Oct. 1, 2012; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Atlanta Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons (19) throws to first base after forcing Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Michael McKenry (55) out at second base during the second inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE

Braves Lose Chance At Division Title

The Braves could not get the offense going, as the Pirates held the Braves down to record a 2-1 victory Monday night.  This eliminated the chance of a Thursday tie-breaker game with Washington for the division title.

  • Atlanta only mustered two hits, thankfully both occurring in the 3rd inning to plate the only run.  There were six walks issued and one batter reached on an error, but the standard lack of clutch hitting really reared its ugly head, leaving runners in scoring position two of the first three innings, after which the Braves couldn’t get anyone past first base.
  • Of course it was another lefty that shut the Braves down.  Jeff Locke was not sharp, walking five, but he avoided solid contact, only allowing one line drive in 12 batted balls.  The bullpen only allowed two baserunners the last three innings to preserve the lead.
  • Starling Marte was essentially the entire offensive production for the Pirates, homering in the fifth and scoring the other run after a leadoff triple in the third.  Andrew McCutchen also had a nice night, going 1-3 with a double and a walk, keeping him in line for the tremendous .325/.400/.550 feat.
  • This loss allows the Braves to sit Tim Hudson the final game, putting him in line to pitch Game 1 of a possible NLDS.  Ben Sheets was named the starter for Wednesday, which will be the last start of his career, as he will announce his retirement following the season.  While he wasn’t a Brave for long, Sheets did hold the pitching staff together in late July and early August, a significant contributor to end his career.
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