The Braves had a chance to consolidate the gains made on their road trip, on which they went 7-3. They’ve since gone 1-4, their only victory coming on a walk-off balk. They lost a series to the Mets and have lost this one to the Rangers, and now they’re just trying to exercise damage control.
Jair Jurrjens is pitching today, and that’s usually a good thing. He’s 8-3 with an ERA of 2.13. But Alexi Ogando is working for Texas, and he’s 7-1 with an ERA of 2.71. And the Braves, as you know, have a way of making ordinary pitchers look like Walter Johnson. Imagine what they might do against a good one.
The Braves trailed the Phillies by two games a week ago. They’re six behind now, Philadelphia having beaten Felix Hernandez in Seattle last night. They’re still in good shape for the wild card — tied with St. Louis and Arizona for the lead in that category — but that six-game spread between first and second in the National League East is the widest in baseball.
A cheery note: Dan Uggla had two doubles Saturday, lifting his average to .176 and his RBI total to 21. (He’s sixth on the team in ribbies.) He’s batting second today in a strange lineup that has Jason Heyward hitting third, Freddie Freeman fifth and Nate McLouth — back from the DL — seventh. Diory Hernandez plays third base and hits eighth.
Of the Braves’ starting nine, only Brian McCann is hitting above .264. Only four are above .240. I’ve been saying for a while now that this time is going to hit, but I have to confess even the famous Bradley patience is eroding. Six games back on Father’s Day — time to get going.
And with that, the figurative floor is again open for questions, comments and Father’s Day greetings. I’ll be here all day, and I’d love your company. Thanks, as ever, in advance.