Braves 9 (29-22), Phillies 3 (28-22)
WP: Hanson (5-3)
LP: Blanton (1-4)
Hey, look at that. It'll be June tomorrow, and the Braves are in first place. We haven't seen that for 5 years now. Its a good feeling, and it went off with an OOMPH today. The Braves offense started with a bang, scoring 6 runs in the first 3 innings due to some great hitting and a little sloppy fielding by the Phillies. Chipper Jones hit a 2 run homer in the first inning to start the scoring, and Eric Hinske singled in Troy Glaus later in the inning. A third inning Ryan Howard error allowed Brian McCann to score and put runners in scoring position for Yunel Escobar, who drove Glaus and Hinske home. The scoring would cease until the 7th when the Phillies plated 3 in the top half of the inning thanks to 4 straight doubles, while the Braves got 3 in the bottom half after a 3 run homer from Glaus. That would take care of that. Jones, McCann, Glaus and Escobar all reached base twice, and the 2 walks nurtured by McCann were the only 2 that Joe Blanton would allow the Braves to have. Glaus had himself a day, adding 3 RBI and 3 runs scored to his 2 hits (one of which was the previously mentioned longball). Worth noting is that the top of the lineup, which has been a catalyst lately, went 1 for 10. Can't stay hot all the time, I guess. The team did only strand 5 men though, and hit into no double plays. Always constructive!
This wasn't just an offensive show from the Braves, as Tommy Hanson pitched pretty well, though it looked like it would be a rough day once the day began. Hanson would allow 6 men to reach base, 3 by hit and 3 by walk, and 4 of those were in the first 2 innings...innings Hanson got out of with his best friend, the double play grounder. It was gravy for the rest of the day. He only did strike out 2 men, tied for a season low. Peter Moylan inexplicably relieved Hanson in the 7th, and allowed 3 straight doubles before being pulled without getting an out. Jonny Venters and Jesse Chavez managed to take care of the final 7 outs, though.
Tomorrow, the Braves look to maintain control of the division. It'll be Cole Hamels for the Phillies, and Tim Hudson for the Braves. Now THAT is a good pitching matchup! I hope the rest of Memorial Day treats you all well.