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braves-10-nationals-2-as-long-as-we-score-10-runs-well-win-redux | April | 2008 Articles

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Braves 10, Nationals 2: As Long as We Score 10 Runs, We'll Win (Redux)

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Braves 10, Nationals 2 The season is young, but a pattern is definitely emerging: if it's a one-run game, the Braves will lose. (0-5 in games like that.) If we score 10 runs, we'll win. (3-1 in games like that.) We've played 11 games; only 3 times have we lost by more than one run or won while scoring less than 10. Anyway, after rain delayed the game an hour and a half before the national anthem, the game was in the bag almost from the first pitch. The Braves scored 4 times in the first and would have had more if Smoltz hadn't grounded into an inning-ending double play with the bases loaded. Nationals fans started to leave the ballpark by the 5th, when it was 7-1. John Smoltz wasn't quite as dominant as he was against the Mets, but the Nats rarely threatened. Smoltz gave himself trouble in the first by trying to make a play on a swinging bunt by Zimmerman and throwing the ball away, but got out of the inning unscathed. Willie Harris had one of the only hard-hit balls all day, an RBI triple over Kotsay's head that took nearly everyone by surprise. The Nationals didn't score another run until the 7th, when Will Ohman relieved Smoltz and promptly walked two men and gave up an infield single, managing to get just one out before being pulled for Bennett, who got out of the inning allowing only one runner to score. Blaine Boyer pitched a solid, uneventful 8th, as did Acosta in the 9th; Acosta went to 2-0 counts on his first two hitters, but then appeared to take a little off his fastball and began to pound the strike zone, looking very impressive and seeming to gain confidence. We'll need him to be confident. Offensively, it was all Jeff Francoeur, who had two homers and a bases-loaded single. Brian McCann added a solo shot after the second of Francoeur's bombs, finishing a triple shy of the cycle. Kelly Johnson and Matt Diaz both had 2 hits, including a terrific hustle double by Diaz, taking advantage of lazy fielding by Milledge. Additionally, Yunel Escobar, Chipper Jones, and Mark Teixeira all hit safely. Today our team was firing on all cylinders. Let's sweep them tomorrow.

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