Braves 10 (57-40), Marlins 5 (48-49)
WP: Chavez (2-1)
LP: Marinez (1-1)
After a game last night where the Braves battled back, only to fall in the bottom of the 9th due to Billy Wagner's second meltdown in a week, they battled back again...this time, the fort would hold, and the team would prevail 10-5. Kris Medlen started, and pitched...interestingly? He went 6 innings, which is a plus. He struck out 8 and only walked 1, which is another plus. On the negative side...he allowed 5 runs, due in part to a pair of homers and 8 hits by the Marlins. Dan Uggla's second homer in as many nights gave the Marlins a 2 run lead, and Mike Stanton's 6th inning blast extended the lead to 3. That would be all the Marlins got, due to Jesse Chavez miraculously holding down the fort in the 7th, and Jonny Venters causing some alarm (4 baserunners) in the final 2 innings, but ending up closing the game out.
Alright, time to look at the offense, which was the major story of the game. The scoring started immediately, with a Martin Prado solo homer to lead off the game...also his second in 2 games. Brian McCann would continue his hot hitting by singling in Jason Heyward in the second. Heyward...lets talk about him for a minute. He had himself a *night*, singling 3 times, walking twice, and scoring a pair of runs. Yeah...reaching base successfully 5 times in an evening is something you can really hang your hat on. Lets flash forward to the top of the 8th inning, where all the damage was done. Heyward led off with a single, and Chipper Jones would reach on an error by Jorge Cantu on a ball that could have been an infield hit, but Cantu rushed the throw, moving Heyward over to third. Brian McCann was plunked in the elbow to load the bases, and Troy Glaus drew a bases loaded walk to make it 5-3. Eric Hinske promptly laced a single into right to tie the game at 5. Alex Gonzalez was next up and attempted to sacrifice bunt...only the throw over to Cantu at third resulted in him not being able to find the bag and leading to all runners being safe. Nate McLouth tried his damndest to ground into a double play the next pitch, but only the lead runner was caught. Bases were still loaded, and that brought up Brooks Conrad...who proceeded to hit his second go ahead grand slam of the year, this one being 4 rows deep into the right field seats. The inning wasn't done though, as Prado and Heyward would both single, allowing Chipper to drive in Prado with a fielders choice. And that took care of that. And 8 run inning, with all of the runs coming with 0 or 1 outs. Unreal.
It was an odd night. The Braves had 10 hits, and scored 10 runs. Only 6 men were stranded, and the team went a measly 3/11 with runners in scoring position. But yet...a win. Prado, Heyward, McCann and Gonzalez were the only Braves to reach base multiple times. And yet...the Braves won by 5 runs. Baseball is a funny game, isn't it?
Tomorrow at 1:10: Chris Volstad vs Jair Jurrjens. Love this pitching matchup, totally in the Braves favor. Volstad's a righty, so we'll probably get another does of Hinske in left. I'd not mind seeing Melky get the start in center with how bad McLouth has looked since coming off the DL. We'll see. A win tomorrow gives the Braves another series win...the team hasn't lost a series in the National League in over 2 months now. Its absurd. In the east...the Phillies won, so they're still 6 back. The Mets lost again and fall back to 7.5 out. They are fading and could be totally out of it at this point next week...we'll see what happens.