The San Diego Padres are the worst offensive team in baseball. The Padres also managed to rout the Atlanta Braves on Friday night with five unanswered runs. I’m running out of ways to sugar-coat this home-stand, folks. The wheels came off and the Braves are playing bad baseball at a time when they should be winning over bad teams.
Alex Wood was a disaster on the mound, allowing twelve hits and five runs in just five innings. He usually isn’t anywhere near that bad, but when things seem to be going wrong, they have a way of snowballing on this team.
The Padres didn’t do it on big hits either. They basically dinked and dunked Alex to death by a thousand cuts. The Padres scored at least one run in 4/5 of Alex’s innings pitched. All of the runs were scored on singles or sacrifices. Nothing flashy, but then again when they are the last team in the MLB in runs, you don’t expect them to string things together like that.
Even more infuriating for the Braves was the lack of hits. Atlanta hitters managed to amass six walks, but only four hits to go with them. As a result, they could only muster two runs for the game. That was sort of a miracle in itself as both those runs came on sacrifices or bases loaded walks. Short of gifting runs to the Braves in this game, the Padres pitching simply wasn’t going to give up a five run lead.
I could continue to go on and on why Braves can’t have nice things right now, but allow me to put a bow on it for you with a single example. In the bottom of the eighth with two outs, Freddie Freeman singled, Justin walked, and Heyward walked. So with the bases loaded, down by four runs, El Oso Blanco came to the plate. After taking the count to 3-2, he coaxed a walk as well that scored a run. For those of you counting at home, that was three straight walks by the Padres reliever. To say he was all over the place is an understatement.
And yet, when Chris Johnson came to the plate with a chance to win the game? What do you think he did? He swung at the first pitch and popped out to center. I can’t even put into words how mind-numbing that was to bail out a reliever who’s barely holding things together with duck tape. That’s why the Braves get into these long droughts, because they make mental errors like that.
Am I frustrated? Absolutely, and you probably are too after watching the last five games. This team is so much better than they are playing right now, and they just can’t seem to put it all together. Since the Nationals won, the Braves are now 2.5 games back in the division race. That’s heading into undoubtedly their toughest month on the schedule. One hopes that even though the Braves have been playing down to their competition in this home-stand, they can play up to their competition as they hit the road in August.
Game two against the Padres is next with Julio Teheran on the mound. If there was ever a guy to stop the bleeding, it’s Julio. Make sure to tune in to watch him hopefully right the ship on Saturday night.