Thanks to the marvel that is ESPN National Game for Monday, I was able to participate in watching a good bit of this debacle. I didn’t see the first Nationals run score because I was outside removing a shutter for my wife who wants to take it to the paint store and let them put a paint on the shutter, then bring it to the house for match. But I actually saw some key moments.
In the top of the first, the Braves flied out in the outfield 3 times, but two of those were after Ozzie reached on what was originally scored a hit but later changed to an error (hard hit ball up the middle that Dozier had to go to his right, dropped it, picked it up, and threw late to first). This set one trend for the night. Both Freeman and Donaldson gave theirs somewhat of a drive, but deep in the outfield corner doesn’t mean much if it hangs up.
So, gNats come back and get 1, but threaten for lots more in the bottom half. This also showed what would be a trend. Braves pitchers giving up bases via the walk. Keuchel ended up giving up 4 in 6 innings and the “relief” corps added 6 more in the last 3 innings. That last ratio isn’t too good.
The Braves got one back in the 4th. Adam Duvall has stayed on a tear so far, and it is most welcome and needed. Austin Riley needs to go down to AAA and hit everyday. He needs Chipper to Bat Whisperer in his ear. Why can’t Matt Joyce platoon in against righthanders a lot of days? I don’t get where the “need an outfielder” came from.
In top of 6, Braves almost flipped the script. The tie came on an Adam Duvall fly ball that Juan Soto probably stole from home run territory, but which certainly would have been a home run if it was 1 foot higher or 4 feet longer. It ended up as a sacrifice fly instead of an Earl Weaver special.
The wheels came off the bus in the 6th. With Keuchel having run up his pitch count, he left with 2 on and 1 out and the top of the order coming on. Chad the Destroyer of White House Dreams came in and struck out Turner (who I recommend for replacement of “The Dark Lord Utley” with a name like maybe “The Third Dark Knight”). But, he walked Eaton and gave up the Double Grybo PLUS 2 of his own when Rendon went deep.
It ended 6 to 3 instead of 6 to 2 because Charlie Clutch hit a home run in top of 9.
This is a talented Braves team. Panic is not appropriate or necessary. I will give my “one thing they need to fix.” TAKING walks. When pitchers don’t want to pitch to you or are having trouble hitting the strike zone, TAKE YOUR DAMN WALKS. This “oh, a 3 – 0 count means I can hit a ball hard” is taken WAY to extreme with this team. The point to a deep lineup with lots of power sources is to make sure people are on base when the ball goes out.
And, AA, a reliever or 2 really doesn’t sound like a bad idea.
Also, I have put in a request to the psychic friends network. They are to realign based on today so that the “losing day” will be Monday from here on out and Tuesday will be a winning day. That gets the burden off of Roger. I can handle the burden. But since there are so many “no play Mondays” it will sure help things if Tuesday can get turned around. Somebody sacrifice a chicken, okay?