It has been a while since I could feel good about this team but tonight did that. Just hours after Chipper Jones won the Braves connect four championship, rookie Jarrod Saltalamacchia and the Braves powered their way past the Nationals to clinch the series win. The 22-year old Saltalamacchia got his second career start at first base and hit both the game-tying and game-winning homeruns against Washington. Brian McCann continued his hot hitting of late, collecting three hits in four plate appearances including a double and Andruw Jones broke out of a long drought of both RBIs and extra base hits with a three-run homer. Kelly Johnson got a day off with Yunel Escobar assuming both the second base and leadoff duties and getting two hits. We'll probably be seeing more of this with Yunel on the bench and Johnson struggling lately.
Buddy Carlyle pitched worse than the (Yes!!! While I am writing the Cardinals just hit a go-ahead HR in the eleventh.) box score suggests. He got hit hard early and often but a lot of those were right at people. Carlyle got a lot of defensive help and some interesting help in the first. After two singles, Dimitri Young hit a single to left; Matt Diaz threw out Felipe Lopez at home and then McCann threw out Ryan Zimmerman at third to get Carlyle out of the inning. Tyler Yates after failing at his connect four title defense pitching a perfect inning, but Peter Moylan got hit around a bit in the ninth. He gave up three hits but two were groundballs and one was a blooper so it doesn't worry me. Bob Wickman had to come in to finish it off and collected his fourteenth save as the Braves won 6-2.
John Smoltz (8-4, 3.14) will toe the rubber tomorrow against Micah Bowie (4-2, 3.63) as the Braves go for the sweep. That would be very nice after the Braves recent struggles and even nicer to get some momentum going into a stretch where we should be able (Yes!! The Cardinals just scored again.) to gain some ground.
I'll leave you guys with
, a little bit of humor after a nice game. I don't think even Dice-K can throw that.