After winning game 1 in dramatic fashion Atlanta dropped the final 2 games of the series to Philadelphia. At this point in the season wins are important, but I am more interested in the way the Braves are playing the game. Philadelphia is in a league of their own in the national league as far as talent and veteran leadership go. The fact that Atlanta came from behind in game 1, and battled Roy Halladay to the very end of game 2 showed me that this Altanta team has a lot of up side.
In game 2 Tim Hudson (1-1) took the hill in another impressive performance, but was simply out dueled by the best baseball has to offer in Roy Halladay (4-0). On this night Halladay got a lot of needed help from his defense which included #1 web gem nominee Shane Victorino robbing Troy Glaus of a 2 run home run. The Flyin Hawaiian lived up to his nickname with an incredible catch in a huge situation. Chase Utley was another defensive hero after struggling in the field as of late. In the 7th inning with the bases loaded and 1 out Halladay forced Braves short stop Yunel Escobar to ground to a diving Chase Utley who completed the inning ending, run saving, double play.
I have always loved to watch Halladay pitch. It’s not just because he has complete command of 5 pitches, but it’s mostly because he finishes what he starts. In a day and age where baseball has short relief pitchers, long relief pitchers, lefty specialists, set up guys, and closers, Roy Halladay continues to prove that when he takes the mound those specialists are simply not needed.
Losing to Halladay I can totally understand, but getting dominated by old man Moyer? Come on man! The 47 year old Moyer (2-1) threw 6 shut out innings against the struggling Atlanta bats. I have nothing against Jamie Moyer he was a great pitcher 10 years ago. The guy couldn’t lick a stamp, but yet somehow finds a way to baffle the Braves? I think I’m just more upset that a talented Atlanta lineup can’t hit an 80 mph fastball. Derek Lowe (3-1) gave up 6 hits and 4 earned runs in 5 innings of work. Not Lowes best outing, but he at least kept them in the ball game. I won’t get all over Martin Prado for that horrific bases loaded throwing error busting the game wide open because the guy is hitting .417 and I strongly believe that Yunel Escobar’s lazy self needs to catch the baseball.
I take this series against Philadelphia as a learning curve for Atlanta. Now they know what they are up against for the long hall. Management may need to go out and grab another starting pitcher in the near future before the Phillies jump out to an insurmountable NL-East lead. Atlanta starts a 3 game series tonight against the Mets in New york. Kawakami is expected to start tonights game with Jurrjens and Hanson going game 2 and 3. This is the start of a very important 7 game road trip for Atlanta. Anything less than .500 would be a complete disappointment.
About the Author
Written by Bill Furey
My name is Bill Furey, and I am from Chelmsford, Massachusetts. I am 25 years old, and a complete baseball guru. This will be my first year blogging for major league baseball, and I am really looking forward to both voicing my opinion as well as covering games. As a former 3rd basemen for the University of Massachusetts-Lowell I got the amazing opportunity to compete, admire, and most importantly learn from some of the most talented players, and coaches this great game has to offer. Growing up in New England I have always been a die hard fan of the Sox, Pats, Celts, and Bruins. My love, understanding, and respect for the game of baseball takes major precedent in my life. I currently coach one of Massachusetts best 13 year old baseball teams. Teaching the game of baseball to young talented players is something I truly look forward to every time I take the field. The relationships I built from this wonderful game are better than any home run, stolen base, or any winning season. Baseball has given me life lessons I couldn't have learned anywhere else in the world. A baseball quote that best describes my passion for the game is this: "You see, you spend a good piece of your life gripping a baseball, and in the end it turns out that it was the other way around all the time." Jim Bouton, Ball Four, 1970. I look forward to covering the Atlanta Braves this season, and getting some great feedback from my followers. Play ball.