Series Recap - Braves @ Nationals
Martin Prado. This dude is the soultaker. 8/14 in the series with FIVE doubles? Good golly miss Molly. I don't think anyone is pining for Kelly Johnson right now (myself included), but lets see if Prado can keep it up for more than a week. We need a spark like this in the lineup, so lets hope so.
Matt Diaz. Matt Diaz scoffs ar your notion that he's a platoon player. He's OPSing a respectable .786 against righties, but is OBLITERATING lefties to the tune of a .365 average and .935 OPS. Yeah, I'll take that over Francoeur popping up the first pitch he sees in a key situation. Good work, MATTYD
Brooks Conrad. Seriously, Brooks Conrad! Dude had one of the HITS OF THE YEAR on Friday to give the Braves a 9-8 win...a pinch homer in his first AB of the season. Clutchiness, baby. He didn't do a whole lot the rest of the series, but that bomb...stellar.
The offense. After a 9 run explosion on Thursday, the offense sputtered over the weekend, scoring 3 runs each on Saturday & Sunday. The last 2 runs on Sunday came in the 9th off a clearly fatigued Scott Olsen too...but honestly, Scott Olsen and John Lannan shutting this team down? Unbelievable. Whats worse is that Lannan went 8 and only threw 98 pitches! Olsen labored a little more, throwing 116, but came one out away from finishing the game. Thats embarrassing stuff right there. Scott Olsen & John Lannan...aces. Fantastic.
Starting pitching. Hanson pitched fantastically on Saturday, before Adam Dunn hit one halfway to Baltimore to end the vaunted scoreless innings streak. Tommy's FIP has dropped below 5 for the first time all year, so I can finally start to breathe a little easier, since he's getting his peripherals under control. The other 2 though? Ugh. Lowe got smacked around pretty good on Sunday, allowing only 4 runs but TEN HITS, which is outlandish when you only get 16 outs. The solitary strikeout he had does nothing to alleviate my fears about his performance this season...his FIP is still low because he doesn't let the ball get out of the park. If they start flying out a little more, LOOK OUT. Kenshin Kawakami completely struggled on Friday and couldn't make it through the 5th, but the offense bailed him out (for once) and gave him the no decision. The trend continued into last night, as Jurrjens struggled early against the Cubs. Fantastic, the pitching is collapsing too.
The bullpen. Everyone looked real tired. Gonzalez and Soriano had back to back bad outings, Soriano on Friday (allowing 2 runs but still snagging the save) and Gonzalez on Saturday (allowing 3 runs and getting stuck with his first loss of the year). Moylan also allowed runs on both Friday and Saturday. Fantastic, our top 3 relievers are getting lit up like Christmas trees. I'm actually kind of thankful that Soriano isn't an all-star, he could really use the rest. I really hope the crap from the past 2 seasons doesn't rear its ugly head, where Bobby starts abusing the hell out of his top couple of relievers and ruins them in some way (Moylan's arm in 07 - I know the injury happened in April of 08, but that was just the cherry on top, and Gonzalez's elbow exploding. Also, Blaine Boyer getting abused so badly after the All-Star Break that even his own mother wouldn't recognize him. Plus, there was all the nonsense with Soriano's elbow that no one knew what was wrong with)
Finally. I've been busy the past couple of days (and this series was depressing), so get off my case. I expected this team to roll into Washington and continue the success of the Philly series and cut the deficit in the east even further. Um, I was horribly wrong.