May 28. Top of the 8th, Giants 1, Braves 0. Shelby Miller, who had thrown just 86 pitches, due up second. After a lead-off single by Andrelton, Fredi calls for a pinch hitter Pedro Ciriaco. who grounds into a fielder’s choice. The Giants score 6 in the bottom of the 8th. Asked why he didn’t leave Miller in to bunt, the manager who once had Simmons bunt in the 4th inning of a playoff game with one out, runners on the corners (slow-footed Freddie at 3rd) and Kris Medlen on deck said he didn’t want to “give outs away.”
May 31. Top of the 7th, Braves 3, Giants 2. With 2 outs and a runner at 3rd, Fredi opts to let Julio Teheran bat. He flies out to RF. Matt Duffy leads off the next inning with a double. Fredi pulls Teheran and brings in Donnie Veal, who does what Donnie Veal does, allowing an RBI single, sacrifice and two-run homer. Giants lead 5-3.
June 5. Top of the 6th, Braves 4, Pirates 4. Brandon Cunniff relieves Williams Perez and gets two quick outs. With left-handed batter Gregory Polanco — hardly Barry Bonds — due up, Fredi decides to counter with his only southpaw reliever, Luis Avilan. In the 6th inning. Polanco works a walk, bringing Starling Marte (1.239 OPS vs lefties) to the plate. Marte homers. The pitcher’s spot was due third in the bottom half of the frame, so Fredi burns two of his relievers then brings in Trevor Cahill to pitch the 7th.
June 8. Bottom of the 7th, Braves 3, Padres 1. Shelby is tossing another gem, allowing 5 hits, 1 walk and 1 run. He had thrown 94 pitches so he realistically has another inning in his arm. Due up first, Fredi calls on pinch hitter Chris Johnson. The Braves don’t score in the inning, but the Pads add a run in the 8th off Jim Johnson and another in the 9th off Jason Grilli. Miraculously, Nick Masset retires the side in order in the 10th, so what does Fredi do? Brings in Cody Martin, struggling more than anyone in the ‘pen. San Diego scores 2 and holds on for a 5-3 win.
June 11. Top of the 8th, Braves 4, Padres 1. Some may question Fredi’s decision to leave Julio in after allowing hits by Amarista and Solarte. I don’t. My beef was with his choice of reliever after Julio walked Wil Myers to load the bases. It would make sense to bring in Dana Eveland to face fellow lefty Will Venable if the Padres didn’t have Justin Upton sitting on the bench. Maybe Fredi confused Justin with his brother. Regardless, the Padres got the match-up they wanted. (It could’ve been worse — Eveland walked J-Up,) Enter Nick Masset, who strikes out Matt Kemp looking. Fredi then brings in Avilan to face Yonder Alonso, overlooking his .429 BA against southpaws. Alonso walks, and Fredi brings in David Aardsma, who retires both hitters he faces. Having used four relievers in the 8th, you’d think he’d leave Aardsma in to pitch the 9th. Nope. Two more pitchers are burned, putting the onus on Alex Wood to go deep tomorrow night in New York.