So, did the Braves just sweep the team that entered the series with the best record in the National League? I believe they did. Did a team that just fell out of the playoff hunt have a 5-1 road trip that should have been 6-0? Looks that way. This is a weird ballclub.
The Braves, whom I will remind you are completely out of it and devoid of hope, got yet another dominating pitching performance, this time from Javier Vazquez, who humiliated Cy Young candidate Chris Carpenter. Through eight innings he had — hey, this is a pattern! — a three-hit, no walk shutout going, though he had eight strikeouts instead of seven. Because of the big lead and because he hadn’t worked hard — he finished the game at 94 pitches — Bobby left him out there. Vazquez lost the shutout, giving up four straight singles to start the inning, but still got the complete game, the Braves’ first 9-inning CG of the year.
The Braves got all the offense they needed in the third. Playing without Chipper — who is completely and utterly out of gas — and McCann — regular day off — they put together a two-out rally, getting six hits and a walk to score six runs. LaRoche hit a bases-loaded double to score two runs, Yunel followed with a single to drive in two more, and then Diaz finished the inning with another two-run single. Later in the game, Diaz was twice hit by pitches and twice scored, on a single by McLouth in the sixth and a double by Ross in the eighth. LaRoche capped the scoring with a homer in the ninth.