Braves 3 (62-46), Giants 2 (62-47)
WP: Jurrjens (4-4)
LP: Lincecum (11-5)
SV: Wagner (26)
The Braves got outplayed tonight. The team only got 6 hits compared to 8 for the Giants. But yet...victory. Offensively, the runs were scored by the Braves via 2 swings of the bat: an Alex Gonzalez 2 run homer in the second inning, and an improbably shot by Eric Hinske in the 6th to give the Braves a lead they wouldn't relinquish. Aside from that, Tim Lincecum was pitching rather Lincecum-esque...though not as fantastic as he usually is, with 3 walks and 7 strikeouts. Gonzalez and Hinske were both scuffling lately, so it was great to see them deliver the killing blows to the Giants. As for the rest of the offense...Omar Infante singled twice, continuing his hot hitting in the leadoff spot, and Jason Heyward doubled and walked. No other Brave reached base multiple times. I'll take it...it was a tough pitching matchup for the team, and the win was hard earned.
Pitching...Jair Jurrjens started, and was much better today than in his last outing over the weekend against Cincinnati...but part of that was Bobby Cox being smart and pulling him after 6 innings instead of dragging him out for the 7th when he was clearly gassed. JJ pitched well, if not unspectacular, giving up a pair of runs while walking and striking out 3. He wasn't great, but you know what? After a shaky start, he totally shut the Giants down after allowing runs in his first 2 innings. After Jurrjens, exited, the bullpen took over. Only one hitter reached base against the trio of Jonny Venters, Takashi Saito, and Billy Wagner. The bullpen didn't even really labor, only needing 33 pitches to get those 9 outs. I love when that happens.
Some transactional news to report, since I was too busy dozing off during the game to write a proper blog entry. Kenshin Kawakami is going to be optioned to Gwinnett tomorrow in order to "stretch his arm out" for 4 starts...Kawakami has pitched one inning in the last ~5 weeks, as you all should know right now. I'm sure he's pretty bored sitting in the bullpen, so this is for the best. With Kris Medlen being placed on the disabled list today with a partially torn UCL, Cristhian Martinez was called up to replace him. Martinez is only going to be in the majors through the weekend...because yes, Mike Minor will be called up to make his major league debut on Monday in Houston against the Astros. At least Minor is getting fed a team who is pretty young and devoid of much offense. Minor is going to need to be on top of his game with the Braves in a playoff race right now...good lord, I don't know what I'd do if the team collapsed down the stretch due to issues with the rotation.
Divisional news...Phillies and Marlins are tied at 4 in the bottom of the 9th. The Marlins battled back to take a 4-2 lead off JC Romero in the 7th, but Leo Nunez went and gave it back in the 9th. A Marlins win would put Philly 3 back and Florida in a tie for 3rd with the Mets at 8 out, while a Philly win would keep them 2 back of the Braves, and sink the Marlins to 4th, 9 out.
Tomorrow's pitching matchup will pit the resurgent Barry Zito of the Giants against Braves young ace Tommy Hanson, the most unlucky pitcher in all of baseball. The Twitter Explosion will be going strong, so make sure to tune in there for some goodness.