Having three consecutive nights off in April would have been really boring, so fortunately Jason Heyward, Justin Upton, and David Hale remembered there was a game tonight and showed up to play. Unfortunately, the rest of the team hasn’t really caught on yet that the Braves are in Miami to play baseball, so tonight’s performance was not very inspiring.
Our starting pitching logjam might work itself out, as these problems are wont to do. We all knew that the Braves magical start could not last all season, but I don’t think anyone anticipated that those ridiculous pitching numbers the starting staff posted over the first month would equal out in just a couple of games.
Aaron Harang came in with an MLB-best 0.85 ERA and left in the 4th with it at 2.97. Before he recorded an out in the second he had allowed a single, double, single, opposite field home run, and walk. A Roger visit settled him down, but the damage had been done. The Marlins were up 4-0 and never looked back.
Harang gave up 9 runs in 4 2/3 innings, which makes his first five starts seem even more incredible. He gave the Braves so much more than they could have ever expected during a month the team should have been really hurting for starting pitching. He did exactly what we needed him to do.
Heyward went 2-for-4 to raise his batting average to above .200 again. Our entire lineup currently sits above the Mendoza Line. Everyone enjoy this moment while it lasts.
Hale was pretty impressive in relief, a role he’ll probably officially be in for awhile after Mike Minor returns on Friday. If he keeps pitching how he has this season, though, he’ll get more opportunities to start. To make the score slightly more respectable, Justin Upton homered in the 9th after his brother had doubled earlier in the inning. Andrelton Simmons had scored in the 6th on a Hale sac fly.
We finished April ranked first in the NL East with a 17-9 record, up two games on the Mets and 2 1/2 on the Nats. I’ll take that monthly result any day. Let’s try to take some momentum from that final Upton April homer into tomorrow’s game and not get swept by the Fish.
Natspo(s) delenda est.