Jun 7, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Andre Ethier (16) is out at second as Atlanta Braves second baseman Dan Uggla (26) completes the double play in the third inning of the game at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
By the time Atlanta leaves town after the weekend series with the Dodgers, Yasiel Puig will be a name that makes any Braves fan shake their heads.
Puig took a 6th-inning offering from Paul Maholm over the left field wall to tie the game at 1-1, and that was enough to force the Braves to extra innings. In the 10th, Anthony Varvaro allowed back-to-back singles to Ramon Hernandez and Luis Cruz, but the difference in the game was his pure wildness. Varvaro uncorked two wild pitches in the inning, and the second of those offerings resulted in the game-winning run, as Skip Schumaker (who ran for Hernandez) crossed the plate in walk-off fashion.
It was almost a fitting end to another frustrating evening for the Braves, as the offense couldn’t solve the riddle of Hyun-Jin Ryu. Aside from Freddie Freeman (who went 3-for-4 with a double), no Brave scratched out more than 1 hit, and the lone run of the night came on a Dan Uggla single in the 4th inning. It was yet another instance of a crafty left-hander giving this lineup fits, and if it wasn’t for a stellar effort from Paul Maholm, things would have been worse.
Maholm tossed 7.1 innings of 1-run ball, allowing only 4 hits and 2 walks while striking out 3 batters. It was encouraging to see yet another solid start from the lefty, and the bullpen was able to bridge the gap to extra innings on the back of Jordan Walden and Luis Avilan. The aforementioned Varvaro struggled mightily in the 10th, but this loss certainly can’t be put on the shoulders of the pitching staff, as they did more than enough to generate a victory.
In the end, it is a small sample size, but Yasiel Puig has been the best player on the field for the first two games, and that isn’t exactly encouraging. However, the Braves have significant pitching advantages on Saturday and Sunday, as Kris Medlen and Mike Minor toe the rubber, and as a result, Atlanta has a legitimate chance to grab a split. Stay tuned.