Thorman Powers Braves to Win
Kelly Meter: Kelly went 1/5 today with a strikeout to bring his average down to .282. I guess this is more of what I expected from him but I did get excited with that hot streak. Maybe he turns it around, who knows.
Two great story lines tonight from the "Baby Braves" but chicks dig the longball so Scott Thorman gets the top billing. The Braves firstbaseman showed Adam Laroche exactly why Schuerholz thought he was expendable by blasting a three-run shot to right-center to give the Braves an early lead in and then just pouring it on in the ninth with a ball that was absolutely destroyed over the right field wall. The big Canadian finished 2/5 with the first multi-homerun game of his career. Willie Harris got the start tonight in left and went 4/5 with two doubles to bring his average to a robust .467; something tells me he likes playing for the hometown team. Frenchy continued on his season-long tear to bring his average to .312 and really seems like a completely different hitter than last year. Even with Chipper Jones resting due to some minor ailments caused by his flip over Jose Bautista yesterday, the Braves managed to come alive offensively with every position starter collecting at least one hit.
Not to be outdone by Thorman, Chuck James who has been nothing short of mediocre so far, definitely brought his "A" game. James carried a perfect game into the sixth and a no-hitter into the seventh before Jason Bay broke it up with a single to left. James finished the night going seven innings, allowing one hit, three walks, and striking out three. Chad Paronto got knocked around a bit in the eighth and has now allowed runs in three straight appearances but with a seven run lead I didn't really care. Peter Moylan came on for the ninth and once again just looked dominant. A hiccup early and since then, Moylan has been flawless. His ability to induce grounders with that hard sinker is going to put a lot of pressure on Chad Paronto, who has been lackluster since being activated from the DL. Boyer is healthy again, Macay McBride seems to have made huge strides with his control, newly signed Rheal Cormier is going to be vying for a spot, and Joey Devine is dominating AA, which means the relievers in Atlanta are going to have to watch their step with such talent knocking at the door.
This win combined with a Mets beatdown at the hands of the Brewers expands the Braves' lead in the East to 1.5 games. Last night Bobby Cox tied Sparky Anderson, and now he passes him to move into sole possession of fourth place all-time on the managerial wins list with 2,195.
Pennsylvania native Anthony Lerew will toe the rubber for his second career start in a matchup with Ian Snell as the Braves go for the sweep of Pittsburgh. The game starts at 1:35 ET.