As I mentioned in last night's recap, that was as forgettable a four game series as I can recall the Braves playing in the past few years. On the heels of a 10 game losing streak, the Braves lost four straight to the Red Sox and looked pretty awful at times, specifically defensively and in the bullpen.
One positive takeaway was that Tommy La Stella was called up in favor of Tyler Pastornicky. Ideally the Braves would cut weight with Dan Uggla, in my opinion, but we will take what we can get. Jason Heyward hit two home runs, which was certainly nice to see. Power has really been the only thing he has lacked since the first few weeks of the season. If he is about to go on a tear and La Stella provides some consistency at the second base position, the offense should become more stable.
The pitching was a bit inconsistent but it was overall good. Gavin Floyd did not look his best but put together a solid outing. Mike Minor threw a solid game despite striking out only three. Aaron Harang threw another quality start. Ervin Santana was solid until he allowed the three run homer to David Ortiz.
Bullpen management was a big issues, as Jonny Gomes faced a left-handed reliever four separate times during the series. As far as unacceptable late-inning matchups go, that has to be near the top. Gomes is a platoon heavy righty and the fact that the Braves threw each of their three lefties at him is disconcerting at best. David Carpenter and Craig Kimbrel were not as sharp as we would like them to be in the final game.
As mentioned, the defense was lackluster the entire series. Errors and poorly played balls occurred consistently. A few balls dropped in the Bermuda Triangle, some errant throws happened, and some guys just lost focus on a few catches. That stuff is unacceptable, especially when the offense is struggling as much as it has.
With the four game sweep the Braves are now tied with the Marlins for first. Thankfully, they get to play them in Miami this weekend.