This series may describe the Atlanta Braves organization as well as any other metaphor could. After being shut down, scoring zero runs, for two games, the Braves put up 11 on the Pittsburgh Pirates to prevent the sweep on Sunday afternoon.
With an off season loaded with one “swing and a miss” after another, the Braves came back to seize some victory in that battle as well.
After the botched acquisitions of Rafael Furcal, Ken Griffey Jr., John Smoltz, Andruw Jones, Jake Peavy, and A.J. Burnett the Braves front office didn’t sulk and get “swept.” Instead they went and acquired Derek Lowe, Kenshin Kawakami, Tom Glavine, and Garrett Anderson all after the previous deals fell through.
The first two games of the series were highlighted by Paul Maholm, and Ian Snell looking like Cy Young candidates, each giving up only four hits. Game three continued this trend, only with Javier Vazquez being lights out, giving up only five hits, while striking out eight.
Offensively, both teams showed glaring inconsistencies. The Braves were shutout for 18 innings by Pittsburgh, 22 dating back to Thursday’s game against Florida. Only to break out with three home runs, and 15 hits in the last nine innings.
In game one, the Pirates were shut down by Braves sophomore starter, Jair Jurrjens, who allowed only one run on four hits. However, in game two, the Pirates exploded for 10 runs, nine of them in the last four frames.
Both of these teams are sitting at 6-6 in the middle of their divisions. Unless they are able to find more consistent offense to go with great pitching outings such as these, they both may find themselves around the .500 mark at seasons end.