Series Recap - Red Sox @ Braves
Tommy Hanson. Thats my boy, Tommy. Hanson seemingly listened to all the criticism I've been throwing at him, throwing 6 shutout innings against the Red Sox today, allowing 2 hits and 2 walks while striking out 2. I can live with all of those numbers. He had 9 flyouts as compared to 6 groundouts, but he's not a groundball pitcher so something like that should be expected. a 6:9 GB:FB isn't fantastic, but I expect that ratio to rise a little bit once he starts striking some more batters out...speaking of which, Hanson is being a little too tentative on the mound, and he's not really going after hitters as much as I'd like to see. Once his confidence begins to grow at the major league level, he should get those K numbers up to a respectable level.
Garret Anderson. This guy is really starting to turn it on. He got a hit in each of the 3 games of the series, 2 today, and had 3 XBH as well. His OPS is slowly starting to creep up, and with a little luck, he could be within 50 points or so of his career average by the All Star Break. The walks are still REALLY low...in fact, he hasn't drawn one since last Friday, but he's starting to get some hits, which is an improvement on earlier in the season when he wasn't reaching base at all.
Starting pitching. Fantastic job all around. 4 runs allowed in 21 2/3 innings over the series, which is fantastic. Those numbers should have been 2 in 20 2/3, but Bobby left Jurrjens in for the 8th on Friday when he was running on fumes to "save the bullpen" (which we really didn't need this series at all) after the abysmal Derek Lowe start on Thursday. When each of your starters in a series puts up a quality start, you should win more than one game. Vazquez & Jurrjens each have ERAs around 3, and records under .500. Unbelievable.
Relief pitching. I'm only giving this a meh because we didn't get to see a lot of them. The pen got its most work today, pitching 3 innings of what should have been shutout ball, until Kelly Johnson had a brainfart on a double play ball. Soriano was his usual lights out self, and should really be going to the All Star Game...Gonzalez probably should too, but neither of them have the HIGH SAVE TOTALS that appear to be required for that to happen. A special hat tip to Peter Moylan as well, who got a HUGE double play ball from Nick Green after Kelly Johnson & Jeff Francoeur combined to put Eric O'Flaherty in quite a little situation.
The offense. Yeah, the entire offense. Screw them all. 3 runs over the entire series, and the Braves still managed to steal a game. The team just couldn't hit with RISP at all this series, which is frustrating, but theres really nothing you can do about it (aside from firing people, which would cure all of the Braves problems and turn Jeff Francoeur into Hank Aaron). The lack of Escobar & McLouth over the weekend hurt the team a lot too, because Blanco & Hernandez just cannot hit at the major league level at all. They're below replacement level players, and its a little depressing to see them get at bats. I'm actually in the camp that the recently signed Chris Burke should be called up, and Hernandez should be sent down until Infante comes back...because at least Burke has had some success at the major league level. Hernandez is just bad offensively, and he's been pretty damn horrid with the glove as well.
Red Sox win 2-1
June 26th: Red Sox 4, Braves 1
June 27th: Red Sox 1, Braves 0
June 28th: Braves 2, Red Sox 1