Quantcast 2008 Atlanta Braves: Cardinal bats light up Braves' pitching
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Cardinal bats light up Braves' pitching

This week had the Cardinals pound the Braves’ young starters. Charlie Morton and Jo-Jo Reyes were hit early and often by the strong St. Louis lineup. The Braves’ inexperience showed as their starters lost their composure and were hit very hard.

Game 1 saw Charlie Morton last only 1 and 1/3 innings while walking 5 batters and allowing 4 runs. Morton had little composure on the mound that forced him to throw 57 pitches, only 25 of which for strikes. Rookie Matt DeSalvo made a relief appearance and was tagged for 6 runs in just an inning of work. The relief pitching for Atlanta was very poor as they allowed 21 hits and 14 runs. The Cardinals didn’t hold anything back and scored 18 runs on 26 hits to easily put away the Braves in the first game of the 3 game set. With terrible pitching and little offense the Braves dropped the first game 18-3.

Atlanta Braves hats & merchandise Jorge Campillo pitched well in game 2 for the Braves for a much needed boost after being embarrassed the night before. Jorge pitched 5 innings allowing 3 runs while scattering 7 hits. Unlike in game 1, the bullpen was solid by allowing 1 run in 4 innings of work. Mike Gonzalez shut the door in the 9th inning to notch his 6th save of the season and preserve the Braves’ 8-4 victory.

Jo-Jo Reyes was again inconsistent in the series finale. Reyes allowed 6 runs in 5 and 2/3 innings of work. Reyes is still struggling with his control as he walked 4 batters. St. Louis gained an early lead and held it for a 6-3 victory in game 3. Cardinals’ starter Brandon Looper was solid, pitching 7 innings and allowing 3 runs. A strong offense and solid pitching lead the Cardinals to a series victory over the Atlanta Braves.

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Braves fans should start worrying. Jo-Jo Reyes and Charlie Morton are starting to look like Kyle Davies and Chuck James. This is bad news as both Davies and James were solid in the minors, and became major league busts. Davies is in Kansas City and James can’t find consistency. Morton and Reyes both have the potential to be solid major league starters. They both however suffer from lack of confidence. Morton appeared to turn the corner with 2 excellent starts but has since cooled off. Reyes is solid one game and terrible the next.

For a team in a rebuilding stat like the Braves, they cannot afford for their top 2 pitching prospects to fail again. Davies and James were supposed to be the “Maddux and Glavine of the future.” This is did not work out and looks as though it is repeating for Reyes and Morton. Hopefully I’m wrong and they will turn it around. They are both very young, but we cannot continue to use that excuse for them. They are inconsistent and for the Braves to succeed next year both need to improve.

Atlanta has an off day on Monday and then start a 3 game series against the Florida Marlins at Turner Field. Game 1 looks to have Scott Olson (6-8) face Jair Jurrjens (11-9). If Jurrjens wants to win Rookie of the Year he needs a strong start here. Game 2 has Josh Johnson (3-0) against Mike Hampton (2-1). Johnson has returned from surgery and looks to be very good for the Marlins again. Hampton on the other hand still shows signs of rust. Who wouldn’t after 3 years off? The series finale has Anibal Sanchez (2-2) take on Charlie Morton (3-6). Hopefully Charlie can turn his rookie season around and put in a solid start.


By Ben Burrows
Atlanta Braves Correspondent

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