Momentum has carried the Braves back to within 3.5 games of the NL-East leading Phillies, and 2nd place in the division. Atlanta took 2 out of 3 games this weekend from the struggling Pittsburgh Pirates to continue their winning ways. The team is really starting to click at the right time. The pitching, fielding, and timely hitting as done a complete 180 compared to play early this month.
Game 1 proved to be a statement for the rest of the series as the Braves went on to win the game 7-0. Atlanta’s ace Tim Hudson (5-1) continues to prove time, and time again that he isn’t just back from Tommy John surgery, he is better. Hudson only have up 3 hits in his 8 inning masterpiece. That combined with Jason Heyward lighting up PNC park with 3 hits including a home run, double, and 3 RBI’s was all Atlanta needed to out class the Pirates. Am I excited about Hudson, and Heywards performace? Yes I am. However I am still concerned about a few players in Atlanta’s everyday lineup. Nate McLouth, Melky Cabrera, and Yunel Escobar continue to struggling by all hitting below, or just above the Mendoza line (.200). You can’t expect the same guys to produce every night, but they have done a nice job carrying the team thus far.
Derek Lowe (6-4) continued his dominance over the Pirates by extending his career record to (8-0) lifetime against them. Lowe got the credit for the win, but the game was all about Atlanta’s bullpen. Lowe went 5 innings, walking 4 batters, and allowed 5 hits. Moylan, O’flaherty, Saito, and Wagner combined to finish the game off by allowing no runs the rest of the way. Melky Cabrera hit his first home run as a Brave in the 2nd inning to give Atlanta a 1-0 lead. Eric Hinske is now hitting a whopping .358 on the season including his 3rd home run of the season in the 3rd inning of the game. Hinske is surely making his case to be an everyday outfielder for the this club, and what a strong case he is making. Atlanta went on to steal this game by a final score of 4-2.
Atlanta found themselves on the wrong side of a walk off performance in game 3. Pittsburghs Ryan Doumit homered with 2 outs in the 10th inning off of Takashi Saito to avoid the sweep. Kris Medlen went 5.2 innings in a decent outing only giving up 2 earned runs.
The goal for Atlanta is simple. Win every series, and lately they have being doing just that. The Braves head to Miami Tuesday to start a 3 games series with the fish before returning home to rematch the Pirates. Kenshin Kawakami (0-6) looks to notch his first victory of the season Tuesday night in South Beach.
About the Author
Written by Bill Furey
My name is Bill Furey, and I am from Chelmsford, Massachusetts. I am 25 years old, and a complete baseball guru. This will be my first year blogging for major league baseball, and I am really looking forward to both voicing my opinion as well as covering games. As a former 3rd basemen for the University of Massachusetts-Lowell I got the amazing opportunity to compete, admire, and most importantly learn from some of the most talented players, and coaches this great game has to offer. Growing up in New England I have always been a die hard fan of the Sox, Pats, Celts, and Bruins. My love, understanding, and respect for the game of baseball takes major precedent in my life. I currently coach one of Massachusetts best 13 year old baseball teams. Teaching the game of baseball to young talented players is something I truly look forward to every time I take the field. The relationships I built from this wonderful game are better than any home run, stolen base, or any winning season. Baseball has given me life lessons I couldn't have learned anywhere else in the world. A baseball quote that best describes my passion for the game is this: "You see, you spend a good piece of your life gripping a baseball, and in the end it turns out that it was the other way around all the time." Jim Bouton, Ball Four, 1970. I look forward to covering the Atlanta Braves this season, and getting some great feedback from my followers. Play ball.