The Atlanta Braves lead over the Los Angeles Dodgers for the best record in the National League now stands at a slim two games, with 23 games left in the season. The Pittsburgh Pirates are 4 games behind the Braves, followed by the St. Louis Cardinals at 5.
Wednesday afternoon the Braves started Kameron Loe on the mound, and had Elliott Johnson at third base, Paul Janish at shortstop and Gerald Laird at catcher. In other words, the Braves started an aging pitcher in the twilight of his career, and had Andrelton Simmons, Brian McCann and Chris Johnson take the day off. Not much firepower in that line-up.
If finishing with the best record in the National League is important, then how can you put a team like that on the field? Sure you want players to have days off between now and the end of the season, but how can you put a line-up like that out on the field if you are serious about winning the game?
Fredi should give one regular a day off each game, occasionally two, but not four. Giving four regulars, including the starting pitcher the day off, is like running the white flag up the pole before the game even starts. If you are going to spot start a guy who is in the twilight of his career, to give one of your starters a rest, that is understandable. But don’t you have to then have all your regulars out there to score as many runs as possible?
Hopefully the Wednesday afternoon game against the Mets is the last time we will see a give-away game, until after the best record in the National League has been clinched.