Braves 3 (58-42), Nationals 1 (43-58)
WP: Hudson (11-5)
LP: Hernandez (7-7)
SV: Wagner (23)
Tonight was all about the pitching. Much like last night, the Braves got a solid performance from their starter...hell, it wasn't a solid performance. Tim Hudson's performance tonight was COMMANDING. He had the Nationals looking stupid all night. Out of the 7 hits he allowed, 6 were singles. He walked one batter, that being the final batter he faced in the 8th inning. The 7 strikeouts he had tied his season high. That strikeout to walk ratio is starting to improve a lot more, which as I've been saying all year, is a huge key in him remaining a quality starter for the team. And I left the best for last...remember that sexy groundball ratio he's sporting? It only got better tonight, with Huddy getting 12 ground balls compared to only 4 in the air. Absolute dominance from the Braves ace. Jonny Venters and Billy Wagner got the final 4 outs of the game without a blemish. Easy as pie.
Offensively...same crap as usual. Tons of runners, not a ton of runs. 12 Braves reached base, 9 were stranded...that means that at least there were no double plays on the evening. All of the offense happened early too, with the first 2 runs coming in the first inning, and the third coming in the 5th. Martin Prado and Jason Heyward got the memo I sent out last night about not getting on, as each reached base 3 times. With the tablesetters on bases, the offense was able to put some magic on the board. Chipper Jones hit a first inning sac fly to bring in Prado, who was on third after a Heyward double. The second run of the night came in odd fashion...after an Eric Hinske strikeout, the Braves pulled a delayed double steal. Brian McCann broke towards second and froze to initiate a rundown. That led to Jason Heyward barreling towards the plate and just getting his hand in under Ivan Rodriguez's tag. So the kid can steal home too...awesome. The final run involved the particulars from the first inning again, as Chipper singled in Prado. In addition to the exploits from the top of the lineup, Brian McCann and Melky Cabrera would each reach base a pair of times. Melky's OPS is approaching .700, and the world doesn't know what we're going to do once it gets there.
So we've got a really early day game tomorrow...12:35?! What the hell is that? Anyway. Craig Stammen vs Derek Lowe. I'm expecting a lot of runs to be put on the board. After leaving Washington, the team will be heading to Cincinnati for the weekend series...now thats going to be a tough one.