In the first game of a three-game road series against the San Diego Padres on Monday, the Atlanta Braves lost 7-6 despite scoring four runs in the top of the ninth inning thanks to a three-run home run by pinch-hitter Evan Gattis and a solo homer by right fielder Jason Heyward.
While starting pitcher Julio Teheran put the Braves behind the eight ball by allowing five runs in six innings and reliever Cory Gearrin surrendered two more runs in the bottom of the seventh to make the margin even bigger, Atlanta’s offense also struggled, as the only players with hits through the first seven innings were outfielders Justin Upton and B.J. Upton.
In Tuesday’s game, the Braves will need to score early in order to take the pressure off starter Tim Hudson. Although he has allowed just one unearned run over his past two starts combined, Hudson is 0-1 over that span due to the fact that the Braves have tallied just two runs — both coming in the same game.
Atlanta’s starters have really turned it around after a shaky few weeks, which has helped the Braves win some games despite low run support at times. Not that that is any reason for the them to feel confident implementing such a gameplan, given that pitchers historically do better when given a lead.
So what should the Braves do in order to generate more runs?
I say they use the tried and true method of starting Gattis and letting him work his magic.
It’s simple, but usually effective as well.