Braves left wondering what happened in San Diego: A fan’s reaction

When the final pitch was thrown in the Atlanta Braves' game against the San Diego Padres on June 26, I was happy to see it end. The series was another inconsistent one, this time with the pitching staff seeing their share of problems.

During the series opener, Derek Lowe looked horrible yet again, allowing five runs on eight hits over 5 2/3 innings. He has now fallen to 3-6 on the season with a 4.33 ERA. The more he struggles, the more I feel the Braves are getting closer to absorbing some of his contract in an attempt to deal him. It isn't as though the team doesn't have options.

The fifth best prospect in baseball coming into the season has had a great run at Triple-A Gwinnett, going 8-1 with a 1.79 ERA over 13 starts. He has been consistent with his command (72:18 strikeouts to walk ratio) and has already made two starts in the big leagues. While his numbers aren't remarkable in the majors (8 2/3 innings, 10 hits, 2:4 K to BB), if he continues to pitch well and the Braves can deal Lowe, he may find himself in Atlanta permanently at some point this season.

The second game of the series saw the Braves' offense come alive for 10 runs in support of the team's Cy Young candidate, Jair Jurrjens(notes). The season-long struggles of Dan Uggla(notes) don't look like they are going to end anytime soon, but for this game, he was incredible. Uggla went 2-for-3 with a home run, four RBIs, and two walks. Chipper Jones(notes) had a productive game as well, going 2-for-5 with two RBIs.

On the mound, Jurrjens became the first National league pitcher to 10 wins, going six innings, allowing three hits and one run. With his performance, he lowered his ERA to 2.07.

When play began for the series finale, it was easy to see that the 10-run outburst was a one night deal. Tim Hudson(notes) had another solid start, going six shutout innings, but got no offensive help for the second straight start (he hit a two-run home run to beat Blue Jays last week). Cory Luebke(notes) limited the Braves to just one hit over five innings, with six strikeouts.

Uggla went back to his normal 2011 performance, going 0-for-4, while the Braves' 2-7 hitters went a combined 0-for-22. The team had a lead going into the eighth inning, but reliever extraordinaire Jonny Venters(notes) struggled, going 2/3 of an inning, allowing four runs, on four hits, with two walks. For the first time this season, Venters' ERA is over 1.00 (1.29).

The Braves will now travel to Seattle for a three-game series where they will hope to regain their previous momentum.

More from this contributor:

All-Braves Team

Bobby Cox Coaching Tree

How Feelings Change in Sports so Quickly

Look Back on 1995 World Series Champions

Rise and fall of Andruw Jones

Hobson Lopes has been a life-long Atlanta Braves fan, thanks to TBS.

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Updated Monday, Jun 27, 2011