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braves-down-nemesis-perez | August | 2007 Articles

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Braves Down Nemesis Perez

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This was the game that the Mets were absolutely going to win. They had noted Brave-killer Oliver Perez on the mound, who has been the source of the only three Mets wins against the Braves this season. They just ran into one little problem; they didn't win. After posting a 1.31 ERA over his first three starts against the Braves this season, the Atlanta hitters struck back for six runs on ten hits over five innings against the southpaw. Jeff Francoeur and Chipper Jones led the charge. The two combined to go 7-10 with a home run, a triple, and two doubles in the game. Francoeur's three-run homer in the third proved to be big knock in the game. Matt Diaz was in the number two spot in the order and got the scoring started in the first with a solo homer out to left-center. All in all the Braves collected seven runs on fifteen hits but surprisingly only walked once in the game. Buddy Carlyle was a bit shaky in his start but he and the Braves pitching staff has a new best friend in Moises Alou. It seemed that every time there was trouble brewing for Carlyle or later on Ron Mahay, trusty old Moises was there to ground into a tailor-made 5-4-3 double play. Carlyle was very good through three but his last two innings of work, he gave up three runs and just looked quite shaky. You could tell just how much Bobby wanted this win with the short leash on almost all of the pitchers tonight. The Braves' pen was incredible tonight. Over four hitless innings they faced the minimum number of batters. The only baserunner was Delgado by way of the walk and he was erased by an Alou double play. Dotel, Soriano, and Moylan finished off the game with three perfect innings. Wickman had been warming up in the ninth but Bobby brought in Moylan. Cox may have just felt safer bringing in the side-arming Aussie or Wickman may not have felt right tonight. With the most difficult pitching matchup out of the way, I feel a lot more comfortable heading into the next two games, which still will not be a walk in the park. John Smoltz heads to the mound to face Orlando Hernandez at 7:10 ET. Both pitches have had some struggles lately but the Braves are hoping Smoltz can give the offense, which has averaged nearly ten runs per game over the past eight games, a chance to win the series.

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