Hello again everyone. I’m back home in Michigan, where it’s still in the 90’s but still without rain. Hot and cold. Monsoon and drought. Sort of like the Braves offense this year.
Speaking of the Braves offense, it was again in short supply today, as the Braves managed to squeak out only seven hits against the Rangers today. Fortunately, the hits they did get were timely ones, as the four runs they managed were more than the two that the stingy Braves pitching allowed.
The Braves put their first two on the board on the back of a Jason Heyward single that just got over the outstretched glove of Elvis Andrus, scoring Jordan Schafer and Dan Uggla. Schafer had reached on catcher’s interference, while Uggla stroked a line drive single. Both runners then advanced on a wild pitch by Rangers starter Alexi Ogando. Heyward went on the score from first when the Rangers’ Yorvit Torrealba and Michael Young couldn’t handle a pop-up from Alex Gonzalez when they collided. The Braves tacked on an insurance run in the seventh on a rule-book double from Freddie Freeman.
That turned out to be one run more than they needed to score, as their normal formula of strong starting pitching (5 1/3 innings of 1 run pitching by Jair Jurrjens) and shutdown relief by Jonny Venters and Craig Kimbrel (notching his 19th save with a scoreless ninth) held the strong Texas offense to only two runs.
Honestly, the Braves were lucky to salvage a win in the series, given that they managed only 16 hits in 28 innings against the Rangers. That level of offense is unacceptable for a major league team, in my opinion. The problem is that the Braves are putting up those kind of numbers with pretty common regularity. The question for Braves’ management is what to do about it. I’m going to focus on that this week. I’d like to hear your opinions, as my preliminary analysis is leaning towards an answer that will probably be unpopular.