Of course, this being collapse season, things didn't continue quite so smoothly. Tim Hudson, who scattered nine hits over five and two thirds innings, was left in in the sixth despite suffering an as-yet undisclosed injury; he allowed a pair of runs in the frame. Two innings later, Jayson Werth got his hands inside a Jonny Venters fastball and deposited a souvenir in the left field bleachers and all of a sudden Braves fans' hearts got real familiar with their throats. That anxiety was assuaged via everyone's favorite home remedy: a speedy baserunner on second getting hung up, getting back to second base only to find the aging franchise legend already standing there, then taking third when said legend tries to scamper back to first and, at long last, scoring because all the opponents were apparently too busy to cover home plate. Just like Grandma used to make, right? Mine is also fond of a nice dessert-ish touch where the rookie closer comes in and strikes out a pair of batters to nail down the win, but that's something of a luxury, I know.
So, yes, nice win - as they all are at this point - but lest I be accused of being a turncoat to the Official Sabermetric Cause of questioning Fredi Gonzalez, I have to wonder: why was a fairly ineffective Hudson allowed to remain in the game after getting hurt? I'm sure there was talk about Hudson being a warrior or bulldog or whatever, but you'd think that the lessons imparted us by Tommy Hanson's shoulder, Jair Jurrjens' knee and Derek Lowe's talent would have made enough of an impression that Fredi would realize a postseason rotation of Randall Delgado, Mike Minor, Brandon Beachy and one lucky fan who found the winning stamp on his ticket is something that would significantly hamper his team's championship chances. Why risk further injury to a key starter? Especially when he wasn't performing that well to begin with?
Early start tomorrow, y'all: 1:05 EDT. Brandon Beachy takes his freewheeling strikeout show to the mound against Chien Ming Wang, so think up your Wang headlines now because Darren Rovell's gonna be asking for em.