It’s hard to root for the Nats, but the Braves owe their division punching bag thanks for sweeping the Pirates over the weekend. The Braves made up three games in as many days on the Bucs and are now tied with Pittsburgh, 1-1/2 games behind San Fran in the Wild Card standings.
The Bucs have lost five in a row but get reigning MVP Andrew McCutchen back tomorrow and staff ace Gerrit Cole on Wednesday. So the Pirates are unlikely to play as uninspired as the A’s did over the weekend.
Sweeping Oakland was encouraging, but the Bravos still have some gaping holes, namely the bullpen. If the front office is serious about contending, they’ve got to get another lefty reliever. James Russell has been no more impressive than previous southpaw imports like Scott Downs and Tom Martin. And why was Luis Avilan promoted from Gwinnett, where he had walked 11, and allowed 13 hits, in 11-2/3 IP?
Speaking of players who don’t belong on a big league roster, B.J. is on the bench tonight. But Fredi suggests it’s just a day of rest for the Braves Millstone, who, besides his offensive woes, ranks below average in all of the advanced defensive metrics.
Braves didn’t get in until wee hours, is why a couple of them including B.J. aren’t in lineup, Fredi said. Gattis just starting 3 in a row
— David O’Brien (@DOBrienAJC) August 18, 2014
Even Bobby had to roll his eyes at that one.
Heyward RF Simmons SS Freeman 1B JUpton LF Johnson 3B La Stella 2B Laird C Bonifacio CF Santana P
Apologies for the centerfold pic of Pittsburgh native and That’s Incredible! star John Davidson.