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carlyle-struggles-but-braves-win-big | September | 2007 Articles

2007 Archives

Carlyle Struggles but Braves Win Big

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After last night's heart-breaking loss all but crippled the Braves' playoff aspirations, the offense showed up in full force for game two to even things up. Despite yet another disappointing performance from Buddy Carlyle, Mark Teixeira and the Braves provided plenty of offense for a lopsided win. The Braves scored early and often in this game. Orlando Hernandez, who has been one of the most consistent performers on the Mets rotation all season looked shaky through three after walking in a run and allowing a two-run homer to Yunel Escobar (I'll talk about that later), but the Braves absolutely blew the game wide open in the fourth and when it rains, it pours. El Duque loaded the bases with no outs in the fourth and consecutive singles off the bats of Buddy Carlyle and Kelly Johnson chased home three. That was all the Braves would see of Hernandez. Aaron Sele was so close to stopping the bleeding at only 6-0. He got both Yunel Escobar and Edgar Renteria fairly easily before Mark Teixeira turned on a 3-2 pitch that was up and in, depositing it into the Mets bullpen and expanding the lead to nine-runs. The Braves added four more runs on a Willie Harris single and groundout as well as a Jeff Francoeur double to bring the final total to thirteen. Buddy Carlyle, who has an ERA right around nine over the past month had yet another sub-par performance. I wasn't able to see the first three and a half innings so I half-expected us to be getting blown out by the time I turned it on. Even staked to a nine-run lead, Carlyle was still shaky. The right-hander started to run into trouble in the fourth. After giving up a single and a double to Beltran and Alou, Carlyle traded an out for a run with a sacrifice fly before giving up a two-run shot to Paul Lo Duca. He made it out of the inning with no further damage, but it would be his last full inning. After a Jose Reyes double to lead off the inning and a Luis Castillo ground-out, Carlyle walked David Wright and Bobby yanked him for Peter Moylan, who worked a bit of his Aussie magic and got the Braves out unscathed. The bullpen was fairly solid, allowing only two runs in 4.2 innings of work. Moylan worked 1.2 perfect innings and Rafael Soriano worked a perfect ninth. Sandwiched between were two one-run innings from Jose Ascanio and Tyler Yates. This is the time when a lot of the bullpen spots for next year are starting to be decided and right now, Ascanio is not helping his case. The Yunel home run tonight brought up an interesting question I thought I'd pass on to you. We have seen almost a power-surge from Escobar of late, but his pure hitting has dropped during that time. I was recently talking to someone who watched him play extensively through the minors and what I heard from him was quite interesting. I was told that Yunel has the power to hit 10-12 homers per year but to do that he has to take a much longer swing and loses a lot of his pure hitting ability. What is happening lately? The short stroke he broke in with is becoming longer and instead of hitting .330, he is hitting .290 or so with a bit more power. My question: Is it worth it to add the power? Also tonight, just an update. Richmond won the first game of their series 4-2 over Durham. Brandon Jones had a big game and although Devine and Paronto struggled the last three innings a bit, they held on. The toughest challenge will come with tomorrow with Jeff Niemann on the mound tomorrow.

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