Braves Sink the Brew Crew
Kelly Meter: Johnson had another solid day at the plate as he went 1/3 with a walk and an RBI-single. That brings him to .276/.385/.481 on the season. This isn't what I was hoping for but more what I was expecting before the season. Still, can you complain when your leadoff man is getting on almost 40% of the time and is on pace for around 20 homers, 80 RBIs, and over 100 walks?
Tomorrow is a game no one should miss with another great pitching matchup involving John Smoltz (how many have we had already?) as he takes on Ben Sheets and the Brewers in game two of the series at 8:05 ET.
After an abysmal sweep suffered at the hands of the division-rival Phillies, Atlanta started its trek back to the top of the division with a win against the NL Central-leading Brewers. Chuck James, who has been just a shell of what he was last year turned in an incredible outing for Bobby Cox and the Braves. The southpaw went six innings, allowing five hits, two walks, one run, and striking out a career-high 8 batters. To sum it all up he dominated the Brewers and two of those hits even came on cheap little infield singles off the bat of Corey Hart. His command, which had plagued him the most this year was great as he worked the corners well with his fastball-changeup combo the whole game. Tyler Yates came on and had a bit of a rough outing allowing a hit and a walk in 0.2 innings of work but Rafael Soriano bailed him out as he blew away Ryan Braun with a mid-90's fastball. Soriano worked a spotless eighth as well and then Bob Wickman, the Wisconsin native pitched a perfect ninth to pick up his eighth save of the year. A Prince Fielder bomb was the only offense the 28-23 Brewers could muster.
Again, Chipper Jones was a possibility and at the last second held out of the lineup. This time though, the Braves would not need his offense and for that matter much at all. Andruw Jones provided the first offense with his 350th career homerun, an opposite field shot, in fourth. Then in the fifth, Prince cut off a throw from right on a Kelly Johnson, which seemed like it would have nailed Woodward at the plate and threw to third for the out instead, allowing a run to score. Call it a mental mistake, something a young team like the Brewers is prone too. That really proved to be everything Atlanta would need even though they were given more chances. I was personally disgusted that they loaded the bases with no outs and after a Prado strikeout, a Kelly Johnson pop up, and a Matt Diaz flyout the Braves got no runs out of it. Jeff Francoeur seemed to return to old today as he went 0-4 with a strikeout, but more importantly in three of those at bats he saw a grand total of three pitches. Probably not something to worry about, but definitely something you don't see much.