The Braves scored 23 runs in this 4 game set without hitting a home run, but only came out with a split in Bobby Cox's last trip to Arizona as the Braves' manager. Many wanted at least 3 games but going .500 on the road is better than what they've been doing most of the season. So as an optimist, it is good to see they are at least treading water away from Turner as of late. Here are the recaps if you missed them:
What we liked:
Billy Wagner pitched well in the three games he was in. In the final game, he did not have his normal stuff but was able to end the game unscathed. His line for the series was: 3 IP, 0 ER, 5 Ks, 2 H, 3 BB, 1 SV.
Tommy Hanson started off game four throwing a lot of pitches and had a very long 3rd inning. Despite the rough inning, he only allowed 2 runs and struck out 10 while allowing just 6 base runners through 5.1innings.
Melky Cabrera had at least 2 hits in the 3 games that he started. His line for the series was: 7-14, 1 BB, 1 2B, 3 RBI, 3 R, 1 SB. Cabrera should see his playing time increase with Nate McLouth's head injury
Kenshin Kawakami had his best start of the season as he went 6 innings, allowed 8 base runners, and struckout 8 while not allowing a run to score. The Braves weren't able to win the game he started, but it is great to see Kawakami dominating such a sturdy lineup.
What we didn't like:
The Braves were pretty awful with runners on base throughout the series and had they come through a bit more, they could have won at least 3 of the 4 games. They stranded 47 runners throughout the course of series, which is a pretty terrible number to say the least.
The Bullpen blew leads late in the series' final 3 games. In the 2nd and 4th games, the Braves were able to come back and win, but they weren't as fortunate in the 3rd. Jonny Venters blew 2 saves and Peter Moylan blew 1.
The collision between Jason Heyward cost the Braves a game due to Gerardo Parra coming around for an inside the park home run. Although some are happy McLouth is now out of the lineup for the time being, the collision did cost the Braves the game and it hurts the team's overall depth and defense.
Derek Lowe was not able to continue his streak of solid starts. He let up 7 runs in 4 innings with 9 base runners allowed. Hopefully, it was just a bad start for Derek and does not become a trend once again.
Series MVP: Melky Cabrera
Series LVP: Derek Lowe
The Braves go up to Minnesota to take on the Twins in their first trip to Target Field. Rain is in the forecast, but hopefully they can squeeze the games in and avoid any cancellations. Tim Hudson, Derek Lowe, and Kris Medlen are the scheduled starters for the weekend series. Personally, winning just 1 would not upset me too much, but winning the series would have me ecstatic as it would lead to an 11 game road trip with more wins than losses.