Braves 4, Marlins 0
The Braves entered their tilt with the Marlins with a 2.5 game lead in the Wild Card, but with their play of late, one would swear they are trailing the Cardinals. If it weren’t for the Red Sox attempting to do the same thing, there would almost certainly be more press about the Braves’ swoon. As it is, the lead is only two games in the loss column, so while they are still heavy favorites to hold on, they’ve got to start winning some games.
Thankfully the Constanza infatuation appears to be over, and the Braves are giving themselves the best chance to win by putting out their best lineup, if not in the most optimal order. It was a promising start with the Braves getting runners to second and third with no one out in the first, but yet again they failed to score. That’s getting old. Alex Gonzalez led off the second with a home run to continue his resurgence, Heyward and Bourn doubled, and Prado singled to give the Braves a 3-0 lead.
Randall Delgado threw five shutout innings though he did use 92 pitches to do it. We should see some more efficiency and a few more strikeouts as he adjusts to this level. Freddie Freeman led off the sixth with his twentieth homer to make it 4-0. The bullpen took over at that point, and Cristhian Martinez again did excellent work with two perfect innings. Anthony Varvaro followed it up with two perfect innings of his own to close it out.
What better way turn things around than a shutout? The Braves were able to get to Anibal Sanchez enough to take some pressure off of the staff, and hopefully the first half Javier Vazquez shows up tomorrow so the Braves can make it two in a row. If that’s not enough to interest you, tune in at 7:10 EST to see how much Derek Lowe can sweat in the Miami heat.