For the Atlanta Braves tonight, offensively it was a simple math equation. Fewer Ks plus more Hs equalled a W. The old moniker of, “put the ball in play and good things will happen” was proven true again by Atlanta in Game 2.
The Braves struck out only six times, (half of the total in Game 1) and doubled their number of hits from Game 1 from three to six in tonight’s effort that tied their best-of-five NLDS with the Los Angeles Dodgers at one game each.
The Dodgers were reminded tonight that they only have one Clayton Kershaw. The Braves not only doubled their hits and cut their strikeouts at the plate tonight but were also able to get their first extra-base hits of the series off Los Angeles pitcher Zack Greinke.
The doubles by first baseman Freddie Freeman and shortstop Andrelton Simmons were further complimented by some clutch hitting by Atlanta. All of the RBI hits the Braves got tonight, Simmons’ double plus singles by right-fielder Jason Heyward and third baseman Chris Johnson, came with two outs. The Braves finished third game for nine with runners in scoring position.
The one offensive stat that actually diminished for Atlanta in Game 2 as compared to Game 1 was the base on balls. The two free passes (not counting the intentional walk of Reed Johnson in the seventh) the Braves earned were half the number from Game 1.
A constant from Game 1 to Game 2 for the Braves was the shutting out of second baseman Elliott Johnson. Johnson is now 0-7 with four strikeouts in the series. Braves’ fans might be asking themselves if choosing Johnson over Dan Uggla to be on this playoff roster was a mistake by manager Freddi Gonzalez.
While three runs on six hits isn’t an offensive explosion by normal MLB standards, it was a vast improvement from game one for Atlanta. The Braves go to Los Angeles just needing to win one out of two games to guarantee the series will return to Atlanta. They go with the confidence that they can score runs on the Dodgers if they execute.
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