After getting off to a good start on their road trip by winning two out of three against the Tampa Bay Rays, the Atlanta Braves completely fell apart against the Cincinnati Reds, with the Reds completing the sweep on May 24 by the score of 6-3. Homer Bailey had his third win of the season for the Reds while Randall Delgado picked up his fifth loss.
Delgado can't seem to get anything to go his way this year with the Braves, if the May 24 game against the Reds was any indication. Randall pitched over five innings and gave up four runs on seven hits to go along with four strikeouts, but three of those runs were given up by Kris Medlen who relieved him in the sixth inning. The Braves had a 2-1 lead going into the inning, but Delgado somehow lost his command and loaded the bases up, with Medlen ultimately serving up a grand slam to Devin Mesoraco when Randall was pulled out of the game. The main problem with Delgado is that he is very inconsistent, which is somewhat to be expected with this being his first full year in the MLB. I think he will be able to turn things around by the All Star break, and hopefully the offense can give him a decent amount of run support as he works through this bad stretch.
After getting swept by the Reds, the Braves now move home for two three game series, with the first being against the Washington Nationals. Tim Hudson, Mike Minor, and Brandon Beachy will be taking the rubber against Ross Detwiler, Stephen Strasburg, and Gio Gonzalez in what should be a great series to watch. It won't be easy for the Braves to score against the great starting pitching the Nationals have, but the team has been decimated with injuries thus far, and I think it is a good opportunity for the Braves to perhaps get two out of three games in the series. With Freddie Freeman possibly out for the series due to vision problems, Dan Uggla will need to step his game up and provide some offense in the middle of the lineup for the Braves to be successful against the Nationals.
Ryan Kekoufski is a lifelong Atlanta Braves fan. He covers sports for the Yahoo! Contributor Network, and currently resides in Virginia. Follow him on Twitter @RyanKekoufski.