Friday, June 24, 2005

As 8-0 losses go, this wasn't a bad one

I can't get too upset at the Braves for getting shut out last night because of the way Dontrelle Willis was pitching. There cannot be a better pitcher in baseball right now. Aside from his distracting delivery, he was locating his pitches perfectly and he was in command of every pitch in his arsenal. Barry Bonds would have struggled to hit him last night. The game further indicated how important it was for the Braves to win the first two games of the series so they didn't have to beat Willis.

The encouraging news last night was a third straight good start from Jorge Sosa, who went six innings and allowed three runs on two Miguel Cabrera homers. I suspect that Carlos Delgado's presence behind Cabrera was the root cause in the two homers. Delgado came into last night with an OPS over 2.000 against Sosa and at one stage had homered off of him in five straight at-bats. Sosa was probably distracted by his presence and desperate to throw strikes to Cabrera so there wouldn't be anyone on base when Delgado arrived. Other than his Delgado issues, Sosa was very good last night, allowing only six baseunners in six innings.

Adam Bernero blew up for his second straight appearance and the third in his last five. He now has an ERA of 11.91 for the month and 6.25 for the season. I suspect that he's a couple appearances from being pushed to Kolb-world at the end of the bullpen bench, especially if Blaine Boyer continues to pitch well and Cox and Mazzone develop some trust in him. Incidentally, Bernero's line would have been even worse if not for a truly terrific catch by Brian Jordan in the right-center field gap with the bases loaded and no one out. The fact that the blast to the alley came off the bat of punch-and-judy Juan Pierre tells you all you need to know about Bernero's effectiveness last night.

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