You would not know by looking at the 5-0 score that Atlanta posted against Florida that: a) it was a close game b) the Braves had only two hits and no runs until the 7th inning or c) fans were crucifying management for not having made a deal for another bat.
One swing by Dan Uggla not only extended his hitting streak to 20 games, but it also busted the game open for the Braves.Â Martin Prado and Freddie Freeman did their part by getting on base for Uggla to drive them in.Â Long time minor leaguer Jose Constanza added to the total and notched major league hit and RBI after Brooks Conrad doubled to start off the inning.Â Constanza also showed his speed and later scored on a Prado single and Freeman sacrifice.
While many of us watching could not help but focus on the lack of offense (especially after word came down that Philly acquired Hunter Pence) Brandon Beachy was busy pitching 7 1/3 shutout innings.Â Beachy gave up only two hits.Â Clay Hensley pitched well for six innings, until Uggla broke up his shutout.Â Beachy pitching into the eighth and the offense finally giving the luxury of run support allowed Fredi Gonzalez to stray from the OVentrel formula.Â O’Flaherty came on for 2/3 of an inning, and Scott Linebrink found himself in the role of closer.
Now that we have addresses a & b from my opening statement, let’s talk about c.Â First of all, the Phillies overpaid for Hunter Pence.Â He is a “nice” “solid” player.Â He is not a superstar.Â Yes, he would have been a nice addition, but for three of your top prospects?Â Â For those screaming on Friday evening that the Braves have no shot in the playoffs because they did not make a move, I say look at the calendar.Â The deadline is Sunday, and oh, by the way, Pence is a right fielder.Â If you are going to mortgage the franchise to get a guy, he better be a perfect fit or you better have a bang up back up plan .Â Lastly, Frank Wren has yet to consult me on any deals in the works, but maybe he normally does call you first.Â If he does, then yes, by all means, be upset.Â If it is out of character for you not to know what Frank and company are plotting, you are probably right that they will not get a deal done.
The fact of the matter is there is just not a blockbuster guy available.Â Matt Kemp would be the perfect player for the Braves, but the Dodgers have not listened to my plea yet.Â Of the guys that have been reported as available, Ryan Ludwick and BJ Upton are the most probable and best fits.Â Upton may most closely fit as a center fielder, but both the sought after right handed bat at a reasonable price.Â Carlos Quentin is picking up steam as well.Â Quentin is a right fielder that can be plugged in at left on occasion.Â Two problems with that, what to do with Heyward and you are not addressing speed in center or the basepaths.Â Heyward would have to be rotated, benched, or sent to AAA.Â He is also more expensive, but does have 20 home runs and 62 RBI.Â Lefty Michael Bourn’s name continues to surface, but lefty is the key word.Â If they would settle for a left handed bat, why would the Braves not have gone after Colby Rasmus?
So to recap, the Braves need a right handed, center fielding bat with speed, and some middle relief support (I just through that in from early posts, sorry not to go in depth).Â I am reserving judgement until Sunday at 4:00pm when we see for sure how much of the grocery list made it into the cart and back home.Â I could be wrong, but I have a feeling there is more in the works than any of us know.