Game Rant 06.01.10-Braves 7, Phillies 3

Brian McCann shows Chooch why he's a great catcher. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

I hate the Braves.

I hate the Braves more than the Mets and slightly less than Osama Bin Laden.

Maybe my deep-seated hatred of them is because my relatively close proximity to Atlanta forces me to be surrounded by more Braves fans than Rays or Marlins fans combined.

Maybe it’s because of the 14-year run atop their division that includes a decade as NL East champions.

Maybe it’s because they have Jason Heyward and the Phillies don’t.

Whatever it is, a Phillies loss to the Braves is always painful to me. Last night’s game was no exception. It basically had elements of good, bad, and butt-ugly.

THE GOOD: Ryan Howard broke the Phillies’ eleventy-million inning homerless drought with a two-run shot in the sixth, and Chase Utley and Jayson Werth both had doubles. Hell, even Wilson “Ground into Double Play” Valdez had an RBI.

THE BAD: The Phillies’ offense went 3-for-10 with runners in scoring position. I’ve often wondered what’s worse: the Phillies with runners on second and third, or the Eagles in the red zone.

THE BUTT-UGLY: The Phillies’ defense with errors by Juan Castro and Werth, and the cookie that Cole Hamels served up to Troy Glaus in his 2/3rds of an inning during a torrential downpour.

Hopefully the team’s fortunes will improve once Placido Polanco and Jimmy Rollins return to the lineup. Sure, it’s only June, but have you seen the Phillies’ June schedule? The team plays one below-.500 team (Cleveland) this month. That includes two weeks of interleague play, and we all know how well the Phillies do during interleague play.

The Phillies (thankfully) play the last game of this road trip tonight in Atlanta with Kyle Kendrick (3-2, 5.04 ERA) facing Derek Lowe (7-4, 4.86 ERA).


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