Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Atlanta Looks to Take Series

The head of the nail is a little sore after yesterday’s pregame prediction – a slug fest occurred as predicted, at least for the Atlanta Braves. Bronson Arroyo, the contests losing pitcher, gave up a home run in the first frame. More long balls eventually followed suit when Simmons knocked in his second of the game off Reds reliever Logan Ondrusek and then Schafer off the same guy. The Braves ultimately had 11 hits and 7 runs – and with all these hits and runs still resulted 8 runners stranded (just to reinforce yesterday’s discussion regarding how L.O.B. is a good thing.)

To the spoils go the Braves, but to say the Reds were not swinging their bats either wouldn’t be fair – The Reds club notched 9 hits and 4 runs while stranding the same number of runners. The Reds failed to get those crucial runs across the plate all while their pitchers collected an outstanding 15 strike outs (Braves fanned 9), can you say Larosa’s Pizza? But overall there is no one to blame and hindsight is always 20/20. The Braves and Reds are both teams that do two things really well, one is hit a lot of home runs, and the other is strike out. Bottom line is that one hit more home runs than the other (Oh thanks genius!), while both clubs pitching continued to be great.

Tonight the Braves look to seal-the-deal by taking game 2 of this 3 game series while the Reds try and keep it open with a win. If the scales were going to tip one way before yesterday’s game, no one could have predicted which, but tonight the Reds have a slight edge against Braves starter Kris Medlen. The right-hander is 1-4 on the year with a 3.38 ERA. He has lost three straight starts for the first time ever while struggling with his mechanics. Medlen has worked only 8 inning against the Redlegs over the last 10 years carrying a 4.50 ERA but with a solid 7 Ks in those same 8 frames. Reds SS Zack Cozart is still looking to find his old form and could find it tonight hitting .500 ball on Medlen. Catcher Devin Mesoraco has the same average and a home run all while Dat Dude Brandon Phillips has a.333 and Joey Votto a .667 average over the Braves hurler. The game plan is clear of the Redlegs, see the ball, hit the ball, just out of the park. They’ll have to get it out of the park if they want to keep the Braves lights-out outfield from pounding the coffin nails into the Reds offense. Last night the Braves looked to have a dozen outfielders while the Reds couldn’t find a spot of green to drop their Rawlings on.

To combat the Braves explosive offense, the Reds 2012 No-No hurler Homer “please don’t give one up” Bailey takes the mound. The Reds’ righty has pitched 18.2 innings against this southern club and carries with him a nice 2.41 ERA against the Braves. Additionally, the hurler has yet to lose a game against the Braves and is 2-0 with 12 strikeouts. Let it be noted that the Braves haven’t finished below second place in their respective division, at least as long as Homer has been in the Reds rotation and had the chance to hold Dan Uggla to a sub-mendoza .154 average and Freddie Freeman to the like with a .167 hitting average. Bailey is 1-3 on the year with a 3.38 season ERA and had a rough start last outing against the Cardinals.

To what resolve? The same prediction of last night’s game. Both clubs will be looking to bust the game wide open early, and bust it open with some home runs – it seems to be what the Reds offense thrives on, regardless of the HR funk they’ve been in lately. The Braves executed their battle plan flawlessly last night and will surely be looking to throw Bailey off his game, get to the Reds weary bullpen, and secure the series. If the Reds are going to have a shot at a rubber-match, they’ll have to do the same.

No comments:

Post a Comment