WP: Hudson (15-10)
LP: Dickey (8-13)
SV: Kimbrel (45)
This game can be summed up in two words: Tim Hudson. The Braves starter was absolutely electic today, throwing eight shutout innings, allowing four hits and two walks, and striking out a season high ten. After two poor starts in a row, it was a great rebound for the veteran. Hudson also got 11 ground ball outs and threw first pitch strikes to 13 of 29 hitters. Craig Kimbrel finished the one run victory off by striking out the side on 16 pitches in the ninth, getting whiffs on five pitches. That's how you do it.
Offensively, the team continued to struggle. RA Dickey was nearly as good as Hudson, allowing just three hits on the day, but walking six hitters. The walks didn't catch up with him until the eighth inning, when Jason Heyward led off the inning with a walk, moved to second on a sacrifice, and to third on a ground out. Dickey then walked Martin Prado to bring up Mets-killer Chipper Jones, who drove the stake deep again with a single to center field. Dan Uggla would walk to load the bases and give the Braves a chance for some more insurance, but Tim Byrdak came in and got Brian McCann to pop out to end the frame. Two of those three hits went to Jones, who's OPS on the season is up to .835. He doesn't look done at all. Freddie Freeman walked twice, and Prado added a single to his walk, back in his customary second spot in the order.
The team's magic number is down to eight, and the lead in the wild card race is at four games with the Cardinals playing in Philadelphia tonight. Jake Westbrook takes on Roy Oswalt there. Tomorrow in Atlanta, the pitching matchup will be Dillon Gee and the dominant Brandon Beachy, while in Philly, Chris Carpenter takes on Cole Hamels on Sunday Night Baseball. First pitch for the Braves-Mets game is at 1:35. Let's get that magic number down and maybe clinch this week, OK guys?