Untimely Hitting Lets Down Braves in 4-3 Loss


Jun 20, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez (33) watches a game against the New York Mets in the sixth inning at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

On a night where Mike Minor didn’t have his best, the Braves fell in a heap to the normally hapless New York Mets by a score of 4-3. David Wright was the “hero” of the night for New York (and subsequently, the villain to the entire city of Atlanta), as he took Minor deep twice during the night, and finished the game having gone 3-for-4 at the dish.

For Minor, it wasn’t only Wright that gave him fits. The Braves ace allowed a pinch-hit home run to Andrew Brown (yes, Andrew Brown) in the 5th inning, as well as the crushing (and game-winning) blow of a pinch-hit RBI double to Josh Satin in the 7th inning. In between blows, Minor was fairly effective, striking out 6 and walking just 2, but it wasn’t enough to give the slumping Braves bats any cushion.

Speaking of the bats, it was another frustrating night at the plate for the Braves. Despite generating a staggering 13 hits in the game, the Braves managed to put up just 3 runs against Jon Niese and company. Five Braves players put up 2 hits or more, but the situational hitting was lacking, and not even an unexpected 3-hit barrage from Gerald Laird could propel the offense. This type of game happens in the majors, and frankly, it would be an overreaction to scream and yell about the offense after a 13-hit night, so for the most part, it’s a “throw your hands up” moment.

The undercovered part of the action on Thursday night, however, was the defensive disaster that was Chris Johnson. Johnson made 3 errors (not a misprint) in the game, and while they didn’t lead to any unearned runs, it is a major concern going forward. When the Braves jettisoned Juan Francisco, it was widely known that Johnson’s defense was suspect (to be kind), but the “butcher” part of his game has emerged in a big way in recent days, and the player who was the worst defensive 3B in baseball in Houston seems to be on the field every night.

At any rate, the Braves lose for the 3rd time in 4 days (5 games) to New York, and that’s a severe disappointment. While it wasn’t a calamity at any point, the Braves should consistently beat the underwhelming Mets at home, and no one in that locker room will be happy with the result. Stay tuned as we wrap the series up and focus on the weekend series with Milwaukee.