Braves 5 (87-68), Nationals 0 (66-89)
WP: Lowe (15-12)
LP: Maya (0-3)
That's more like it. Derek Lowe wasn't dominant today, only going 5 innings and cracking 100 pitches in the process, but he was able to get the job done with some help from his bullpen and his offense. 5 hits, 1 walk, 4 strikeouts, 8:3 GB:FB...it got the job done today. The bullpen...they weren't so hot. Sure they threw 4 shutout innings, but every pitcher allowed a baserunner. Every pitcher balanced it out with a strikeout though, so all is well. The Nats stranded 12 men and went 0/10 with runners in scoring position...good to see another team get bit in the ass like that for once.
The Braves offense showed up for just enough time to get 5 runs on the board. The first run came in the 3rd inning, with Derek Lowe leading off with a double and scoring after Brian McCann grounded one to third, only to see the ball get thrown away. Jason Heyward tried to score on the play as well, but was out by 20 feet at the plate. Win some, lose some. Meh. The rest of the scoring came in the 6th inning. Martin Prado walked and moved to second on a wild pitch. He scored on a Derrek Lee double. After Nate McLouth reached on an infield single, that brought up Alex Gonzalez, who homered to left to bring in 3 more runs. That would be all the runs the team needed today. I'll take it. Can't put a dozen on the board every night. Every starter would reach base, with Prado and Gonzalez reaching twice and McLouth and Lee reaching three times. The mojo was back too, as the team walked 7 times on the day. *That* is something I've missed the last few games.
The Padres beat the Reds, so the Braves remain a half game out in the wild card standings. The Braves will look to win their final road series of the year tomorrow in DC, and will send rookie Brandon Beachy to the hill to do it. Opposing him will be the ancient yet effective Livan Hernandez. Hernandez threw 8 shutout innings against the Braves in his last start against them 2 weeks ago. Here's hoping that doesn't repeat itself.