Wood Struggles, Loe Struggles Worse, Braves Lose

Jim McIsaac

Wood Struggles, Loe Struggles Worse, Braves Lose

The rookie matchup of Alex Wood vs. Zack Wheeler did not end up being quite the pitcher's duel most had hoped for. The Mets put together a three-run inning in the bottom of the sixth to pull away with the lead and win 7-4. Two of the top prospects in the NL East squared off and neither impressed much, with Wheeler notching a quality start while allowing four total runs (three earned) and Wood allowing four runs in 4.1 innings pitched.

It was not all bad for Wood, who did allow eight hits (all singles) and struck out five while walking just two (one was intentional). He looked good at times, but allowed a few hard hit balls and a few bloops that led to a four-run third inning.

After that inning, Dan Uggla hit a two-run homer (21) to left field to bring the Braves within a run. While Uggla's batting average is still awful, his on-base percentage is respectable and his power has been on display a ton over the past number of weeks.

The Braves tied the game up with a Freddie Freeman home run in the top of the sixth inning after Kameron Loe came in for Wood to get two big outs to keep the score 4-3. This seemed to be a good time to get Loe out of the game and move to a more effective reliever such as Anthony Varvaro for an inning or two, but Loe remained in the game for some reason the following inning and did what pitchers with ERA's over 7.00 often do -- allow runs.

There was some controversy in the inning as David Wright hit a gapper to left-center that pretty clearly hit the railing. Reed Johnson immediately threw his hands up to signal it as a ground-rule double, but the umpires did nothing to respond and Wright ended up making his way to third and the runner, who was on first base at the time, scored easily on the play. Fredi Gonzalez came out to argue to no avail, as the umpires refused to even get together and discuss the play. It was a pretty awful display of umpiring.

The Braves mustered together just five hits across the entire day with a getaway day lineup that featured Jason Heyward and Brian McCann on the bench resting during a day game after a night game. Jose Constanza was used to pinch hit in the seventh inning instead of the two regulars with a man on first, nobody out, and the team down three runs. It is difficult to understand why the team's worst pitcher and worst hitter were relied upon in rather key situations, but alas. The Braves start a three-game series against the Cardinals tomorrow with Mike Minor, Julio Teheran, and Kris Medlen on the mound.

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