4 hours of a rain delay and 11 innings made it a long long long night…. As a result of missing several opportunities to score, the Braves were handed a very tough loss last night sometime after 2:30 am.
This game probably should have been called, however just moments before 11:00 EST, the Braves took the field against the Nationals.
Aaron Harang came out again and did what was typical, he went 7, scattered 6 hits, 2 BBs, 2 k’s and pitched out of multiple jams, allowing only a long solo home run to Adam La Roche.
Jordan Walden pitched the 8th, Craig Kimbrel pitched the 9th and David Carpenter pitched the 10th. All looked great. However, Carpenter came out for the 11th and gave up singles to Rendon and LaRoche. Rendon scored. Russell came in to pitch to Bryce Harper and he walked him. Bases loaded, one out, Nats up 2-1. Varvaro relieved Russell. A Ramos single, a Frandsen double and it was all over.
The Braves took the field for their half of the inning, but at that point, the air had left the stadium, the stench of another lost opportunity had permeated the seats and everyone staggered out wondering when is this going to end….
IMHO it’s time for the BJ experiment to end. He struck out swinging in the 1st, 3rd, and the 7th. According to Dave O’Brien, that’s a league leading 145. In fact, BJ was 0 for 5 for the night. When we desperately need a spark from the top of the order, we almost always have no chance.
Our best scoring opportunities came first in the 5th when Chris Johnson singled, Emilio Bonifacio starting at short for Andrelton, singled moving Chris to second. DISCLAIMER: What happened next was so hideously ugly that children should not have been in the room…Harang bunted into a double play, pitcher to third to get Chris, then to second to double up Bonifacio. With the speedy Harang on base, the possibilities existed, but then BJ flied out to center.
Another opportunity came up in the 8th when La Stella walked, Freeman singled and JUpton walked. We had the bases loaded for Heyward, who is presumably our best hitter at the moment. He managed to go 3-2 which looked very very juicy, but we got only a sac fly to plate La Stella. Gattis struck out and CJ ended it with a come-backer and it was all done. The fat lady started to sing, but ended up crying hysterically and could not finish. It was sad.
We are now 4.5 games back of the Nats, 2 ahead of Miami. We are 59 – 57, 32 – 25 at home, 27 – 32 on the road. At this rate, we are projecting to win between 82 and 85 games, expected to be 5 – 8 back of the Nationals. If we have a chance to turn this around, we have to do something about the top of the order.