Braves 2 (31-22), Phillies 1 (28-24)
WP: Lowe (8-4)
LP: Contreras (2-2)
SV: Wagner (9)
This game was about pitching, pitching, and more pitching. Derek Lowe was amazing for the Braves: one run in 8 innings, while striking out 7 and walking one man intentionally. The Phillies could do *nothing* against him. Lowe had 10 ground balls out compared to 7 in the air, and threw first pitch strikes to 18 of the 29 batters he faced. You know what I call that? A fantastically successful start. It is worth noting that in the 5 starts since Lowe got shelled by the Phillies in "the Jamie Moyer game", he's turned in 4 quality starts with a 2.45 ERA and a 56:37 GB:FB ratio. His xFIP for the season is down to 4.21...and you know what, I'll take that from a guy who was pitching just so badly at the beginning of the season.
The Braves struggled offensively. The team as a whole only saw 115 pitches...its good to be aggressive against a pitcher as bad as Kyle Kendrick, but you need to SWING AT GOOD PITCHES. The team apparently didn't want to follow that logic, and was able to only coax 4 walks and 6 hits off of Phillies pitching. The biggest detractor was Yunel Escobar, who saw...wait for it...FOUR PITCHES on the day. Thats right, four. He uh, didn't reach base at all. Good call Yunel! Martin Prado singled twice to push his league leading average to .324, and his league leading hit total to 73. Prado also scored the game's first run in the bottom of the first on a Chipper Jones double play ball. Jason Heyward singled and was intentionally walked...I mean really, intentionally walking a 20 year old in June? I love it! Speaking of Chipper, he left the game with a finger injury...Omar Infante replaced him and had a couple of hits, including the game winner in the bottom of the 8th of Jose Contreras. And that was about all for the Braves offense...Troy Glaus had a double that should have been a homer, and Nate McLouth walked twice and scored the winning run.
The Braves return tonight to take on the Dodgers in LA...you know what that means: 10:05 start time. Sigh. The game recap will be up tomorrow...more than likely later in the day, since I'm taking a little day/night trip today and won't be home until sometime Friday afternoon. There will be a Dodgers preview, and it will be up shortly.
Two other quick notes. Jason Heyward won the NL Rookie of the Month award for May, his second straight honor. Troy Glaus won the NL Player of the Month award for May after leading the world in RBI. Congrats to both men, as they both deserve their honors.
And the lead in the NL East is now 2 and a half games. Good times!