Braves 8 (56-39), Padres 0 (55-39)
WP: Hudson (10-5)
LP: Richard (7-5)
First order of business: sorry about the lack of a recap last night. Very tired after the game last night...could barely keep my eyes open in extras, and I conked out after Medlen came in and allowed the double. So yeah...summary of that game is "good pitching from Hanson, average offense, just one of those crappy losses". Nuff said.
Now, on to today. This was NOT one of those crappy losses...in fact, it was a complete win. Excellent starting pitching, capable relief work (well...one reliever at least), sexy defense, and timely hitting. Lets start on the mound. Tim Hudson? He was straight dealing today. 7 shutout innings, 4 hits, 1 walk, 4 strikeouts. No extra base hits. One of those starts you just CRAVE from your pitchers. Mike Dunn relieved him and was really terrible: 19 pitches, only 4 strikes. He got one out and walked the bases loaded. He was relieved by Peter Moylan, who got a DP ball on his second pitch (on a GOOOOOOOOORGEOUS flip from Alex Gonzalez to Martin Prado...it brought a tear to my eye). Moylan then got 3 outs on 12 pitches in the 9th. Talk about efficiency...he faced more batters than Dunn, got more outs, and threw less pitches. Amazing.
Offense? Getting 4 runs in the first 3 innings, and then taking 4 on in the 7th just for the hell of it make me a happy man. The offensive star of the game was Alex Gonzalez, who went 4/5 with a couple of RBI to really give himself a breakout performance as a Brave. It was important to get another contributor on offense with Brian McCann getting a day off and Troy Glaus struggling, and Gonzalez stepped up big time today. Speaking of Glaus, his OPS is down to .792. His batting average is lower than Chipper Jones'. I'm not saying you should panic, because Glaus doesn't have a history for hitting a high average...but yeah, its a little disappointing to see his stat line plummeting due to his slump. He did get an RBI today on a first inning sac fly...but who cares about RBI, anyway? Other stat lines of note...Jason Heyward had a pair of hits and a pair of RBI, Chipper had 3 hits, and how about Melky Cabrera, delivering with a pair of doubles and a pair of walks? Encouraging to see that out of him. Matt Diaz reached 2 more times to continue his little hot streak and give the Braves some life in left field. I actually really liked the starting outfield today, with the struggles of Nate McLouth and all. No idea what the team is going to end up doing with him...I'd prefer them to just ride this season-long slump out since he's got a contract for next year, but I have a nagging feeling he could be moved. Maybe the Yankees will take him. Snicker.
The weekend series features the Braves traveling to Florida to take on the Marlins. Friday's game is a nighter, and will feature Alex Sanabia (who?) going for the Marlins, taking on the Braves' Derek Lowe. For what its worth, the Braves will miss the Marlins 2 good starters, Josh Johnson and Ricky Nolasco. By the same token, the Marlins miss the Braves 2 best starters, Tommy Hanson and Tim Hudson. Well, drat.