Braves 9 (77-55), Mets 2 (65-67)
WP: Minor (3-0)
LP: Niese (8-7)
The Braves offense started off a little sluggishly. The team got the leadoff hitter on in the first 3 innings, and came away with bupkus, going 0/5 with runners in scoring position. In the 4th, leadoff hitter Martin Prado would double, and finally the Braves would get a run, on a Derrek Lee single. The team couldn't get another run in the rest of the inning, but in the 5th? Yeah, that was a whole different story. Nate McLouth pinch hit for Mike Minor and got hit on a 3-2 pitch. Omar Infante then hit a double play grounder right to Luis Castillo...who let the ball roll through his legs. Jason Heyward stepped in, and promptly doubled in Infante and McLouth to make it a 3-2 Braves lead. Prado and Lee would both reach to load the bases. Matt Diaz struck out for the first out of the inning, and Alex Gonzalez dropped a single into right to bring in Heyward. Prado was thrown out at the plate, but it was still 4-2, though with 2 outs. After a Melky Cabrera walk, David Ross stepped in. I was tweeting earlier today that I wasn't pleased with Ross hitting in the 8-spot in the lineup...naturally, he hit a grand slam into the left field seats to make it 8-2 and seal off the game. Love it. The Braves would add a 9th run in the 7th inning on a Cabrera double. The real star of the night though was Lee, who reached base in all 4 of his plate appearances, scoring and driving in a run. David Ross had a triple and that grand slam in his start too, which really helped matters. Top 3 in the lineup went 4/15...gets the job done on a night where the bottom of the lineup had some pop.
Mike Minor rolled through 4 innings, striking out 4 and walking none. Then he hit a road block, thanks to an unnecessarily tight strike zone. In that 4th, he allowed a pair of runs on one hit and his only 3 walks of the evening. It could have been a lot worse, but the Mets got both of their runs off of...sacrifice flies. Blessing in disguise. They held the lead for not even a half inning before the Braves offense exploded all over Jon Niese, as I outlined earlier. Overall though, Minor looked good...maybe a little rusty. Nothing was getting hit very hard off of him, with mostly seeing eye singles and bloopers damning him. The bullpen was excellent as usual...4 perfect innings, 4 strikeouts for Eric O'Flaherty, Jonny Venters, Takashi Saito and Peter Moylan. They combined to throw 47 pitches in their 4 innings. Talk about efficiency.
Tomorrow, the Braves look for their 5th straight win...wasn't it just last week where we were all talking about the end of the world? Funny how things can change like that. It'll be Mike Pelfrey vs Tommy Hanson...here's hoping Hanson has a better outing than he did last Friday against the Marlins.