In the latter portion of this series, Atlanta's bats looked the way they were supposed to. They beat Stephen Strasburg and ensuring they won the season series against the Nats. It's too bad, though, that they lost two out of three. They are eight back in the division, so if the Braves want to overtake the Nats, it'll take an act of God for that to happen. They are still 1.5 games behind the Pirates for the second wild card as of this post.
Atlanta got fine pitching performances out of Mike Minor and Aaron Harang. Unfortunately for Minor, he opposed Doug Fister who now has only given up three runs in 22 innings to the Braves. They rallied for a run in the eighth and had the tying run at third, but failed to bring it in. Minor only allowed two runs in six innings, but two has often been enough to beat the Braves with the state of their offense.
Harang opposed Strasburg in the finale, and we saw the Harang that was so good at the start of the season. He struck out nine in seven innings, the only run he allowed scored on a passed ball. Harang has dominated the Nats this year with two wins and an ERA of 0.90 in 20 innings with a WHIP of 1.05. His next scheduled start will be against the Nats in Atlanta next week.
Analysis: Freeman and Harang are better when the Marlins aren't around— Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) September 10, 2014
Ervin Santana gave up four of Washington's six runs in the first inning Tuesday, and it was the second straight start he had given up four runs in a single outing. Before that, he had only given up four runs in a start once in his previous eight.
The offense looked mostly dormant the first two games (like it has all year), but looked the way it's supposed to look in the finale. Now if only it could do that the rest of the year, that would be great.
Monday: 1-4 RISP, 6 LOB
Tuesday: 2-9 RISP, 3 LOB
Wednesday: 4-10 RISP, 9 LOB
Atlanta had 11 hits total between Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday saw 13 hits, seven of them against Strasburg.
As for individual performances, Freddie Freeman was 5-11 with two RBI; Justin Upton was 3-12 with five RBI and hit his 27th home run; B.J. Upton saw his only action in the finale, hitting a home run in four trips.
The ugly performance of the series has to go to Chris Johnson: 1-13 with six strikeouts. This shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone (except maybe Fredi); the Braves saw three right-handed starters and Chris has shown he flat out sucks against righties this year.
Johnson against RHP
459 PA, .229/.253/.310
Johnson against LHP
107 PA, .412/.453/.577
What's worse is that Fredi continues to put him in the middle of the lineup against righties where a double play could kill a potential rally. He's hit into 22 double plays, tied for second in the NL.