Braves 3 (71-49), Nationals 2 (51-69)
WP: Wagner (7-2)
LP: Burnett (0-7)
Tonight was another one of *those* nights in Braves-land. 9 stranded. 3 double plays turned by the Nats. But the Braves emerged victorious, after another strong performance from Tim Hudson. Huddy wasn't as good as he was in his 5 starts before tonight (2 runs allowed combined in those 5 starts), but it was still yet another quality effort that kept the Braves in the game. The final line: 7 innings, 8 hits, 2 earned, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts, and perhaps most importantly, 15 groundball outs. Seriously, 15? Thats what Huddy does: keeps the ball on the ground. Anyway, because of the Braves lackluster performance on offense tonight, he left with a no decision. Jonny Venters and Billy Wagner held the fort down with 2 scoreless innings. Wagner's 9th was particularly beautiful to watch: 9 strikes, 6 swinging, 3 strikeouts, all swinging. Straight NASTY. Venters was only able to strike out 2 and get 4 swinging strikes in his inning. Damn rookie...
Anyway, offensively. The Braves best threat came in the 4th: bases loaded, no one out. One run came in on a Melky Cabrera double play ball that irked me: he swung at the first pitch (out of the zone, naturally) after a pair of ugly walks by Livan Hernandez, and weakly grounded it to second for a 4-6-3. Alex Gonzalez would bloop a single into right to bring in the second run of the inning for the Braves. The team loaded the bases again in the 7th, this time with one out, but fell victim to an Omar Infante line out and a Jason Heyward fly out to strand 3 men. They wouldn't let this crap happen again in the 9th, with men on first and second and one out. Infante struck out to bring up Heyward, who laced a single up the middle to score Rick Ankiel to end the game. Despite the paucity of runs, the Braves put 15 men on base. Martin Prado singled, doubled and walked, while Gonzalez and Ankiel each had a pair of singles. Look at that, Ankiel getting hits...that's something that needs to happen a lot more. Every Brave starter reached base tonight, but regardless...just felt like an off night offensively, with a pair of doubles being the only extra base hits on the evening.
Phillies won again. Lead is still 2.5. Ho hum.
Tomorrow, the game is a 1:05 start. Derek Lowe goes for the Braves, and John Lannan goes for Washington. Two guys who don't strike a ton of batters out...lovely. This is a nice game for the offense to get back in sync with Derrek Lee meeting the team Friday in Chicago. Have to make a good impression on him, right?