If you missed the games or simply can't remember, the Braves played awful for about 30 of the 36 innings played during the series. There were flashes of the Braves' bats coming alive at the plate, but those were usually silenced within an inning or two. The starting pitchers were decent with DLowe and Tim Hudson pitching well, but KK and JJ both struggled. And the defense was mediocre the entire series. Now on to the recap.
1. Derek Lowe - His stat line didn't look all that great, but Derek showed improvement from his previous starts. The defense behind him and the bats at the plate certainly didn't help Lowe, but if/when they start improving, we should start to see improvements from our $60MM "ace".
2. Timmy Hudson - Huddy really did pitch well enough on Monday night to bust the slump. Tim pitched 6 strong innings and even contributed at the plate, but the offense failed him after some early scoring and the bullpen wasn't able to hold the lead. Similar to Lowe, if Huddy can continue this type of pitching, the Braves will be in good hands.
3. Yunel Escobar - 5-for-15 2BB/2K; did Yunel have crazy numbers in St. Louis? Not really. But he showed that he isn't going to continue to slump like he has the first month of the season. Let's all just hope his groin won't bother him throughout the year.
1. Kenshin Kawakami - The offense continued to not score for him and the defense blew a few opportunities, but KK still had trouble locating his pitches and was hit hard all night. He's 0-4 on the early season and hasn't pitched nearly as well as he did in the 2nd half of 2009. Maybe he's just a late bloomer?
2. Jair Jurrjens - He only pitched 1 inning after leaving with a strained hamstring, but he gave up a crushing 3-run HR off the foul poll in RF to give the Red Birds an early 3-0 lead. It seemed like the entire Braves team was deflated after that.
3. The Bullpen - They were used early and often throughout the series and the combined stat line doesn't look too great:
15IP 16H 9ER 12BB/12K
Not very good at all.
1. The entire offense - Is there an explanation needed? With the possible (note the "possible") exceptions of Escobar, Cabrera and (maybe) Infante, the entire Braves offense sucked. They scored 11 runs in 4 games and about half of these were scored once the game was out of hand. Ugh.
2. The defense - 3 errors in the series, but both Chipper and Glaus struggled at the corners and there were a few catchable balls hit into the outfield that weren't caught. The box score numbers might not look bad, but the Braves continue to struggle in the field.
3. Brian McCann and David Ross behind the plate - Teams are going to run all over BMac this season. It seems like Brian either air-mails his throws or tosses 'em 5 feet in front of the bag. Brian really needs to improve behind the plate. David Ross really struggled to control KK's pitches. He allowed 2 passed balls which allowed 2 runners to score from 3rd. I'm not sure about the TC faithful, but I didn't really see much chemistry between Rossy and KK.
And the Awesome:
1. Absolutely nothing. Crap.
Master Gondeee will be covering the upcoming series which is a 3-game stint with the Astros in Atlanta. Tommy Hanson, Tim Hudson and DLowe are scheduled to pitch for the Braves. Let's all pray to Heyward the Braves win at least 2 out of 3, if not sweep the series.