The offense was definitely on tonight and the Baby Braves were leading the way.† KJ was 2 for 4 tonight, with a nice clutch single in the seventh to drive in the tying and go-ahead runs.† Two nights in a row of great offense from KJ - I'm calling an "I told you so" on this one.† I knew he'd start finding the holes eventually.† KJ is up to a .245 average and .373 OBP.† Not the best numbers as far as leadoff hitters in this division go, but definitely starting to look solid.
McCann was 2 for 5 tonight with an RBI in the first inning.† Francouer was 1 for 5, but it was an important one - it was a 3-run homerun in the first inning with two outs.† Thorman was 2 for 3 with a solo shot in the fifth inning with two outs.† This finally pushed his average over .200.† Diaz had a 2-out single in the seventh that involved some tremendous†hustle to beat out the throw to first.††
Veterans Renteria and Chipper had a walk a piece tonight and Andruw racked up two.† Renteria had two hits and was the only veteran player†with an RBI.†
Most disappointing for me tonight was Langerhans performance.† He was 0 for†2, bringing him to 2 for†27 on the year.††The .074 on his stat line might look impressive if he was a pitcher and it was his ERA, but for a batting average, it stinks.† I know everyone†prefers to see him†out in left field, but Diaz is on fire offensively.† He leads the team with a .345 batting average, although I recognize he hasn't had as†many at-bats as the rest of the team.† He's proven to be a great clutch hitter and isn't doing half bad as a pinch hitter either.† Bottom line: I want to see more of him.
Kudos to all the Braves tonight for the strong offense when we really needed it.† All 8 runs tonight came with two outs - some very impressive clutch hitting.
As for the defense, KJ looked great again, turning a couple of good looking double plays tonight.† He also had some good snags on a couple of hard-hit balls to second.† Renteria was looking good tonight too, taking part in more than one of those great double plays.† Thorman deserves credit for a great scoop on one of those double plays to end the eighth inning (the bases were loaded and the Cubs were only 2 down).†
Davies looked ok tonight, working for 5 1/3rd.† He gave up 4 earned runs on 6 hits, including a homerun to former Braves player, Mark DeRosa in the first inning.† Yates finished off the sixth inning, giving up a hit and striking out one.† Villarreal pitched the seventh, giving up one hit and one earned run, walking one and striking out one.† Thanks to the big seventh inning, Villarreal came away with his first win of the season.† Colyer and Moylan split the eighth inning and looked just ok, neither giving up any runs despite loading up the bases.† It was interesting to see†what happens when neither Soriano or Gonzalez come in the game.† Not a total disaster like we saw last year...whew!† Wickman finished things off in the ninth, facing only three batters for the second night in a row.† He walks away with his fifth save in five opportunities.
Final Score:† Braves 8, Cubs 6
In other Braves news, it was announced before the game that Bobby Cox has signed a contract to remain the Braves skipper through the 2008 season.