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Chop-N-Change: An Atlanta Braves Blog | Page 7

Game Recap: 8/2/11

Written by Jake Humphrey on .

WP: Lannan (8-7)

LP: Lowe: (6-10)

To put it quite simply, this game sucked. John Lannan and the Nats seeming always have our number and despite a brief shining moment earlier in the game, tonight was no different.

Derek Lowe got rocked tonight, giving up eight runs, seven of them earned, in four innings. He gave up one run in the second when Ian Desmond drove in Jayson Werth. The Nats tacked on their second run on a bases-loaded fielder choice (and error) when Freeman threw wide of the plate, allowing Lannan to reach base and Jonny Gomes to score. Rick Ankiel then hit a grand slam, his third HR against the Braves this series, to put the Nationals up 6-3.

The Braves had scored earlier in the game when new centerfielder Michael Bourn hit a double down the first base line to score Jose Constanza. Prado followed with an RBI groundout that plated Lowe, giving the Braves a 2-1 lead. The Braves added another run, their last, when Constanza singled in the fourth of drive in Alex Gonzalez.

Unfortunately, the Nationals didn't quit putting balls in the seats after Ankiel's slam. The struggling Ian Desmond hit a two-run homer off of Lowe in the fifth, bringing an end to Lowe's night. Lowe's replacement, Christhian Martinez, gave up a solo shot to Michael Morse in the sixth to give the Nats the 9-3 lead, which would stick.

The game wasn't all bad though, as Scott Proctor inexplicably pitched a pair of scoreless innings to end the game for the Braves. Both Freddie Freeman and Dan Uggla continued their hitting streaks, and Bourn and Constanza each had a pair of hits.

The Braves will send rookie Brandon Beachy to the mound tomorrow to face Nationals pitcher Chien-Ming Wang.

Game 110 Recap (8/1/11)

Written by Paddy McMahon on .

Nationals 5 (52-56), Braves 3 (63-47)

W: Livan Hernandez
L: Jair Jurrjens
SV: Drew Storen

  • We all agree that losing sucks. I think that's a safe jumping off point. But I also don't think I'm going out on a limb when I say that losing to Livan 'Effing' Hernandez is even more frustrating. Watching him pitch, the idea that he can be in the Major Leagues -- and succeed! -- is just bizarre. Watching him pitch and shut down your team? Almost physically painful.
  • Hitting streak update: Dan Uggla jacked a solo homer (his 21st) to push his streak to 23 games. He then singled, and then decided he wanted to jack a second solo homer (his 22nd) JUST FOR GOOD MEASURE. Freddie Freemn singled to get to 16 on his streak.
  • Offensively, the Braves had a strange night. Ten scattered hits -- including a single from Michael Bourn in his first Braves AB, a 2-for-3 night for Jose Constanza, and a cuuple of knocks in the ninth against Nats closer Drew Storen -- isn't a bad performance, but it's kind of frustrating that the only three runs the team scored came on three solo home runs.
  • Speaking of home runs, I don't care that Dan Uggla made two throwing errors (only one charged, but still) tonight unless it shakes him up mentally going forward. The first throwing error came off a bad feed from Alex Gonzalez, and the second was a tough play that he had to charge aggressively to have even a shot at throwing out Ryan Zimmerman.
  • Indeed, run-prevention wise, the real worry here is Jair Jurrjens. We knew regression was coming, but it's easy to think of that in the abstract; it's harder to stomach when it's actually happening, when the guy's allowing five runs to the Nationals while striking out one and walking two. You just can't win many games like that, and unless Jurrjens does something to change his game, he could continue to struggle.
  • I'm not a huge fan of the Tomahawk Chop, but it was really fun to see Braves fans in D.C. get one started and aggravate Nationals fans to the point where the hometown faithful had to start choruses of boos to drown it out. You love to be the road team with a crowd presence.
  • If you have the privilege of watching tomorrow's game, you'll see Derek Lowe and John Lannan do battle not just as men, but as warriors. The Nationals broadcasters say that Lannan is pitching as well as anyone right now because he's 7-7 with a 3.63 ERA, which I don't really even know what that means but Derek Lowe apparently better bring his A game. Maybe he can remind the Nationals of the days when he pitched against the Expos. That might work, if these kids these days even knew who the Expos were

What Did the Braves Just Get and Give Up?

Written by Mark Smith on .

When news broke that the Braves had acquired Michael Bourn and didn’t have to give up any of the Big Four, Braves fans cheered. If there was a major hole on the team, it was center field. Nate McLouth had been worth a whole 0.3 fWAR while hitting decently (.344 OBP) and playing terrible defense. Jordan Schafer was worth 0.7 fWAR because he could actually play defense and take the occasional walk. Together, the two weren’t even on pace to be an average MLB starter. The Braves, therefore, made the move to get Bourn, but what did they get and what did they give up?

Over the past three seasons, Bourn has been a 4-5 win player. Let that sink in. 4 to 5 wins per season. Hunter Pence was a 3-4 win player. Bourn’s defense is excellent and will be an upgrade defensively, and while his offensive norm is .271/.338/.359, that’s still a slight upgrade there. And then you have to add his baserunning, which has usually been worth 5-6 runs a season due to his stolen bases and speed. For the rest of the season, he should add 1-1.5 wins, and he should be worth about 4 wins next season. That’s a total value between $25-30 million, not counting possible additional playoff money earned, and he’ll make about $10 million during that time, leaving a surplus value of $15-20 million.

To finally get our “leadoff hitter”, the Braves traded Jordan Schafer, Brett Oberholtzer, Paul Clemens, and Juan Abreu. Schafer’s value will mainly come from next season before he hits arbitration, and we’ll tag him with a $5 million value for his minimum cost 1-win performance next year (after that the values will probably even out or start costing the Astros). Abreu is your classic fire-throwing reliever. He strikes tons of guys out but can’t usually find the zone. As a C prospect, he has a value near $1.5 million. That’s a total of $6.5 million so far.

The other two pitchers have more value. Paul Clemens was largely an unknown prospect before the season, but he performed well in AA (3.73 ERA, 7.7 K/9, 3.6 BB/9) while being able to hold his velocity in the mid-90s, instead of simply scraping it like last season. Clemens’ stock has certainly improved, but his secondary pitches still need work, and his command isn’t good. If he can maintain this production, he’s probably a B prospect ($7.3 million), but if he can’t, he’s a C ($1.5 million). Let’s split the difference to $4.4 million, which adds to the other two for $11 million.

Brett Oberholtzer is the other main piece of this trade. Coming into the season, he was a strong C+ prospect because of his stellar K/BB ratios in the minors, but like most command/control guys that move into AA, those ratios collapsed. He went from 5.5 and 6 to 2.21. It’s still good, and he’s still young at age 22. But he has no projection left, and he is what he is. He and Clemens are essentially clones, but Oberholtzer is left-handed and a year younger. Let’s split his B/C values as well ($7.3 and $2.1) to get to $4.7 million. That’s about $16 million total.

So overall, the Braves received a center fielder that they needed in playoff time, and they traded him for what is probably the lower end of the value of the guy coming in, which again does not include added playoff value. I think the trade was a fair one, but the Braves win out on the probability of this working out for them.

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Michael Bourn is Coming to Atlanta

Written by Joe Lucia on .

Finally Braves fans, FINALLY. We've got a legitimate center fielder. Michael Bourn is a Brave, and the package it took was minimal. All it took for the Braves to acquire Bourn (and cash!) was Jordan Schafer, Brett Oberholtzer, Paul Clemens, and Juan Abreu. Oberholtzer was the CNC #8 prospect, Clemens was #14, Abreu was #22, and Schafer was #963. The team gave up ONE top ten prospect in the system for Bourn, which stuns the hell out of me given the rumors floating around last night about the price getting driven up.

Here's a brief primer on Bourn. He's 28 years old, and is under team control until the 2012 season...so the team is getting a year and a half worth of Bourn for that package. His line this season is .303/.363/.403, and his career line is .271/.338/.359, so he doesn't have a huge history of killing it with the lumber. But what sets Bourn apart is his speed and defense. Bourn has stolen at least 40 bases in eaach of the last three seasons, and is one away from getting to that mark again this year. Bourn's defense is also fantastic, as his UZR and DRS numbers have been above average in each of his seasons aside from this year, where he's only ranking as average.

Compare this to the Phillies trade for Hunter Pence. Philly also gave up four players, two of which were top 25 prospects. Bourn has been worth 4.9 WAR and 4.8 WAR over the past two seasons, and is worth 3.6 WAR this year. Pence on the other hand, has been worth 4.1, 3.5 and 2.5. Pence has more power, but Bourn is the better all-around player. And the Braves got him for spare parts. This is a phenomenal deal for the team, and will immediately make an impact on the lineup and defense. Brandon Beachy and Tommy Hanson are doing cartwheels right now.

Meanwhile, ESPN still has no idea how to spell check.

Game Recap - 7/30/11

Written by Joe Lucia on .

Braves 5, Marlins 1

WP: Tim Hudson (10-7)
LP: Anibal Sanchez (6-4)

Four runs in the third inning was more than enough on this pre-trade deadline evening, as Tim Hudson dazzled the Marlins en route to a 5-1 win. We'll talk Hudson first. He was excellent. Huddy allowed just one run in seven innings, while allowing six hits, no walks, and striking out five. It was a vintage, old school Hudson performance, and that's something the Braves really need town the stretch. Jonny Venters loaded the bases in the eighth, but got out of the jam with a strikeout of Hanley Ramirez to end the frame, and a perfect ninth from Craig Kimbrel sealed the deal.

The Braves offense got it cranked up in the third, and that offensive outburst was all the team needed. Alex Gonzalez started with a single, and was driven home with two outs by Martin Prado. After a Freddie Freeman single, Dan Uggla extended his hitting streak to 21 games with a monstrous three run homer to left center to make it 4-0. The Braves would take on another run in the eighth on an Eric Hinske solo job. The Braves had nine hits on the games, and four players - Hinske, Gonzalez, Freeman, and Prado - each had two hits. The ninth was Uggla's bomb. Jason Heyward didn't get a hit, but did walk twice, as news of a possible demotion or platoon continues to swirl around his head. It's also worth noting that in Jose Constanza's eight at bats in the majors, six have ended with a ground out. And people thought he'd be a good spark plug to the offense....tough to do that when you can't get the ball out of the infield.

Braves are looking for the sweep tomorrow. They'll send their ace, Tommy Hanson, to the hill to take on the embattled Ricky Nolasco of the Marlins. Hopefully there will be news of a trade for a center fielder during that game, and we don't have to deal with the charade of slap hitters at the top of the lineup anymore. 

The Braves and Phillies Are NOT the Same Team

Written by Mark Smith on .

With the news of Hunter Pence being traded to the Phillies last night, the Phillies became the clear favorites to win the World Series, though they were already favorites. Pence is a 3-4 win player and has been so in each of his five seasons, and while that’s not stud territory, that’s certainly an improvement over what they have. The Phillies seem to making a poor decision by demoting Domonic Brown instead of benching Raul Ibanez, but either way, Hunter Pence will increase the Phillies chances of winning.

During a Twitterbate (?) with our own Jake Humphrey last night, we discussed the price the Astros paid for Pence, with him arguing the Astros paid entirely too much for only a decent player. While the Phillies did trade their top two prospects, both Jared Cosart (possible reliever) and Jonathan Singleton (fixed at 1B, thus needing to mash) have their issues, the common one being that they are only in High-A and have a long way to go before making the majors. The two prospects, however, are top 50 prospects, and that’s a lot to give up ($16 M of value for Cosart and $23 M for Singleton if we put him in the top 50, which most have him on the outside looking in) for a guy who will neither be cheap nor a franchise-caliber player. Jake responded, “If we have given up Vizcanio/Delgado, people would be sh!tt!ng,” in order to give a comparison between the two teams. This brings me to my main point in this post--the Braves are not in the same position as the Phillies.

No two teams are ever in the same position, and the Phillies and Braves are no different. While they appear so because they are both challenging for the NL East crown and a World Series and are the two best teams in the NL, they are not in the same positions. Let’s start with the outlook for this season. The Phillies have the three best pitchers in the NL other than a guy named Clayton Kershaw, and they are far superior to what the Braves have. Each of those pitchers have an fWAR already over 4 and total 14 wins between them, and the best the Braves can muster with any trio is 7 total. That’s a seven-win difference. Now, the Braves have more depth with Lowe around 2 wins and Beachy with 1, and the Phillies have Vance Worley at 1.5, Oswalt at 1, and various other guys. The Braves depth is excellent for a full-season competition, but when it comes to the playoffs, you want the Phillies’ studs.

And that’s what the Phillies are going for--a championship. Sure, the Braves are as well, but the Phillies are going for broke … because they have to. While the Braves have many building blocks in the early to mid-20s, the Phillies key players are mostly in their 30s or are closing in on them. Their window for contention is essentially the next 2-3 years, but the Braves’ window is closer to the next 6-8. Ruben Amaro has decided to take full advantage of his situation, and he’s putting developing the farm system way down on his priority list. Amaro knows he has a special opportunity, and he’s giving himself the best chance to take advantage.

The Braves, however, have to be more careful. While they still have a relatively good chance to win the World Series, they can’t really go for broke. Their players are good, but they aren’t in the prime playing years. And the Braves have to understand their team situation for the future. While they have tons of pitching now, it won’t be that way forever. After next season, Lowe and Hudson could be gone, and Jurrjens could be gone the year after. At that point, you’re left with Hanson, Beachy, Teheran, Delgado, and Vizcaino/Minor, and the rest of the Braves starting prospects are either far away or a tier below all of those guys. Yes, the Braves could sign someone to fill out the rotation, but even in that scenario, you are expecting most of these guys to work out or stay with the team, which is probably a bad assumption. Unfortunately, these are really the only guys the Braves can trade, and the Braves need to be careful how they use them.

This brings us to the relative value of prospects for each team. The Braves prospects are close to the majors and are a key part of the organizational plan in the very near future, and the Phillies prospects are far away and may be a part of the plan in the future. Add in that the Phillies are in a better position for a World Series, and you can see the difference in value of the prospects between the two teams. While there may be an empirical value of generic top 50 prospect A, context has to be taken into account. The relative value of those prospects for the Braves is a little bit higher than normal for the Braves, and it’s a little lower than normal for the Phillies. The Phillies should have been more willing to give up their prospects.

Even the value of the possible playoff victories for the teams is different. I’ve often wondered how much a “playoff win” is worth. We know a “regular season win” is worth about $5M, but what about a “playoff win”? It has to be higher, but I wonder how much higher. Do the teams make the same amount of money during playoff games, and even if they do, what is it worth to get a few percentage points more on the other team for the extra World Series games? What about keeping a full house in that stadium? Would Braves fans respond with sellouts in the way Phillies fans do? Either way, you can’t ignore playoff value when evaluating these trades, and I don’t know if it’s the same for every team.

Listen, the Braves and Phillies are both in position to win the World Series, and they both should try hard to win. But they aren’t in the same position. The Phillies are essentially in a position where the future be damned, but the Braves can’t do that, not when those prospects are so integral to their success. The Phillies prospects are simply too far away to really have them in the plans. Now, did the Phillies give up too much regardless? That we can debate, and I don’t have a problem at all with the arguments Jake was making. I think Pence gets discredited because he’s not a star, but you tell me how many 3-4 win players that most teams have. Jake thinks that those prospects are still valuable, and although he didn’t say this specifically, I’m betting Jake is also thinking the Phillies are going to need those prospects in a few years because of that contention window I was talking about. Reasonable people can disagree, but I think we really need to look into the team-specific situation to make full sense of the trade.

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Game 107 Recap (7/29/11)

Written by Paddy McMahon on .

Braves 5 (62-45), Marlins 0 (52-53)

W: Brandon Beachy
L: Clay Hensley

Alrighty folks, three main stories I wanna focus on here tonight. 

1. The debut of Jose Constanza. Now, I had never heard of the little man, but I quickly learned from Twitter (particularly from the proprietor of this here site) that he's a non-prospect who probably wasn't the best choice to replace the recently-DL'd Jordan Schafer. But they're similar players -- good speed, all the power of wet lettuce -- and Constanza (whom I so desperately wanted to be named Jorge) was replacing Schafer in the field, so, naturally, he had to hit leadoff. 

I hate that logic.

But then, I'm also not a big fan of Schafer leading off, so. Anyway, Constanza went 1-fer-4 in his debut, singling Brooks Conrad home from second and then coming around to score himself on a Freddie Freeman sac fly. So except for the physical dissimilarities, I guess Constanza did a pretty good impression of the guy he replaced.  

2. Brandon Beachy! After a weak couple starts to begin the second half of the season, Beachy came out tonight and did something he'd never done in his Major League career: pitch into the eighth inning. I like the results -- 7.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 6 K -- and love that he posted those numbers without the surprising pop he had on his fastball to begin the year when he was hitting 95 MPH with the heat. That sounds counterintuitive, I know, but a big fastball hasn't been part of Beachy's repertoire, so he needs to be able to post quality starts when he's hanging in the low-90s. 

3. Dan Uggla. I don't mean to be the guy who's always right in hindsight, but I was never all that down on Uggla this year. That's mostly because his arms are so big that it looks like it should be impossible for him to make contact and not hit a home run, but also because I believed in the pedigree and had mentally prepared myself for two or three years of good production before we saw this kind of decline from Uggla. To my -- and Braves fans' everywhere -- relief, Uggla has finally broken out of a seasonlong slump. According to his B-Ref page, in 22 games since July 1, he's hitting .299/.384/.563 with six home runs. That bit of excellence, though, does not include his performance tonight, where he muscled up on a three-run homer in the 7th that broke a 0-0 tie and would've been all the run-scoring the Braves needed. 

As for the rest of the fellas, big ups to Martin 'MV' Prado (kidding ... kidding) who collected three singles, and Freddie Freeman who had two of his own. Eric O'Flaherty relieved Beachy in the eighth, collecting two outs sans incident en route to his 20th hold, and Scott Linebrink struck out Logan Morrison to bring an end to tonight's affair. 

Tomorrow, we'll see an epic showdown between Anibal Sanchez's ears and Tim Hudson's forearm tattoo to determine which is most likely to make an uninterested girlfriend stop by the TV and say 'what is that?' 7:10 ET start time, y'all.  

Game Recap: 7/28/11

Written by Jake Humphrey on .

WP: Correia (12-8)

LP: Lowe (6-9)

SV: Hanrahan (30)

In game four of what has turned into a rather lengthy series, the Braves sent the struggling Derek Lowe to the mound to face Pirates' All-Star Kevin Correia.

The Braves got on the board early in the first, taking a 1-0 lead on a Eric Hinske ground-rule double, their first lead of the series that didn't result in the end of the game. Being a ground-rule double, it cost the Braves a run as Freddie Freeman wasn't allowed to advance past third and was left there when David Ross flew out to right field. The Pirates answered back in the top of the second with Correia singling first basman Lyle Overbay in before leadoff man Xavier Paul grounded into a double play to end the inning.

Lowe returned to the mound to start the fifth after a rain delay and the wheels began to fall off of his wagon. He allowed back-to-back singles from Paul and Garrett Jones before giving up the lead after Andrew McCutchen hit a double to LF. Pedro Alvarez scored Jones on an RBI groundout to Freddie Freeman to give the Pirates a 3-1 lead.

New Braves reliever Anthony Varvaro, called up before the game to give the Braves another arm in the bullpen, replace Lowe to start the sixth inning. He made his debut with style, striking out Michael McKendry and Correia before inducing a flyout from Paul to end the inning. Dan Uggla continued to prove that he's out of his slump by singling in Freddie Freeman, who had hit a leadoff double, to cut the lead to 3-2.

Varvaro showed some of the wildness he showed in the minors, walking three consecutive batters in the seventh but struck out Ronny Cedeno to end the inning. Sherrill struck out the side in the top of the eighth, but when Fredi Gonzalez relied on him to face McCutchen in the top of the ninth he surrendered a two-run homer to seal the Braves' fate. Joel Hanrahan, who had come in to get the last out of the eighth, pitched around a David Ross double to close the door and give the Pirates the series split.

Derek Lowe Is Having Issues

Written by Mark Smith on .

I’m going to guess that this is no surprise to most of you. After a sparkling April in which he struck out 32 in 34 innings while only walking 11, Derek Lowe hasn’t been the same pitcher. His K/BB dropped from a very good 2.91 to a below average 1.63 in May and June, but in July, it tumbled all the way to 1.14. Lowe’s ERA has correspondingly increased from 3.21 to 4.86 and 4.41 to 5.96, but his FIPs are a little weird. They’ve gone from 2.83 to 4.51 to 3.27 to 3.34, and his season FIP of 3.50 is pretty good. But Lowe hasn’t been that pitcher, right? What’s going on?

The first thing to understand is that FIP can be misleading in really small samples. For his career, Lowe has given up home runs on 12.4% of his flyballs, which is above the league norm of 10.6, but this season, he’s only given up home runs on 8.6% of flyballs, which we shouldn’t expect is a jump in talent level. In fact, the major reason is FIP is so low over the past few months is that he’s only given up 1 HR during that span even though he’s surrendered 65 hits in 56 innings. If you look at his xFIPs (which normalize home runs to the league norm), Lowe has gone from 2.97 to 3.80 and 3.61 to 4.11, which is more of what one would expect to see. Chances are that his xFIP shows the change in talent over that time instead of FIP, but remember that Lowe usually gives up more home runs, which would make those xFIP numbers a bit larger.

So what’s going on? Let’s take a look at these Pitch F/X charts.

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Game Recap: 7/27/11

Written by Brian Fessler on .


Braves 2, Pirates 1 (10)

WP: Scott Linebrink (4-2)

LP: Chris Leroux (1-1)


After a 19 inning game lasting nearly seven hours Tuesday night, the last thing anyone wanted was another extra inning game. With Atlanta putting together a line-up that would fight to be a middle of the pack Triple A team and the opposing pitchers (Jair Jurrjens and Paul Maholm) allowing few runs per start this year, prospects did not look good for a simple nine inning blow out.

As Jurrjens held the Bucs scoreless to open the contest, Atlanta looked to finally jump on the board early. Martin Prado laced a liner into the left field corner and, after seeing in rattle around, attempted to stretch a double into a triple. This time Jerry Meals got the call correct as Prado was easily thrown out. The umpiring crew then got their mandatory make-up call, calling Freddie Freeman out on an infield grounder, despite replays showing him clearly safe. The Braves got the better of the wrong call exchange, if you ask me.

Heading into the second inning, it looked as though Tuesday night’s marathon was simply continuing into tonight’s match-up. Uggla lead-off the second with a double (extending his hitting streak to 18 games), but couldn’t score as the Braves went fly out, fly out, strikeout. Third inning, Alez Gonzalez lead-off with a single, to which Atlanta hitters went sacrifice bunt, ground out, pop out. If that wasn’t enough for you, Freddie Freeman led off the fourth with a double, followed by an Uggla single that Freeman wasn’t able to advance on. Fredi again called for the sacrifice bunt to set up a Wilkin Ramirez pop out and a Julio Lugo strikeout.

Jair Jurrjens continued to cruise (aided by a Prado to Ross throw out at home in the fourth) until the sixth inning when Garret Jones took the right-hander deep for a solo shot to right, putting the Pirates up 1-0. The Braves, needing to tie it to make all right in the universe, linked together three singles in the bottom of the inning, capped off by a David Ross RBI single that made it through the left side of the infield. Tied 1-1.

Recognizing the need to rest the ‘pen, Jurrjens stayed out for the seventh despite a relatively high pitch count. After Jurrjens walked Brandon Wood and struck out Eric Fryer, Maholm attempted to put down the sacrifice. Jurrjens then made a nifty play, allowing the pop bunt to drop in front of him (with Ross shouting instructions) and turning it around for a rare 1-6-4 double play.

But the two teams love close games SO much, they made it to the ninth inning still tied 1-1. Fredi displayed some smarts, bringing in the dominant Craig Kimbrel in the non-save situation. The Pirates promptly went fly out, strikeout, strikeout. Pretty standard for Kimbrel. In the bottom half of the inning, it looked as though Atlanta had a shot to end the game in regulation after Gonzalez’s two out double, but Eric Hinske struck out looking in his pinch hit appearance. Sooo, more extra innings!

After Freddie Freeman made a stellar play to double-up the Pirates to end the top of the tenth, Nate McLouth lead off the bottom half with single to right. Following Prado's fly out to right, Freeman moved McLouth over to third with his own single to right. An Uggla IBB loaded the bases for David Ross, who laced the first pitch he saw to former-Brave Matt Diaz in left, driving in the winning run...in ONLY ten innings!

Jair Jurrjens was impressive, going seven innngs with a 1 ER, 6 H, 4 K, 3 BB line in the no-decision. The offense was lead by Mr. Ross himself, who drove in both Atlanta runs, and Uggla and Freeman, who knocked out three hits each. The Braves go for the series victory tomorrow evening as veteran Derek Lowe takes the mound against Pittsburgh's Kevin Correia.

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