Atlanta Braves Offense Sputters: Arizona Diamondbacks Win 2-1

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Atlanta Braves Offense Sputters: Arizona Diamondbacks Win 2-1
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

 

For awhile, it seemed like the Atlanta Braves could do no wrong.

Last night brought the Braves back down to Earth. With an offense that just could not get anything going, the Braves managed to get a run on an RBI double by Brian McCann in the top of the eight. 

When all seemed like the Braves might have a shot at squeaking past the D-Backs, enter the latest issue for the Braves: Peter Moylan.

This isn’t the first game Peter Moylan has either blown or almost blown this season.

Upon entering the game against the Dodgers in the first game of the series on June 3rd , Moylan came in and walked a batter, gave up a hit, and ran the count 3-0 against the next hitter before he was pulled.

Just four days prior, Moylan came into the final game of the Philadelphia series and gave up three hits, two runs, and got no one out.

Not a single batter got out while he was on the mound. Eric O’Flaherty, as has been the usual case, came in to save the day. Here is another example of a Moylan ruination of a Braves chance.

The Braves held the D-Backs scoreless for eight innings, finally getting a run across on a Brian McCann double.

Peter Moylan is brought in for the bottom of the eight, and proceeds to hit Mark Reynolds with a pitch. Chris Young sac bunting him to second, and Moylan then gave up an inside the park homer to Gerardo Parra after Nate McLouth and Jason Heyward collided going after the ball.

The Braves failed to do anything after this, eventually losing to the Diamondbacks 2-1.

Moylan was credited with a blown save and a loss. Here we see that Atlanta still has kinks to work out. There are still some aspects of this club that need work and fine tuning.

Let’s discuss those.

 

Nate McLouth and Peter Moylan Need to Hit the Minors

McLouth is hitting .176.

Last time I checked, that is a 17 percent success rate. That means that the other 83% percent of the time, he is getting out.

Think about it in this manner. A soldier on the battlefield only hits 17 percent of his targets. The other 83 percent will eventually take him out.

Or say a fast food place gets your orders right 17 percent of the time. I wouldn’t go back there because they have a proven track record of failing to meet standards.

McLouth needs to readjust something and could benefit from some time in the minors, as could Peter Moylan.

Instead of calling on Moylan, use the myriad of other pitchers that get no work. How about Jo-Jo Reyes? Send Moylan down and bring up Jo-Jo. The Braves could use a good lefty in the pen.

The Braves are currently shopping a great second-time-around reliever Chris Resop. Bring him up and give him a chance.

Vladimir Nunez, a veteran righty, has opponents hitting .235 against him. He is another possibility.

Mike Minor is showing dominance in AA and did so in college; he may be another possibility. Possibilities exist; the Braves need to look for them.


Get Martin Prado and Omar Infante Regular Playing Time

Infante and Prado have been clutch for this club, and regular playing time is a must for these two. Put the speedy Infante in center field, opening up second base for Martin Prado.

Another young gun, Brent Clevlen, has shown pop and defense, and could play either third or second. Infante and Prado are good defensively AND offensively and provide serious help to the Braves.

Given more at bats and more playing time, the Braves could build the team around them, Troy Glaus, and Brian McCann.


Platoon Chipper Jones

Chipper is no longer in the physical shape to be an everyday player.

Frequently injured, Chipper could benefit from a platoon with Brent Clevlen or others at third. Keeping Chipper healthy could be a huge benefit for the Braves.

Chipper has shown he still has a little pop left and could have more if he isn’t faced with the daily task of a starter. It may even prolong his career to platoon and could give a much deserving player like Clevlen or Infante the chance to start more frequently. Another player who could platoon with Chipper Jones: Brooks Conrad.

 

Move Kawakami to the Pen and Put Kris Medlen in the Rotation

Since Medlen started for Jair Jurrgens on May 18th , he has been nothing short of brilliant.

Providing solid starting with decent longevity that will increase with time, Medlen needs to be moved to the rotation.

Send Kawakami to the pen to regain his form and bring him back at a later time. A rotation featuring Jurrgens, Hudson, Lowe, Hanson, and Medlen is a deadly rotation, one that cannot be messed with. Making the right moves now can ensure the Braves a solid shot at preserving this season.

The Braves obviously have some work to do, but should be proud of their progress so far.

They still rest atop the NL East, albeit precariously, and need to work and fight to maintain that lead. The Phillies are starting to heat up and can/will catch the Braves at some point. The question is when; the Braves need to be ready when it happens.

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