By Bud L. Ellis
— OK, so the weekend starts with Sidney Crosby hoisting the Stanley Cup and
concludes with Kobe Bryant celebrating the NBA championship.
Yeah, not exactly a dream sports weekend for me. Not a big
fan of either Sid the Kid or Kobe.
So it’s only fitting that the Braves would add to my weekend
misery, turning the easiest of the three stops on their three-city road swing
into a house of horrors.
Saturday, one bad inning led to an ugly 8-4 loss at Baltimore that only
served as a prelude to the embarrassing debacle of a performance we were
subjected to Sunday.
Derek Lowe couldn’t throw a strike, Yunel Escobar looked
like he’d never been on a baseball field before, and the Atlanta offense was shut down by a rookie in
an 11-2 loss that, honestly, wasn’t as close as the final score would indicate.
Yeah fellas, nice way to start a three-week stretch that’s
going to define your season. If this is the way you’re going to play against
the Reds, Red Sox, Cubs, Yankees and Phils between now and July 2, we might as
well just move ahead to other pursuits because the Braves will be 12 games out
Not exactly what the Braves needed to open the trip, for
sure. After a good performance Friday night, all hell broke loose in the
seventh inning on Saturday. Consider that the Braves gave up 17 runs in their
final 10 innings in Baltimore.
Lowe, who’s churned out quality start after quality start,
looked like anything but an ace on this day – eight hits, seven runs, three walks
in 2 1/3 innings. Of course, it didn’t matter because Baltimore
rookie Brad Bergesen had the Braves on lockdown – Atlanta mustering just five hits.
Then there was Escobar, who botched two plays early in the
game and found himself on the bench in the third inning. As talented as he is,
the mental lapses by Esco are getting a bit tiresome.
So, too, is the lackluster play of this team. Nothing like
opening a critical road trip by getting blasted twice in a row by a team that
had lost seven of its past eight games. Nothing like opening said critical trip
by falling into four place, 6 ½ games out of first.
If the Braves don’t play better than this, there won’t be
any need to worry about the rest of the season … because we’ll all be looking