Sep 7, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Atlanta Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons (19) celebrates hitting a two run home run with third base coach Brian Snitker during the ninth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies defeated the Braves 6-5. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Questionable Bullpen Usage By Gonzalez Costs Braves A Game

Phillies shortstop Freddy Galvis was hitting under the Mendoza Line for the season coming into tonight’s game. Naturally, the light-hitting switch hitter went 4-for-5, including the walk-off home run in the bottom of the 9th, to give the Phillies a 6-5 victory and send the Braves to their third straight loss.

The Braves lost a game because, frankly, Freddy Garcia was misused by manager Fredi Gonzalez. Plain and simple. Garcia is a far below-average pitcher at this point in his career and should never be used in any situation other than an innings eater in a blow out. How Fredi ever thought it was a good idea to put him into a tie game in the bottom of the 9th is beyond words. It is also worth mentioning that Gonzalez also used 5 separate relievers to get 10 outs in the middle innings tonight. Not good bullpen management tonight from the Braves skipper.

It was so deflating because the Braves had rallied in the 9th of Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon to tie the game at 5. Chris Johnson blooped a single to right-field after a Brian McCann ground-out to start the frame. After Joey Terdaslovich flew out, Andrelton Simmons shot a laser over the left field fence with 2 strikes to tie the game and give the team a second chance. It was a positive finish for the offense after a lackluster performance for most of the game. Simmons tallied 3 hits for the game and Freddie Freeman and Chris Johnson each had two hits. Those were the only 3 Braves to collect a hit the entire game. BJ Upton was awarded the Golden Sombrero tonight for going 0-4 with 4 strikeouts.

Starter Alex Wood had his second rough start in a row, failing to finish 5 innings. He gave up 4 runs on 9 hits, walked 3 and struck out 4. It really could have been much worse, too. The Phils hit a lot of balls hard but right at fielders. It looks like the film is starting to get out there on Alex and the league is adjusting to him. He is going to have to adjust back to continue to be effective.

Stay tuned for the series finale on Sunday, when Paul Maholm takes on Cole Hamels.

Tags: Andrelton Simmons Atlanta Braves Freddy Garcia Philadelphia Phillies

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