Braves 4 (7-5), Rockies 3 (6-6)
WP: O'Flaherty (1-0)
LP: Morales (0-1)
WHEW! What a come from behind win for the Braves. Jair Jurrjens was solid, going 8 strong innings and allowing 5 hits, 3 earned, 3 walks, and striking out 9. He should have probably been pulled after 7, but Bobby ran him out there for the 8th...and he allowed a go ahead homer to Carlos Gonzalez. That was the second homer allowed on the day by JJ, as he had allowed a solo shot to Ian Stewart in the 7th. People were concerned about Jurrjens' velocity all game after it seemed a little low on Monday in San Diego...no issue today, as he touched 95 a few times and sat in the 91-92 mph range with his fastball. However, Jurrjens was living dangerously with where his non-strikeout outs were going...10 of them were in the air, as opposed to only 5 on the ground. His GB:FB ratio declined from 2008 from 2009, and is declining again this year. Not a trend you like to see. Eric O'Flaherty would relieve Jurrjens for the 9th, and threw 14 near effortless pitches in a perfect inning to prevent any more damage from the Rockies.
And then...there was the Braves offense. Greg Smith of the Rockies allowed 12 baserunners, and the Braves only got 2 of them to cross the plate. The Braves looked sloppy on offense all day. The team ended up leaving 13 men on base, and for the second straight day, a runner was picked off second base in a key situation...today's victim was Chipper Jones, which ended a key scoring opportunity in the 7th inning. Matt Diaz started the day strong, collecting 3/4 of the cycle in his first 3 at bats before falling quiet in his final 2 and looking bad in the process, flying out on the first pitch in an opportunity to drive in Jason Heyward from third base in the 8th inning. The first 2 runs of the day for the Braves were driven in without a hit, as Martin Prado hit a first inning sac fly to bring in Diaz, and Jason Heyward walked in a run in the 3rd. The Braves offense would come to life in the 9th against Rockies closer Franklin Morales, however. Prado singled, and Brian McCann walked. Troy Glaus grounded a ball to first that looked like a sure game-ending double play, but Glaus somehow managed to beat the ball out. Yunel Escobar walked to load the bases, and Heyward laced a single through the left side to score Prado and Brooks Conrad (pinch running for Glaus) to give the Braves a hard fought 4-3 come from behind win. Heyward showed tremendous patience, walking twice and looking for his pitch in the 9th before finally getting it and driving it just under the glove of Ian Stewart. Brian McCann also walked 3 times for the Braves, and Jair Jurrjens drew 2 walks hitting in the 9 spot.
After an offday tomorrow, the Phillies come to Atlanta on Tuesday. After their loss to the Marlins today, the Braves only sit one game behind in the NL East. A series win could give the Braves a tie for the division lead, depending on what the second place Marlins do in their next series. The first game of the series will pit Tommy Hanson against Kyle Kendrick, in a pitching matchup that makes Braves fans across the country smile a little bit.
STAR OF THE GAME: Jason Heyward. 1/3, 3 RBI, 2 BB. Game winning single in the 9th inning
GOAT OF THE GAME: No one played horribly, but we'll go with Melky Cabrera again, who went 0 for 2 with a walk, a strikeout, and a sacrifice bunt. His batting average is getting dangerously close to the weight of an anorexic high school girl, which makes me wince a little bit.