The Atlanta Braves were looking for a series split against the Florida Marlins when they faced off in game four on Thursday night. Aaron Harang led the charge for the Braves, and he danced in and out of trouble as only a Harangutan can do. Aaron allowed nine base-runners in his seven innings of work, but the Marlins only managed to score two runs in that stretch. Unfortunately for the Braves, they only scored two runs as well. That meant the game headed to the ninth inning with the scored tied 2-2, and possible extra innings threatening.
The two runs for the Braves came on a Chris Johnson homer in the second inning. Other than that, the Braves were barely hitting the ball. In fact, the team only had six hits in the game going into the ninth inning, three of which came courtesy of Justin Upton. With the rest of the lineup outside of J-Up and CJ managing two hits total, you can easily see why the game moved quickly.
Craig Kimbrel came into the game in the ninth inning for a non-save situation, something I usually don’t like to see. Call me superstitious (I an ex-goalkeeper, so I’m probably two public incidents from getting declared legally insane), but I don’t like using closers in non-save situations. I understand that may mean that Craig doesn’t pitch when a home game gets to extras. I’m fine with that. It’s not necessarily rational, but the way Craig has been pitching and putting runners on, I’m not comfortable right now with him when it’s tied. If it was 2013 Craig, I probably would feel differently.
Why do I say this? Because Craig put a runner on after a strikeout when the slider got away. Then he tossed a wild pitch to the backstop that moved the runner to second. After that, Saltalamacchia drove home the run with a single to center. Just like that, it was 3-2 Marlins and the Braves looked like they were destined to lose a series to the Marlins. Even though Freeman, Justin, and Heyward were due up in the bottom half of the inning, they all flew out to end the game.
So the Braves go 1-3 in the series against the Marlins, and it’s all because the hitting and pitching didn’t click at the same time. This game is another example as Harang had a good enough game to win allowing just two runs, but the Braves simply couldn’t put any hits together. The team went 0-3 with RISP, finished with a homer and a double, six hits, and one walk. That’s not going to get it done most nights.
Next up, the Braves take on the Padres, a team they basically have to take 3 of 4 games from in order to maintain their position in the division race. Here’s hoping they can put it all together this Hall of Fame weekend. Stay tuned.
Tags: Atlanta Braves