With the 5-0 loss suffered to the hands of Andrew Miller and the Tigers, the Braves have fallen to .500 and are now 4.5 games behind the Mets. For the fourth time in five games, the Braves, who have scored a total of one run over that span, were shutout. It is beyond me how an entire team filled with some of the brightest talents in baseball can just shut off for this run and pretend like they are allergic to crossing home plate. It reached an all time low today since I believe the only thing less than the number of hits the Braves had were the number of non-fastballs that Tigers starter Andrew Miller threw. All in all though, this was an offensive outbreak like we have not seen for a while, in that Andruw Jones had a hit. That is how pathetic this team has gotten; a single by our star center-fielder is seen as a cause for celebration!
Just like the first game of the series, the starting pitching was excellent, and just like that first game, that excellence ended in the sixth inning. The amount of balls Chuck James threw through the first five innings could almost be counted on both hands and he was rolling along. Then came a sixth inning where a bunt single, which for some reason Chipper Jones thought would go foul, a hit batsman with two strikes, and a complete lack of control or hit prevention by Chuck James caused four runs, which is probably luck considering that Peter Moylan did a good job to get out of a jam. How James can be too tired to throw a strike after 60 pitches? Maybe he is just trying to set a record for the most starts without reaching the seventh inning or something like that. The bullpen was again good. Moylan, Ledezma, Paronto, and Villarreal combined to allow only one run in the final four innings and both candidates for a starting spot, Ledezma and Villarreal, looked very good.
The Braves will welcome the Nationals to town tomorrow for a three game set with Tim Hudson heading to the mound. Normally I would say this is a good time to gain some ground but Washington swept us last time and I'm not sure I'd even bet on the Braves if they went up against a little league team the way they are playing right now. Let's just hope for the best.