Monday, May 23, 2011
By Jeff Flinn - Contributor

Thumbs Up

*Santana and Chatwood were outstanding.  Santana looked like even numbered year Santana with by far his best outing so far in 2011 as he shut out the Braves. Chatwood's command was really solid, as he walked just 2 and struck out 6 and allowed just 1 run in 7 innings. Joel Pineiro was a little shaky, but shut the Braves out until imploding in the 7th inning.

*Downs pitched 2 rock solid innings, and is very important going forward. Walden did so as well, and seems to be getting back on track again. Rodney finally had an outing, albeit just 1 batter, where he got the job done. Even Jepsen had a scoreless inning.

*Hitting wise, the Halos scored 17 runs in three games, a far departure from the road trip and great given that Kendrick was out of the lineup. Hunter may FINALLY be coming out of his long funk, as he had five hits and drove in five runs in the three games and finally broke the 29 game HR drought. Abreu is showing signs as well of hitting the ball harder as well, as he finally hit his 2nd HR on the season and had a pair of doubles as well, along with four RBI's and five BBs. Trumbo continues to show some flashes of brilliance, with a three-run homer Friday night, and did walk three times in the last two games of the series. It was nice to see the 6 run explosion in the 3rd inning on Friday night.   When was the last time that happened?

*Defensively they were solid, save for Amarista on Saturday night. Though he did make an outstanding play on Martin Prado's grounder on Friday night.

Thumbs Down 

*Amarista made two errors on Saturday night along with a bad bunt that traveled maybe half a foot and would have easily been doubled up at first base even if running from the start instead of arguing with the home plate ump that it was a foul ball. He also has to learn to slide in front of tough groundballs, instead of kicking them into the outfield and giving the runner an extra base. That cost the Halos a critical run on Saturday night.
I like his makeup and potential, but he is hitting just .125 and likely needs more work at AAA.  He is just twenty-one years old though.
*Hitting with runners in scoring position in this past series yielded a mediocre 6-31 result, although they were 4-14 on Friday night. In what has been a somewhat recurring theme, they went soft at the plate after the 5th inning Saturday night, being held hitless for 7 innings.

*Peter Bourjos is 2 for his last 40, while Conger is 2 for his last 22.
*Lastly, Joe Mather????? Joe Mather???? Who the heck is Joe Mather????? He drives in 5 of the 6 runs for the Braves in the series, and pretty much single handily won Saturday night's game for the Braves. Does Willie Bloomquist have a long lost brother?????
Love to hear what you think!

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