All we can ask of our starting pitchers is to get to the bullpen with a lead in tact. With what is usually one of, if not the, biggest strengths of the team, that is usually all the Braves need to do to seal down a victory. Unfortunately, for the second night in a row, the Braves blew a lead and eventually lost the game.
Jason Heyward got the scoring started with a leadoff home run in the bottom of the first. The Braves added two more runs from Chris Johnson RBI outs, including a blooper that scored what was then the go ahead run as Justin Upton was thrown out at second.
That gave the Braves a 3-2 lead as Aaron Harang pitched another solid performance, and he now leads the league in FIP. He's been a great story so far, and has certainly made me wrong a few times now. I hope he keeps doing that.
The game unraveled in the seventh, as Anthony Varvaro was given a set up chance and allowed two consecutive base hits after recording an out to start the inning. Luis Avilan came in and allowed a few bloop hits. It was an unfortunate inning that probably could have been managed a bit better, as Avilan faced Jonny Gomes who mashes lefties and then Fredi Gonzalez opted to intentionally walk David Ross. Jackie Bradley broke the game open a bit on a single against Avilan to left field. Chris Johnson had a shot at the ball but his limited range kept him from being able to stop it.
Late in the game the Red Sox bullpen dominated again. I know B.J. has hit well in the two spot this year, but in late inning situations I like Justin bridging the gap between Jason and Freddie as he would get an opportunity to hit against the LOOGY.
The Braves will travel up to Boston to finish off the home-and-home series tomorrow night.