I should be studying for a Journalism test I have tomorrow (Ironic, right??) But I need to vent and talk sports.
The Braves have officially been the swept and not the sweepers….and Tommy Hanson gets no help (have you heard this before??)
(Photo from Tim Donnelly/AP/AJC.COM)
The Braves struggled to put runners on the bases and no runs on the score board, and the Braves, who just 6 weeks ago were in first place, are now 6 games back of the National League East behind the unstoppable and virtually unbeatable Philadelphia Phillies at Citizen’s Bank Park to be swept by the team who have dominated the division for the past four years.
With a series being this crucial to playoff hopes and division dreams, the Braves line-up did not put up any significant run support for rookies Brandon Beachy and Mike Minor, and continue to leave Tommy Hanson hanging when he is on the mound. Seems that the lack of luck that fell upon Kenshin Kawakami has found Tommy Hanson, who pitched a stellar game and settled for a no decision tonight, pitched 6 innings, allowed two hits, walked 3 and struck out four. His opponent, the amazing Roy Oswalt, pitched a stellar game as well, going 7 innings, allowing one hit, walked one and struck out 8 Braves hitters. The Phillies continues excellent bullpen play, with Ryan Madsen and Brad Lidge continuing his dominance of the Braves in this series, as he has saved and sent down the Braves in every game of this series, collecting three saves and showcasing the Brad Lidge of old (and his patented NASTY slider that no one could hit ***see his 9th inning 1-2-3 outs against the Braves 1-2-3 hitters on Monday. Just NASTY***).
Phillies manager Charlie Manuel had this series perfectly worked out. He saved his top three pitchers, Cole Hamels (Monday), Roy Halladay (Tuesday– and won his 20th game against the Braves), and Roy Oswalt (tonight) to get the job down and set the Braves back further out of their sights as far as the division is concerned, making the final home series against them obsolete unless they lose the next 6 games before they head to Atlanta to end the season. The Phillies have now won ten straight games and will continue to roll straight to the playoffs.
The Braves now have bigger fish to fry. They now have a 1/2 game lead over the San Diego Padres, and will have to look over their shoulders for the surging San Fransisco Giants, and the Colorado Rockies for the NL Wild Card. All of these teams are currently playing West Coast games, so stay tuned to be kept up on those scores and the on-going changes in the West and the pending NL Wild Card race.
The Braves must get going with the bats in their line-up. They cannot allow two teams from the West to catch up with them and one win the NL West and the other win the Wild Card. It would take a MIRACLE, meaning the Phillies aces all get injured or hit by Mack-Trucks (which no one wants…except Braves fans. Including this one.) I knew in my heart that once my guy, Chipper Jones, went down with his injury on August 12th, that the heart, and basically the testicular fortitude of the Braves line-up was gone. Even at 38 years of age, pitchers all over the National League feared his bat from both sides. Who has that type of batters’ box presence in the line-up currently. Brian McCann hasn’t hit a significant hit since the All-Star game, and Prado and Jason Heyward can only do so much. None of the Braves starters (Tim Hudson, Hanson, Minor, Derek Lowe, I guess you can add Beachy, and Jair Jurrjens) have gotten significant run support.
And even more significant as Chipper is Kris Medlen being out since the beginning of August as well. He went down with an injury to his pitching arm and is out for the season after undergoing Tommy John surgery. His pitching, while Kawakami struggled helped us surge throughout most of the summer until he was gone.
I would hate after all of the amazing, thrilling, and outstanding baseball that the Braves have played to go to waste because of little to no run support and miss the playoffs.
Maybe it’s time to stop trying to win games for Bobby and just win. Period. He will be more disappointed, I am sure, if the outstanding baseball the Braves have played from May-End of August to go to waste because of a literal September swoon.
PLEASE PLEASE do not let Braves Country down! WE WANT PLAY-OFF BASEBALL!
Now I am starting to panic. The Braves are now continuing their last road trip of the season, headed to Washington for a series against the Nationals. Tomorrow is a get-away day, and the series starts Friday, where Tim Hudson will kick off the weekend and being to turn things around as the Braves fight for the playoffs.
This is also a Nationals team that took two out of three against the Braves at Turner Field last week. Yikes.
PANIC BUTTON! WHERE’S MY PANIC BUTTON?!!?!?!?!!?!