Series Recap - Braves @ Dodgers
Ryan Church. For everyone that said he'd be a mild upgrade over Francoeur (myself included...), yeah, Mr Church is playing with a huge chip on his shoulder. 5 for 15 in the series, which is pretty awesome, but when you tack in the 3 doubles, the HUGE homer on Friday, and 3 RBI...yeah, I'll definitely approve. Ryan is being slotted into the leadoff slot a little bit over the past week due to some injury issues with Nate McLouth, and is killing it in a teeny tiny sample size. In a slightly larger sample size, Church is raking (.333/.475/.542), and he's got more walks than strikeouts! Wahoo! He's got the OPS up to a respectable .747 on the year, so I'm going to give this trade the big thumbs up as of right now.
Starting pitching. 3 quality starts, and Jurrjens likely would have had one too if not for umpiring. In fact, Javier Vazquez & Kenshin Kawakami used Jurrjens's start as motivation, allowing a solitary run over 15 innings of work in the final 2 games of the series. Kawakami was robbed of a win due to the even more dominant effort but forth by Clayton Kershaw, but the team won regardless thanks to Kelly Johnson (THAT CHEMISTRY RUINING BUM) and his game winning homer in the top of the 10th. Lowe was also in line for a win after allowing 2 over 6, but a rare meltdown by Rafael Soriano prevented that from happening.
Garret Anderson. 4 for 19 isn't HORRIBLE, but not one extra base hit or walk over the series (in fact, over the entire month of August) can make that line look very hollow. Church is actually out OPSing him right now due to the reversal in fortunes the two seem to have had lately. But because he's still hitting .280, he'll keep getting penciled into the lineup 5 or 6 days a week. Le sigh..
Martin Prado. His week was a near clone of Anderson's. Instead of 4 for 19, he went 4 for 20. And much like Anderson, he didn't have a walk or extra base hit. Fantastic. He hasn't walked all month, and only has a pair of doubles so far in August. His OPS is falling by the day. Still, its 100 points better than Johnson's...but hell "a couple of good games and the batting average will be where I want it to be", right? I probably botched that quote. Sorry.
Rafael Soriano. So...this is like taking a blowtorch to the cyborg's face, and when the fire dies down you see...not a machine, but blood and bone. HE REALLY IS HUMAN! 4 runs in 2 innings over 3 appearances is very unlike Raffy. I'm not panicking too much...he only walked one guy, struck out a pair, and had a 4:5 GB:FB. These things are gonna happen every so often, no use sweating over one series where the team took 3 out of 4.
BIG BAD PHILLIES SERIES PREVIEW TOMORROW! I wanna get some minor league nonsense up too. Cory Rasmus threw a no hitter last night for Danville, albeit in only 7 innings. But hey, he threw a no hitter. Thats something no one can ever take away from him. Congrats Cory, you deserve it. Now keep producing at this level, eh?
So yeah, thats FIVE FISTS IN THE FACE OF THE OPPONENT, eh? Always a fantastic time when you take 3 out of 4 from the best team in the league, to cap off a 5-2 west coast road trip. Combine that with the struggles in Philadelphia, and all of a sudden, the Braves are ridiculously close to the playoffs. Everything is falling into place right now...I'm so nervoud, yet horribly excited at the same time.