Saturday afternoon’s game against the Chicago Cubs began as an exciting pitcher’s duel in which the cards seemed to be in the Atlanta Braves‘ favor as Kris Medlen entered the eighth inning having been dominant most of the night. It ended as one of the more disappointing and telling losses that the Braves have experienced all season.
Normally, this kind of game would be quickly forgotten after a few days had passed, but with the playoffs looming, the game is not going to be easily forgotten. Not because of the failure by the Braves’ bullpen and not by the offense’s incompetent performance at the plate, but because of the what happened in the top of the ninth.
It’s not even so much what happened in the ninth as it is what we knew what would happen once the lead had been lost in the bottom of the eighth. All one had to do was see the three names due up in the top half of the impending final chance inning. Gerald Laird, Dan Uggla, B.J. Upton. When I saw those names, I knew the game was over.
It’s not that I just realized Uggla and Upton are just terrible hitters, I knew that before today’s game. It’s that I knew it would take a series of favorable and nearly miraculous events for the Braves to score two runs in one inning when their third-string catcher, and completely undeserving two highest-paid players were coming up to bat.
Medlen couldn’t have pitched much better, allowing no runs over 7.1 innings pitched and all for naught. Upton and Uggla are a cancer to this lineup and they are really killers. With the game on the line, there are few players in the MLB that I wouldn’t rather have up to bat than those two nobodies. This game hurt, and I honestly don’t know if the Braves can really recover from this. Uggla and Upton don’t deserve to see another at-bat this season.