Three Braves regulars have more than 15 at-bats against Strasburg, who often pitches more like Stressburg against Los Bravos. That trio–Freeman, Heyward and Uggla–are all hitting over .400 against the gnats’ hurler. Stressburg’s career ERA against the Braves is 3.68. That’s hardly Albie Lopezian, but it is .68 above his career earnie.
That he has a career ERA of 3.00 is a tad surprising. Anyway, as for today’s tilt, I suspect Julio to be sharp after battling his way through the opener with far less than his best stuff. Stressburg did much the same but gave up 4 runs to the crappy Mets. So, bad news, he’s probably due to pitch well, too. That likely adds up to another 2-1 affair.
Since I typed that, it’ll probably be 10-9.
Julio has made 35 big league starts. He’s 15-10 with a 3.43 ERA. That’s better than Avery, Maddux and Glavine at the same point. That is not to say Julio will be better than those guys. Chances are, he won’t be better than Maddux and Glavine, though with good health he could well surpass Avery’s career body of work.
As for a small body of work, how about Carpenter yesterday? That’s the sort of outing that could cement him as a first-rate setup guy. If he needed a confidence boost after his October struggles, that should do it. Yeah, it’s just April, but these games matter, especially any one you can take while DC has the clear advantage against the Braves battered rotation. I will nominate Carpenter’s 8th yesterday for performance of the season so far.
Turning to the offense, Uggla’s numbers are not eye-popping so far. But he looks night-and-day better than last season. It’s not just Braves homer broadcaster babble — he is hitting the ball hard. He got called out twice yesterday on pitches that were probably balls. Happens. Justin will come around. BJ. Hmm. Not hitting. Not bunting. Rarely putting the ball in play. Give it a few more games, and if BJ keeps whiffing two-three times per outing, then switch him and Simmons in the order.
* Yes, the real Patch Adams is from Washington. I suppose it’s not totally his fault that movie goers were assaulted with the abomination that bore his name. But it happened. So he shares blame for the most annoying screen character of the past quarter century.