game THE RIGHT WAY.
- Freddie Freeman’s return, Ryan Lavarnway spelling A.J. Pierzynski at catcher and Adonis replacing Chris Johnson at third definitely improved our defense. Adonis was stellar defensively today, and Lavarnway deserves more playing time.
- Nick Markakis is no longer an elite right fielder. Based on what I’ve seen of Eury Perez, I think they need to swap positions.
- Jim Johnson is doing a good job as closer. That’s good, because we need to package him and his brother Chris. Arodys Vizcaino has nasty stuff and looks ready to be the closer.
- John Smoltz is a Hall of Famer. Congratulations, Smoltzie. You belong.
Bring on those old Orioles.