The Braves were able to back up Julio Teheran yesterday, but the lead that Paul Maholm and Luis Ayala allowed was just too much for the Atlanta hitters to come back from.
Maholm started the game in about the worst possible way: a lead off walk. Sure enough, that runner–Justin Ruggiano–as well as three others came around to score to give the Marlins a 4-0 lead right off the bat.
Paul only managed to throw 4.1 innings while giving up seven hits and four runs. The most concerning part of his day were the walks. He gave up five of them while only striking out three. He was pitching on short rest (I’m not really sure why) so maybe that was the only reason that he was missing the strike zone so much. Either way, he didn’t set the team up in a very good position to come away with a win.
Now, if any team has the offense that can come back from things like this, it’s the Atlanta Braves… but they are also incredibly streaky and remained that way today. The consistent guys in the lineup (Freddie Freeman, Chris Johnson, and yes, Dan Uggla) were the only batters able to create any runs while Jason Heyward, Justin Upton, and BJ Upton combined to go 1-11 with four strikeouts and a walk.
The Marlins capped off the game with two more runs against Ayala in the eighth to bring the score to 6-2.
If there is anything bright to bring out of this game, it’s that Fredi Gonzalez actually changed the lineup for the first time in about a month. Chris Johnson found himself hitting fifth, in between Freddie Freeman and Dan Uggla. He still had to have a shortstop leading off though; Tyler Pastornicky got a start and hit in the one-hole for Andrelton Simmons.
Whether or not Chris Johnson will remain in the middle of the lineup remains to be seen, but we can all hope that his 8-hole days are over. If we are extremely lucky, Simmons might finally be moved down there… cross your fingers.