If it is over, Brian McCann’s time with his hometown Atlanta Braves definitely didn’t end the way he had wanted .
The Duluth graduate and Suwanee resident struck out four times as the Braves were eliminated by the Dodgers with a heartbreaking 4-3 loss Monday night in Los Angeles, finishing the National League Division Series 0-for-13.
McCann will soon become a free agent after and the Braves don’t appear to be ready to match the potential five-year deal at up to $75 million that he might receive from an American League team, which can could use him to catch and be a designated hitter.
“It’s kind of hard to think about that right now,” said McCann, who will become a free agent next month. “I’m just going to try to put it in the back of my mind and whatever happens is what’s going to happen.”
Asked about the possibility of playing elsewhere, McCann admitted that “there’s definitely a chance. … I’m just trying not to think about it.”
The seven-time National League all-star fanned three times against Clayton Kershaw and once again reliever Brian Wilson Monday.
“It was just one of those nights,” the 29-year-old said. “I haven’t had too many of these, but it’s frustrating.”
McCann, who made $12 million this season, is represented by agent B.B. Abbott.
“My focus this whole time has been winning ballgames,” McCann said. “That’s all you can do at this level. You can’t worry about your future. You’ve got to worry about your present.”
Carpenter roughed up
David Carpenter was the surprise of the Braves’ bullpen in 2013, but he’ll have to forget what happened at the end and move forward next spring.
He gave up a two-run homer to Hanley Ramirez that imperiled the Braves’ only win in the NLDS and then a decisive two-run blast to Juan Uribe that allowed the Dodgers to avoid a trip back to Atlanta for a potential Game 5 with a 4-3 victory.
“I let the guys down,” Carpenter said. “It kills me to have to say that.”
Both of the homers off Carpenter were on hanging breaking balls and Uribe’s came after he had bunted two fastballs foul on sacrifice attempts.
Leadoff woes linger
Jason Heyward hit the Braves’ only home run in the NLDS, but he batted just .167 and had seven strikeouts to no walks from the leadoff spot in the four games.
The Braves struggled to find a leadoff hitter until Heyward got a chance at the spot and he flourished until being hit in the face by a pitch and breaking his jaw in late August.
Heyward is likely to start next season again at the top of the order unless the Braves come up with another option.
The Braves batted .213 and struck out 42 times in the NLDS loss to the Dodgers, where they were outscored 26-14 in four games.