The Atlanta Braves won their third consecutive game by defeating the Milwaukee Brewers in game two of the four game series by once again scoring more than five runs and winning by a 5-0 final.
Before we talk about the good, let me just say – this was a super weird game. I know it’s odd to think of a game being 1.) decided by 5+ runs and 2.) a shut out was a weird game, but it was. Things got weird in the bottom of the fourth, beginning with Andrelton Simmons hitting a ball off of second base, which skewed it into shallow left field, and lazy fielding led to Simba trying to take second base, which after a review and some Matrix-esque moves, did so safely. Then, a couple of pitches later, Julio Teheran chopped one over the mound, and Brewers starter Yovani Gallardo rolled his left ankle trying to jump up and field it over his head after falling off the opposite side of the mound, which lead to another long delay, and inevitably, led to his exiting the game.
After that, there was just an odd vibe to the game, and to cap it all off, Carlos Gomez fouled a ball off over the Braves’ dugout which struck a young fan, and the reaction from all involved – Gomez, Teheran, Gerald Laird, and the rest of the Braves defense – was utter disbelief, but play resumed as usual.
Alright, now that that is all out of the way, let’s talk about the actual game.
The question that keeps being thrown around by Atlanta media is “does success breed confidence or does confidence breed success?” While you wont find the answer in this recap, you will see the result of it … whichever way it goes … in the Braves’ past three games. Tonight picked up right where they left off last night, and Teheran bounced back splendidly from a disappointing outing in San Francisco, going the distance for his second career complete game shutout, allowing just six hits and striking out eight. In the process, Teheran forced his ERA down to sub-2.00 at 1.92.
Offensively, the Braves seem to have it together as well. For the second night in a row, every Brave in the starting lineup reached base safely, and as I mentioned earlier, scored at least five runs yet again. Remember when you were all worried?
The Bravos took full advantage of the middle innings tonight, as things got going offensively in the bottom of the third, when Simmons homered and Justin Upton joined the RBI party when he singled into left, which brought home Laird (who was a late addition to the lineup. Evan Gattis was a late scratch due to viral problems) as well as tonight’s second baseman Ramiro Pena. The next half inning brought the play that Gallardo was injured on, which actually brought home Upton, who was the source of the fifth and final run in the bottom of the fifth inning, as he hit a line drive home run on nearly a half swing to finish Atlanta’s scoring.
Upton had a big night, as you can tell from above, as he officially went 2-for-4 with three RBI and a run scored himself. It appears that, much like last year, as Justin goes, the Braves go.
The Braves early season swagger is back, and while the Brewers have been struggling lately as well (they came into tonight with four consecutive games in which they have struck out at least 10 times), they’re still leading a division which sent three teams to the playoffs last year. This is exactly what the doctor ordered (and has been ordering for quite some time) and is a great way to attempt to salvage a disappointing second month so far.