Quick and painful. That’s how I would describe the Wednesday day game between the Atlanta Braves and the Seattle Mariners. The game only took 2 hours and 50 minutes, but at the end of it the Braves were on the losing end. Atlanta is a complete mess in interleague play this year, having now gone 0-6 against AL opponents with this loss. What makes the situation even worse is that Seattle and Boston aren’t even in the top half of their divisions.
Mike Minor was amazing. That’s the one takeaway from this game. Minor gave up 7 hits, 1 run, and had 10 Ks. He was pitching his rear off, and the Braves didn’t seem to care at the plate. Atlanta had two runners on base at the same time just once, in the first inning. The rest of the game they popped out, hit into double plays, or just stood at the plate scratching themselves as the ump rang them up.
I hate wasting a good pitching performance even more than I hate wasting 5-run days. The latter is a rarity, as the Braves aren’t going to lose many games when they score five or more. The former is something I’ve seen way too often during my 25+ year tenure as an Atlanta Braves fan. Nothing makes you look worse as a team than losing a game 1 or 2 to zip. I’ve often said that I’m only worried about this team if they aren’t scoring AND they aren’t hitting to boot. This was one of those worrisome games.
The Braves had 6 hits total on the day. Jason Heyward had a good day with 2 hits. Freddie Freeman honestly should have stayed home. He went 0/4 with 3 Ks, and looked lost all day at the plate. Justin, Gattis, CJ, and La Stella all had hits, but they never strung anything together. How many runners in scoring position chances did the Braves have? Who cares since they didn’t score a run? It could have been 30, and it didn’t matter. The answer was 0-3 for those who wanted a non-snarky answer.
The Mariners were hot coming in on a 3 game winning streak, much like the Braves. Only the Mariners are leaving happy after this series. The Braves will still be hot, but that’s because they have to fly down to Arizona for their next series. Arizona has the worst run differential in baseball, they are 14 games back of their division, and they have no reason to care. The Braves need to take advantage and right the ship.