Braves 5 (20-20), Reds 4 (23-17)
WP: Wagner (4-0)
LP: Masset (3-2)
Talk about from the lowest of lows to the highest of highs. The Braves bullpen totally crapped the bed tonight, allowing 4 runs over the final 2 innings to blow a win for Kenshin Kawakami, who had by far his best outing of the year, going 6 scoreless while striking out 5 and walking 1. His ERA is finally under 5.00, and he's hopefully going to keep the intensity turned up a notch fighting for his rotation spot. The Braves bullpen though...yeesh. Peter Moylan had an effortless 7th highlighted by a pair of strikeouts. Then Takashi Saito allowed 3 runs in only 1/3 of an inning...it was Saito's third straight day of work, and he looked gassed. Just didn't have it tonight. Eric O'Flaherty put out the fire. It was still a one run lead for the Braves, until Billy Wagner allowed a game tying solo homer to Chris Heisey. Wagner allowed another baserunner but got out of the jam to end the 9th...then the Braves offense did work.
9th inning, Nate McLouth and Melky Cabrera started the inning with groundouts. Martin Prado gave the team some life with a single to right. That led to - who else? - Jason Heyward, who laced a game-winning double into right field to end the game and give the Braves the victory. Heyward had himself a NIGHT, with that game winning RBI, a pair of runs scored, a pair of doubles, and his first career triple. Despite me calling him washed up just a matter of hours ago, Chipper Jones showed signs of life, with a pair of hits, a pair of RBI, and a run scored. Brian McCann also had a 2 run homer in the first inning to extend the Braves early lead. He'd also add an 8th inning double. Nate McLouth had a couple hits as well, to push his average over .200 for the season...McLouth is starting to warm! Look out folks. Yunel Escobar had a real crappy night...0 for 4 and 11 pitches seen. Watching Escobar play right now is painful.
Braves and Reds play the final game of the miniseries tomorrow, and its an early game...1:05 PM. Tommy Hanson and Mike Leake. BE THERE. I'll be at work until 3, so I'll be getting updates on my phone...recap will be up relatively early, as well as the preview for the series this weekend against the Pirates, which I will not be attending unfortunately...the weather looks crappy this weekend, and I'm not going to drive out to Pittsburgh to possibly have to sit in the rain on Saturday and Sunday.