THE VIEW FROM THE CROWS NEST
To be honest, this is a preview I was dreading having to write... this series is chock full of all of the push button items that divide us as fans and allow our own opinions to run higgeldy-piggeldy through a barnyard of muck. We all have our opinions of the last off-season and who was traded for whom and the now versus the future versus 1927 New York Yankees but performances notwithstanding, it can all be summed up in a Monkees' song... It's a little bit me, and its a little bit you... too or maybe Your Auntie Grizelda would be a better fit... at this point... I'm simply reaching.
The Braves series serves as a benchmark/watershed/fork in the road for the club. Either they slide deeper into the murky waters of disappointment in hopes of being rescued by a diminutive Jedi master or someone grabs the stick and lifts this behemoth over the jagged peaks of despair. Now, we're all currently riding in steerage and wondering if we've hit an iceberg or not, but all it takes is a beautiful picture of a good looking nekkid lady..... nope, that won't work this time, besides the analogy of the FO playing musical instruments on the deck is simply too close for comfort...
Let's just say that I see this series as important, does someone go into the Bill Murray speech "It just doesn't matter" from Meatballs or do they continue on in quiet desperation and wonder what in the hell happened to us like that losing streak from The Natural. If our struggles continue, I do expect St. Penelope to be invoked.
Zack Greinke (2-2/5.50/1.46) vs Aaron Blair (0-1/3.18/1.15)
In a way, I think some of us are rooting for Aaron Blair and to be fair, I wouldn't blame you if you did. I look at these numbers and it's simply amazing how bleeping awful they are. As a fan, I hope that the players are equally abashed by their collective performances. A classic matchup of a team that can't hit against a team that seemingly can't pitch (although lately, I'm thinking we're seeing a team effort of suck)
Shelby Miller (0-3/8.97/1.97) vs. Julio Teheran (0-3/3.72/1.18)
I can imagine if there's a little extra spice to this game, seeing how Teheran was rejected over Randall Delgado in an earlier deal that netting the team the HR machine that is Randall Delgado (or so it has been rumoured). I imagine that if Shelby has been having issues dealing with the pressures in the aftermath of the trade, then this game might very well be the crucible of expectations thus far.
Patrick Corbin (1-3/4.91/1.47) vs. Matt Wisler (1-2/3.94/0.90)
Considering the trends thus far this season, we have another "Who is that pitching again" moment with the opposition and it hasn't boded well for us thus far (Tyler Chatwood anyone?) Wisler has been so effective for the Braves this season, he also has a save. We hope to have a prayer, but many of them thus far have gone unanswered.
Can you tell I'm in a dark place in my fandom right now... yeah, I know you're hurting too....
FAST FOOD EXPECTATIONS
I think we get one taco time out of this series and one Jumbo Jack... the way that they're swing bats at the moment, they could be let loose in a china shop and no one would have to break out the credit cards.
The aforementioned Matt Wisler is the current leader with a 0.9 amassed thus far. As for their stick wielders, its Nick Markakis at 0.5. Yeah, not too many bright spots, but they knew that they were rebuilding but no one told them it would be with sand and sieves.
On our side of the ledger, you have Daniel Hudson at 0.8 for the hurlers and for the guys with the bats, it's Jean Segura at 0.9 followed by Wellington Castillo at 0.7.
Well... no, just no... you guys can lay your bets anyway you wish, I predict that I will watch these games with low expectations and that alcohol will most likely be involved. You may be as optimistic or pessimistic as you see fit, this is America after all.