Livan Hernandez single-handedly defeated the Braves Tuesday night.
I’m not sure about all Braves fans, but this has to be one of the most frustrating stretches of “domination” by a pitcher against the Braves. Hernandez had been awful this month until last night’s gem.Hernandez tossed 8 innings of 5-hit baseball while going 2-4 at the plate with a solo home run and an RBI double. All five hits that Hernandez allowed were singles. He also struck out six. Hernandez improved to 2-1 in 4 starts against the Braves this year and 4-1 in his last seven starts against the Braves. He has posted a 3.75 ERA, 1.44 WHIP and a 17-to-15 strikeout to walk ratio. The Braves have batted .291 against him in that span. Yet, he continues to win.
The loss to the Nationals evened the season series at 7-7. The Braves have four games left against the Nationals.
The Phillies edged the Marlins out 2-1 behind a 13-strikeout performance from Cole Hamels. The Rockies and Giants lost so the Braves maintain a 1.5 game lead in the Wild Card, but fell two games back in the NL East.
Not all hope is lost for the Braves to win the division just yet. They still have six games to play against the Phillies and they close the regular season out in Atlanta against the Phillies. We all know that the Braves have been great at home. Here’s a look at the remaining schedule:
09/15 vs. WAS
09/17-19 @ NYM
09/24-26 @ WAS
09/27-29 vs. FLA
10/01-03 vs. PHI
Today, LHP Mike Minor (3-0, 5.63 ERA) faces off against LHP John Lannan. Interestingly enough, the Braves are 25-25 against left-handed starters this year. Minor has posted a nice 35-to-8 strikeout to walk ratio since coming to the big leagues, but has been more hittable over his last four starts. Hopefully, he can bounce back today. First pitch is set for 11:10 am CST.
- Lannan vs. ATL (Career): 9 GS, 4-4, 3.44 ERA, 1.58 WHIP, .293 BAA (batting average against)
- Lannan vs. ATL (Last Start): W, 5.1 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 5 K, 1 BB
- Minor is 1-0 against the Nationals in his career with an ERA of 3.00, 1.17 WHIP and .218 BAA
Notes from the Box Score
- Jason Heyward reached base in all four plate appearances and was hit by a pitch for the second consecutive night. I didn’t get a chance to see that, but he was not happy about getting hit last night. Heyward continued his hot streak with two walks and a single. Heyward did pick up his 5th error on the season.
- Nate McLouth had his 7-game hit streak snapped after going 0-3.
- Jair Jurrjens struggled for the second consecutive start. He didn’t make it past the 5th inning and allowed two homers. Over his last two starts, Jurrjens is 0-2 and has allowed 19 hits, 11 earned runs and four home runs in 8.2 innings pitched. Yikes.
- The Braves were 0-1 with men in scoring position and left 7 men on base. They are 2-11 with runners in scoring position for the series.
- Derrek Lee went 0-3 with 2 strikeouts. He’s now batting just .241 with 8 extra base hits (1 HR) in 24 games with Atlanta.
- Kyle Farnsworth is the bane of most Braves fans existence. He allowed another run in one innings work last night, but he’s been much better since allowing 7 ER in his first seven appearances. In his last 9.1 IP (10 games), he’s posted a 1.98 ERA, 0.88 WHIP and 12-to-0 strikeout to walk ratio. Still, those who hate will continue to hate Farnsworth for various other justifiable reasons.
- Braves attendance was up from 18,647 Monday night to 26,954.