Ryan Howard may be a shell of his former self and Kyle Kendrick may be the pitching definition of "meh" but both continue to look like world beaters against the Atlanta Braves. Howard’s first inning two run homer and Kendrick’s seven innings of two run ball paced the Philadelphia Phillies to a 5-2 win over the Braves.
Things got off to a very poor start for Braves starter Ervin Santana who allowed Jimmy Rollins to smoke a double off him to lead the game off. Howard followed shortly after with his homer and for the second night in a row the Braves struggling offense was in a hole. Santana’s struggles would continue into the 4th inning when he got in trouble with a leadoff walk to Dom Brown and a double to Reid Brignac. Brown would score on a passed ball that Laird ineffectually stabbed at and a 4th run was added to Santana’s ledger via a Cesar Hernandez single.
Down 4-0 the Braves offense finally showed some life in the 5th inning when Gerald Laird managed to reach via a one out walk. Santana sacrificed Laird to second who scored on a smoked single up the middle by perfect human Jason Heyward. The rally would end with Jason at second after BJ grounded out.
With the game still in reach at 4-1 the Braves bats began making some noise in the 7th. A Chris Johnson double and a dropped flyball off Simmons bat that was hilariously ruled a single, put runners on the corners with none out. However, in the worst possible turn of events Laird immediately hit into a double play to score the run but squelch a promising opportunity. The Braves would get no closer and two Simmons errors in the 9th allowed the Phillies to add an insurance run to secure their 5-2 victory.
- Shae Simmons is awesome and he came into the came with the bases loaded in the top of the 8th. Shae immediately induced a double play on one pitch and its bizarre he wasn’t allowed to come back out for the 9th. He is a damn sight better pitcher than Luis Avilan and obviously wasn’t taxed after throwing one pitch.
- Luis Avilan is the Braves only lefty specialist and it’s a major problem. Fredi Gonzalez doesn’t understand that Simmons or Walden are better options than Avilan to get out good lefties even without the platoon advantage. Therefore Frank Wren needs to make Fredi’s job easier and trade for a lefty specialist yesterday.