I feel as if I could sum up this series by simply copy and pasting last week’s RISP blog post. The Braves lost two out of three at Cincinnati to drop their third-consecutive series and finish 3-6 on the nine-game road trip. An extra-inning win to open the series on Friday gave the team a chance to reverse their recent fortunes, but a loss on Saturday followed by the waste of a spectacular Tommy Hanson start on Sunday ruined any hope of that. The Braves hit just .152 with RISP (5-33) during the series and left a crushing 32 runners on base. The continued troubles with RISP would be funny if it wasn’t so frustrating.
Sunday saw the debut of Rick Ankiel and while he went hitless in three at-bats (he did add a walk), at least he was able to throw the ball back to the infield each time he had to. We also saw Alex Gonzalez’s first home run as a Brave, followed by his error that allowed the eventual winning run to score. Tommy Hanson gave a second straight strong performance with a 7.1 IP, 2 R (1 ER), 5 K line, but the Atlanta offense stole any chance he had at a win.
Jason Heyward continues to rake since returning from the DL. He saved what would have been a disastrous Friday night with a two-run double in the top of the 11th to lead the Braves to victory. Unfortunately his game-winning hit proved bittersweet as Martin Prado broke his right pinky sliding into home. The news could have been much worse, though, as the break is ‘stable’ and he’s projected to return in the next 1-2 weeks. All-Star Omar Infante will be a serviceable replacement, but hopefully the injury doesn’t nag Prado after his return.
The Braves return to Turner Field (where they’re an MLB-best 34-13 this season) on Monday to begin a three-game series with the New York Mets. This will be my first Mets series with MLB.tv and I’m worried that it will be blacked out online..leading to another three nights of Keith Hernandez and Ron Darling. Ugh. Hudson, Lowe and Medlen will face off against Santana, Dickey and Pelfrey, respectively.