This game is one where the Braves should make hay, so to speak. Instead, we were pretty pitiful. What came out of it first is a question. Should Danny Duffy be a trade target? Has he gotten himself back to where he once was as a potential future ace? The second is a rant. Why in the heck can’t the Braves get a freaking hit with runners in scoring position??? Same thing as what happened with Ross the other night. The Braves knocked a few hits all over the park and couldn’t score any dadgum runs early except for a JD double in the first.
The other observation is that, yes IWOTR, but Keuchel pitched a fantastic game. His final line was 2 ER, 2 W, 3 hits (one of the bunt variety), and 12 Ks through six innings. This guy was worth the bucks. If he could have only solved Alex Gordon, the start would have been even better. I guess Gordon is one of the last solid veterans left on the team and had both the RBIs. Keuchel only made it through 6 innings because all those strikeouts ran up his pitch count.
Duffy looked very good and was even more smart than good. After getting knocked around by the righties the first time through the order, he hit and then walked Acuna and hit Donaldson, and so avoided having to really face them. Freddie, Nick and the rest of the team were busy striking out as Duffy ran his count up to 11Ks. And they were a combined 0-7 with runners in scoring position through six. Freddie, Dansby, and Nick accounted for 4 Ks and a combined 11 runners left on base to that point. Of course, Chip was quick to point out that Duffy struck out 9 of his last 12 batters. Again, is Duffy a target? We could probably get Duffy and Kennedy for not much if we’re willing to part with some cash.
By the time the 6th was over and both Keuchel and Duffy left the game, the Royals had a 2-1 lead. Seemed like the Braves played the gNats instead of the Royals. I hate it when good teams play down to the competition. Finally, in the 7th Ronald stole a base and Freddie hit a single that tied the game up. Unfortunately, our old friend Lucas Duda promptly untied it in the top of the 8th with a mammoth solo shot. I guess the General is not perfect after all. Maybe we should only let him pitch to NL batters.
It was still the 8th when, after the Duda HR, everything totally fell apart and the old Braves bullpen showed up. The General gave up a walk and a single which brought in Parsons who promptly walked two more and, of course, walked in a run. And a HBP scored the next run. Parsons, as before, is not any kind of answer again. It was a Grybo-fest. It made me sick to watch it. I probably would have turned it off if I didn’t have to finish my recap. Tomlin came in and scored a GIDP to end the inning. Why not bring him in earlier? Ugh. Note that I don’t want to take anything away from Sobotka who did his job very well in the 7th.
The only silver lining is that I figured we were going to get a chance to see our other trade targets – Diekman and Kennedy. Diekman reminded me a lot of the way Minter’s been throwing so you can imagine what that meant. Ozzie singled and Flowers took a HBP. Charlie Clutch came up next and hit a wicked bouncer that had the freakiest spin on it. The ball took one bounce and hopped right over the SS for an RBI single (honestly, he never touched it). Of course, Minter came in in the top of the 9th and was perfect. LOL.
With a 2 run lead, Kennedy came in to try for the save. He promptly gave up three singles in a row to Dansby, Freddie, and JD and the Braves were down only a run with men on 1st and 2nd and no outs. I thought the cardiac kids were about to give us another thrill, but it was not to be. After Nick grounded out, Ozzie popped out (on the first pitch, of course), and Riley struck out, the game was over. The final tally was 3-15 with runners in scoring position. It’s hard to imagine getting 15 opportunities with RISP but to only cash in 3 is absolutely ridiculous. We need to do something to change our karma on that. In the end it was just another heartbreak Tuesday.
I sure did not like what I saw from Diekman and Kennedy. We are better off with Minter and Jackson than Diekman and Kennedy.