Nationals 6 (14-12), Braves 3 (11-15)
WP: Hernandez (4-1)
LP: Kawakami (0-5)
SV: Capps (11)
Livan Hernandez walked 5 batters. Didn't last 6 innings. It was just as the Braves drew up...and the team still lost the game. Despite the 5 walks, the Braves could only muster 5 hits off Hernandez, scoring 2 runs, 1 of which was earned. Troy Glaus couldn't buy a hit, as he pounded the ball in 3 of his 4 non-reaching plate appearances, only to get robbed by good defense. The DP at the end of the game...eh, not great defense, but it was solid. But aside from Glaus's struggles, the issue wasn't with the heart of the order...Chipper Jones, Brian McCann and Jason Heyward all had 2 hits, with Jones & McCann each walking once while Heyward walked twice. But when you discount those 3...the other 5 hitters in the lineup went 1 for 21. Pretty sad when the pitcher has as many hits as 5 members of the lineup, but those are the breaks sometimes. It seems to me that when the Braves sluggers are on, the rest of the lineup is off, and vice versa.
Lets take a look at the pitching right now. They just...weren't on. Kenshin Kawakami allowed a pair of homers, to Josh Willingham and Ian Desmond. Adam Dunn added one off Eric O'Flaherty, and each of the pitchers after O'Flaherty (Jonny Venters and Jesse Chavez) each struggled and allowed a run each. Those runs allowed by the bullpen proved to be the difference. It didn't really matter tonight...Kawakami set the tone of substandard pitching, and the pen just lived up to that standard. For what its worth, he only struck out 1 batter in his 5 innings, but didn't walk anyone...baby steps, I guess.