Since I’ll be heading to New York City on Thursday, I’m going to abbreviate this Week in Review. But don’t worry — I’ll cover this week’s remaining game in next Thursday’s review.
Braves’ current record: 26-19 (2nd in NL East, 0.5 games behind Washington Nationals)
May 18: Won 5-3 at Tampa Bay Rays
May 19: Lost 5-2 at Tampa Bay Rays
May 20: Won 2-0 at Tampa Bay Rays
May 21: Lost 4-1 at Cincinnati Reds
May 22: Lost 4-3 at Cincinnati Reds
May 23: Lost 2-1 at Cincinnati Reds
The Braves didn’t score more than five runs in a single game this week. A week ago, they were scoring runs in bunches. There’s no doubt they faced better pitching this week, but they also managed just one run against Cincinnati starter Mike Leake, who got his first win of the year (he carried an 0-5 record into Monday’s game). They only got four hits (and one run again) off Bronson Arroyo Wednesday night, which is also really weak.
Another question mark was on the bases. The Braves ran into several outs while trying to stretch singles into doubles and forcing stolen bases. When the runs are at a premium against better pitchers, those decisions can be fatal. In some cases this week, they were momentum-changing outs.
It’s hard to blame the pitching when the offense doesn’t give the starters any run support, but let’s face it — the pitchers served up a lot of long balls this week. They didn’t even give themselves a chance because the homers were flying with frequency. That’s a frustrating reality to watch from a staff that has, for the most part, kept the ball in the yard this year.
But yes, I do feel some sympathy for guys like Tommy Hanson, who pitched a gem Wednesday night and yet the Braves still lost 2-1. They needed more help than they got this week, and that lies on the offense.
Much like last week, the fielding wasn’t an issue with the Braves this week. Even with a couple of starters missing time in the field, the defense stayed strong and only yielded two errors in six games.
The week ahead:
Thursday: at Cincinnati Reds, 7:10 p.m.
Friday: vs. Washington Nationals, 7:35 p.m.
Saturday: vs. Washington Nationals, 4:05 p.m.
Sunday: vs. Washington Nationals, 8:00 p.m.
Monday: vs. St. Louis Cardinals, 1:10 p.m.
Tuesday: vs. St. Louis Cardinals, 7:10 p.m.
Wednesday: vs. St. Louis Cardinals, 7:10 p.m.