The struggles of the Atlanta Braves continued tonight as the team dropped its opening series game to the St. Louis Cardinals 4-3. This loss brings the losing streak up to seven games.
The Braves had a real chance to come back in the bottom of the ninth with runners on first and second and two outs, but Justin Upton continued his recent cold streak at the plate and struck out looking, much to the ire of twitter:
Justin Upton takes strike three to end the game. Shuffling lineup ain’t gonna fix that.
— Jeff Schultz (@JeffSchultzAJC) May 6, 2014
Justin just did more swinging in the dugout than he did at the plate.
— Jake Humphrey (@JakeHumphrey91) May 6, 2014
That would be 3 strikeouts tonight where Justin Upton didn’t swing. Unbelievable.
— Joey Weaver (@FTRSLilBroey) May 6, 2014
Aaron Harang had a pretty good outing for the Braves. He threw six innings and allowed nine hits and four runs (two earned), while striking out six and walking just one. The trio of Anthony Varvaro, David Carpenter and Luis Avilan threw the remaining three innings and held the Cardinals at four throughout the rest of the game.
Unfortunately, the Atlanta offense was again underwhelming despite a pretty drastic lineup overhaul. Ramiro Pena sure made Fredi Gonzalez think even harder about keeping Dan Uggla on the bench with his two-hit game that included at seventh inning solo homer. Pena was one of four Atlanta hitters to have a 2-4 game including Freddie Freeman, Evan Gattis and Andrelton Simmons.
As mentioned in the tweets above, Justin Upton had a bit of a rough night after moving up to the 2-hole, going 0-4 with four strikeouts.
As bad as the game really feels (especially given the way it was lost), there are some good things to pick out:
- Jason Heyward went 1-3 with two walks after lots of people (including myself) started to worry about his BB numbers
- The starting rotation continues to be effective
- The bullpen was sharp, not allowing a single base runner
- Four guys had multi-hit games
Maybe some of those things will culminate for a much-needed win tomorrow, as the Braves try and end the slide.