Rarely in any sport can a loss be called a good thing. Yet for the Atlanta Braves, their recent loss to the New York Mets might include some of the best and most important news of the season. It was not a good run for the offense in the first few innings and they lost in extra innings but there was good news among the bad. Many things happened during the game that might be important going forward for the Braves.
Among the best news of the night was the good outing by Braves starter Mike Minor. Over his last several starts, including his start against the Mets his last time out, Minor has struggled to remain effective over more than a few innings. During the game on Monday he kept the damage down to a couple of runs against him. That kept the team in the game and allowed them the chance to come back on the Mets bullpen.
In addition to the good news that Minor can hopefully regain his form for the second half of the season comes the fact that the offense started working again in the late innings. For the first part of the game the Braves were looking a great deal like the team who always struggled to get runners in without hitting a long ball. That evaporated when they manufactured runs late however. Their inability to get runs across early cost them the game but at least the offense got going late.
Some clarification happened in the bullpen for the Braves as well. Shae Simmons astoundingly was able to keep his cool during the horrible botched ‘neighborhood play’ call at second and get four outs to send the game to extras and possibly save the MLB umpires a ton of headache over the worst replay call of the season. Also on a negative note the Braves might begin to see that Luis Avilan is the weak link in the bullpen right now.
Work with him, bench him or whatever needs to happen, they know who their best is and who their best is not. All in all it was a good loss that allowed the Braves to work several things out and helped them learn a few things as well. Now they can go out and use what they learned to hang on to a tiny first place position.