This might be my most unpopular article I have written. I truly do not understand why the Atlanta Braves are intimidated by the Washington Nationals. It is just not the players either, but it seems to be the Braves organization has already thrown in the towel for this season and just want to go to the new stadium in Cobb county.
This game started off with a bad omen. A rain delay pushed the start of Thursday night’s game back over an hour. This is the South and having lived here for many moons, I understand the random thunderstorms that pop up unexpectedly. There is no one you can blame for the weather, so I won’t try to do so. Weather aside, when Matt Kemp dropped a routine fly ball in the top of the 1st inning allow the Nationals to score 2 runs, I knew this was not going to be a fun night. I understand that errors happen in baseball and that is just part of the game. However, when your newly acquired left fielder can not use 2 hands to catch a fly ball, it’s time to look at the very basics of baseball. That starts and ends with the manager. True the manager of the Atlanta Braves, Brian Snitker, did not drop the fly ball and he is not the one who gave up 5 runs in the top of the 7th inning. However, he and his coaching staff are responsible for the runs scored by the Nationals. When one of your pitchers walks 2 batters in the top of the 7th inning after allowing a lead off fluke single to load the bases, how can you just sit back and see what happens next?
Arodys Vizcaino allowed 3 earned runs in that inning. He should of been pulled after he loaded the bases. Even the most casual fan could see that. But for whatever reasons, Brian Snitker decided to allow him to continue to pitch. I never claim to know more about baseball than a big league manager, even though at times I act like I do. I am one of the best arm chair coaches in the game. Possibly there were other variables I may not know. I would hope the Atlanta Braves bullpen would have enough pitchers to work an inning or two. Of course once Vizcaino was finally taken out of the game, the Nationals still scored 2 more runs. Once the score was 8-2 a possible comeback seemed way out of reach. True the Braves had 3 more innings to score 6 runs just to tie the game but that’s asking a lot of a team that seemed to have given up. Freddie Freeman can NOT carry this team every single game and it’s unfair to ask him. Matt Kemp dropping a routine fly ball allowing 2 runs and Brian Snitker not managing the 7th inning better allowing 5 runs to score were parts of a huge puzzle the Braves could not piece together tonight. Tomorrow is a new day and maybe the rain tonight might help wash away some of the sting the Nationals put squarely on the Braves’ backside tonight. We can win this series. Come on Braves!!!