Braves 1 (67-48), Dodgers 0 (59-57)
WP: Hudson (14-5)
LP: Kuroda (8-11)
SV: Wagner (29)
So the first game since it was announced that Chipper's knee had officially exploded...the offense didn't show up. Thankfully, Tim Hudson brought his spikes to the park. He was dominant on a rainy night in Atlanta, allowing only 4 baserunners (3 hits and a walk), striking out 6 Dodgers, and getting 13 ground ball outs. Sure, it wasn't as great as his last start...but it sure was impressive. Less impressive? First pitch strikes to only 11 of the 27 batters he faced. Not cool. The rain was probably a factor in that, though. He threw 91 pitches, only 56 for strikes. But you know what? It didn't matter tonight. The Dodgers had nothing going with their bats. The Dodgers only had one batter reach second base...and that was Scott Podsednik in the first inning. Straight up NASTY. Billy Wagner closed the door in the 9th, allowing Podsednik to reach leading off the inning before picking him off and striking out Andre Ethier to end the game.
Hiroki Kuroda was equally great for the Dodgers...just not good enough. He allowed just 6 Braves to reach in his 7 innings of work. The Braves had a couple of opportunities...but just couldn't capitalize. Troy Glaus led off the second with a double, and was left to die there. Alex Gonzalez walked to lead off the 4th, and moved to second on a Brian McCann fly out, but died after a Glaus groundout, Eric Hinske walk, and Brooks Conrad ground out. Rick Ankiel led off the 5th with a single, and died at second...the inning was doomed from the getgo after Hudson couldn't get a sac bunt down, leading Omar Infante to do that. And then the 7th inning came...and Mr Clutch showed up again. Thats right, who else could it be but Brooks Conrad? Chipper's replacement for the near future hit a bomb to dead center field with one out to give the Braves a 1-0 lead that would be more than enough for Hudson. Infante was the only Brave to reach multiple times, with a pair of singles. Jason Heyward and McCann were the only Braves to not reach at all. It was a night of minimalism...and blown chances, as usual. But whatever, its a win.
In happier news, the Phillies got 1 hit by RA Dickey in a loss. So the lead in the division is up to 3 games. Gotta love it!
Tomorrow night...new Dodger Ted Lilly starts for LA, while the Braves counter with former Dodger Derek Lowe. Really wish the Braves had Lilly instead of Lowe at this point in time...not only because of their overall performances, but because of their contracts. Thems the breaks, I guess. Hopefully Lowe can put together a performance that at least gives the offense a chance to win the game, and doesn't turn into a pumpkin.