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Atlanta Braves Waste Opportunities Against Philadelphia Phillies

September 7th, 2011 at 8:42 AM
By Cody Fields

The Atlanta Braves surely had plenty of opportunities to break open a rain delayed game on Philadelphia Phillies rookie Vance Worley. Those scoring chances were wasted, however, en route to the Braves dropping the second game of the series 6-3.

After a nearly two-hour delay, the game was a story of not being able to bring in men in scoring position. The Braves went an abysmal 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position, only managing to bring in a runner home from third with less than two outs twice.

"I think if you put a crooked number up, instead of putting up one run, if you come in and put up a three-spot or four-spot, a big number up, it changes the thing," Fredi Gonzalez said.

Though TIm Hudson had given up a a homer to Chase Utley and a run-scoring single to Raul Ibanez in the second inning, it looked like Atlanta was poised to take the lead in the fourth when Dan Uggla led off with his 33rd homer and was followed by Freddie Freeman and Chipper Jones hitting singles. Worley, however, then sat down Alex Gonzalez, Jose Constanza and TIm Hudson in order to end the threat.

The Braves then loaded the bases in the sixth with a walk to Uggla, a double by Jones and a walk by Freeman, all with no outs. Gonzalez hit a sacrifice fly, but that was all the damage they could incur.

Philadelphia would then capitalize on the Braves' mistakes in the bottom of the frame after Ryan Howard walked and Hunter Pence doubled him to third. On what was a scored a wild pitch, one of Hudson's pitches tipped off McCann's glove to bring home Howard. Ibanez followed that with an RBI double to put the game out of reach for the Braves.

Part of Atlanta's recent struggles may be due to slumps in which Prado and Constanza are mired. Since the Braves acquired Michael Bourn – who stole his 50th base of the year Tuesday – Prado has hit just .217 out of the two spot in the order. After Constanza's blazing hot start, he has cooled off to hit .200 over his last 15 games.

"We’ve got enough good players and I have enough confidence that we have the resiliency that we’ll get out of it and start clicking on all cylinders, like we know we can," Fredi Gonzalez said.

The Braves will attempt to start clicking on said cylinders Wednesday at 7:05 EDT with Brandon Beachy (7-2, 3.37 ERA) against Philadelphia's Roy Oswalt (7-8, 3.80 ERA).

Tags: Atlanta, Atlanta Braves, Dan Uggla, MLB, Philadelphia Phillies, Raul Ibanez, Tim Hudson, Vance Worley

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