Braves 3 (39-28), Rays 1 (41-25)
WP: Hudson (7-2)
LP: Shields (5-6)
SV: Wagner (12)
What a game. The Braves won tonight to take 2 outta 3 from the best team in baseball. I don't believe it...actually, I probably do. This team is so locked in right now...us fans are complaining about splitting back to back series. Regardless...its a good feeling to be a fan of a team that is playing so well and doing what the need to do in all aspects of the game. Tim Hudson started for the Braves, and only allowed 1 run in his 7 innings...he also struck out 5 batters. Good! Now, the bad: he walked 4. He's gotta get those walks under control, dammit...those walks however, got balanced out with an absurd, almost never seen ground ball to fly ball ratio of 13 to 1. And the one was an infield pop up. When you can do that...yeah, you'll be able to survive. A GB rate that high isn't sustainable, but its a good sign for the future that he will be able to keep the ball on the ground and possibly thrive in those type of situations. Jonny Venters and Billy Wagner pitched the final 2 innings without breaking a sweat to seal the win.
The potent Braves offense (never thought I'd say those words...) struggled tonight, only reaching base 7 times against Rays pitching. Chipper Jones had the night off (after a press conference that had me a little *too* nervous an hour before gametime..thankfully, it was just to say "stop talking about my retirement for the rest of the season"), and the lack of patience showed, with the entire team only seeing 107 pitches. Yikes...the only Brave to reach base multiple times was Brian McCann, who singled and was intentionally walked. Jason Heyward started the Braves scoring with a solo homer in the 4th inning (to go with his 3 strikeouts...ugh), and Troy Glaus drove in the other 2 runs with a bloop double in the 6th that just missed Ben Zobrist's glove in right. The Rays actually intentionally walked McCann to get to Glaus and load the bases...that didn't work out too well, now did it? Glaus is now tied with David Wright for the NL RBI lead...kind of mind boggling that TROY GLAUS could get an All-Star nod.
In divisional news, all the competition won tonight, so the lead stays at half a game on the Mets, and 3 and a half on the Phillies. Good news for this coming weekend series though: the Braves get to play the pitiful KC Royals, while the Mets draw the Yankees, and the Phillies will take on our old buddies in Minnesota. Now is a good time to get some breathing room, especially with the visit to see the White Sox after the Royals series next week.
Usual crap for the weekend, though there may not be an update on Saturday because it is my 24th birthday...Harrisburg Brewers Fest in the early afternoon, then god knows what in the evening. Going to attempt to do a preview for the Royals series tomorrow, not that its necessary...the Royals are a bad team. Like, real bad. Anyway. Until next time folks...