Braves 2 (79-57), Marlins 0 (68-66)
WP: Jurrjens (7-4)
LP: Johnson (11-6)
SV: Wagner (32)
In a stark contrast to last night's starting pitching fiasco, Jair Jurrjens came to bring the pain tonight...and that he did. 7 shutout innings, 3 hits, 3 walks, 7 strikeouts. The Marlins would put 2 men on in the 1st and 3rd innings...and those were the only opportunities they had all night to threaten. Jurrjens settled in nicely after his first inning issues, where Cameron Maybin reached on a bunt single and moved to second on a throw by Jurrjens that was...to put it nicely...horrifying. Chipper Jones was actually ejected in the first inning for jawing from the dugout due to an iffy strike zone...it would be bad all night, but with the way Jurrjens was throwing, it didn't matter too well. Josh Johnson didn't need much help for the Marlins, but he was getting it.
Speaking of the offense. It was an...interesting night. 15 strikeouts, 14 baserunners...2 runs. Weird overall...but in typical Braves fashion: 9 runners stranded, 1/12 with runners in scoring position. Ho hum. Alex Gonzalez drove in both runs, the first with a double in the 2nd off the wall that he'd get to third on the throw...he'd be out at home on a botched squeeze attempt. Good idea, horrible execution...the pitch they ran on was near Jurrjens' face. No way was he going to make contact. The second run came in the 6th, on a flare to center with 2 outs following a leadoff double by Brian McCann. Jason Heyward had a nice night, reaching 3 times. Omar Infante and Martin Prado each had a pair of hits...see what I'm saying about the top of the lineup? Even if they don't score, they're setting the tone for the evening. There was some ugly though...McCann, Derrek Lee, and Jurrjens all struck out 3 times, and Rick Ankiel struck out twice. Gonzalez was the offensive highlight, as he also added a walk to his RBI single and RBI double.
Braves return tomorrow and look to take the series against the Marlins. Alex Sanabia vs Mike Minor. Advantage there goes to the Braves.
Phillies won on a late inning comeback, so the lead remains a game in the east. The Reds also won, so the Braves remain half a game behind in the homefield advantage race. The magic number for a playoff berth is now at 22, with the Giants game just getting underway.