4/15: Off day
4/16: Braves were just blanked. Bernardo Garcia just utterly destroyed our lineup while striking out eight through six innings of work. We only had 7 hits on the day with Peraza and Enciarte both having two-hit performances. We continue to have errors on almost a daily basis as three runs off of Shae Simmons were unearned. Wisler ended up with the loss after having himself a bounce-back performance. Today’s loss brought him to 1-1 on the year all while the Braves have hit a three-game losing streak. We are now 11-6 and only hold the top of the NL East by .5 games.
4/17: Slow day at the work for most of the squad today. Alex Verdugo had a time at the plate, he went 3 for 4 with a home run and four RBIs to lead the Braves to the win. Peraza had a multi-hit game as well and puts him with a seven-game hitting streak. There is talk by the front office on how to handle the Jake Lamb situation; Lamb has only two hits in the past 23 at-bats and is just struggling. Graveman had a rough day at the office as well. He went 3.2 innings allowing five runs on seven hits while only striking out two. After he was pulled in the middle of the fourth innings, the bullpen came in to do its job. Rookie Fierro did not allow a hit over 2.1 innings of work and struck out four. Vizcaino earned the win and Shreve the save. The bullpen has really been showing their worth this season while it; even with two rookies contributing. With the win, the Braves are now 12-6 and still .5 games up in the NL East.
4/18: We are back on track. Braves take the series after beating the Diamondbacks 7-2. The charge was lead by Taylor Jordan who went seven innings giving up 2 runs while only allowing 8 base runners which earned him a 3-0 record. Curt Wilkerson came in to shut the game down for the next two frames and only allowed one hit; the rookie Wilkerson has 11.2 innings pitched and has yet to give up a run. With the bats, Freddie Freeman had a perfect day at the plate going 4 for 4 with two rbi’s. Other notable performances were Gavin Cecchini who came in clutch and provided two rbi’s and Ender Inciarte who had a two-hit day and also grabbed himself a steak as well. This win brings us to 13-6 and still only .5 games ahead of the Phillies.
Winning the series against a struggling Arizona team didn’t quite satisfy me. Game 1’s loss was a disappointment as we out-hit the Dbacks but could not push one single run over the plate. Also, know that we gave up three unearned runs doesn’t make anything better. I pride myself on pitching and defense. Our defense has been pretty consistent this season in efficiency but we are tied 14th in the NL in errors and tied at 27th in the entire MLB. Wisler in this game looked better and that was a plus. Game 2 was a nail biter as we had to come from behind and win. We were being outplayed 5-1 before scoring 5 unanswered runs. Graveman struggled to get things going on the mound but just happy to be back from his five-walk performance of his last start. Game 3 had me back on a content spot. We pitched and had our bats talking but still having errors in the field.
Next series will start a road trip that will bring us to the Cleveland Spiders first. Spiders are .500 on the year and hope I can see a solid performance on the road with already having road success this year.
4/19: Matt Smoal turned it around and in a good time! He went five innings allowing three hits and walking four while giving up only two runs. Pitch count was an issue but I’ll take it after getting his first win of the season. The bullpen continued to dominate while going four innings of two-hit ball and striking out six in that span; Evan Marshal earned his third save of the season. At the plate, I would call it effective hitting as we scored five runs off seven hits and only drawing two walks. Freeman had himself two rbi’s from a home run and Peraza had another multi-hit day to extend his hitting streak to nine games. It was solid performance against the Spiders ace. Today’s win brings us to 14-6 on the year and gaining a game in the NL East; which the next team is now 1.5 games back.
4/20: Another winner; Didi Gregorius pulls us ahead to win 6-3. Didi had two hits on the game and one of them was a three-run home run that put us over the top in the seventh inning. Also, Tom Windle came to play today as well! Windle went six very strong innings giving up six hits and giving up one run off of a solo home run by Elier Hernandez all while striking out four. Windle has given up five home runs in his past three starts. The bullpen had success once again other than allowing two unearned runs from a Tanner Norton error; his first on the year. Shae Simmons captured his second save of the season as well and the stopper roles this year have seemed to work successfully. Today’s win brings us to 15-6 on this season and still 1.5 games ahead of the Phillies who won 21-2 against the Rockies today.
4/21: 3-1 loss as Wisler could not keep the ball in the park. Matt Wisler gave up three solo home runs today to give him his second loss of the season. He went seven innings with one strikeout but the three home runs accounted for every run that the Spiders put across the plate. Notable performances at the plate had Aaron Altherr, who had his first Braves appearance on the year, with two hits. Freeman was another with a multi-hit game as well and put the only run across the plate for us. We are now 15-7 and 1.5 games ahead.
We saw very good hitting over the first two games of the series but then hit a speed bump on Game 3. Pitching was very solid except the multiple home runs that our starters gave up. We still saw errors that hurt us and hope to continue to see improvement along those lines.
We will continue our road trip as we head to Cincinnati after our off day tomorrow.