Fredi Gonzalez gave Dan Uggla a day off, with Martin Prado at second and Reed Johnson in left, and though Prado and Johnson went a combined 0-9, the Braves beat the tar out of the Giants. Coincidence?
Jason Heyward continued to lay waste to opposing pitching, hitting his third home run in three days in the top of the 9th. Immediately after that, Freddie Freeman homered, and as far as I can tell, that’s the first time in their major league career that Jason and Freddie have gone back-to-back. Weird.
Tim Hudson was awesome and incredibly efficient, requiring just 82 pitches to get through 7 innings, striking out 3, walking 1, and allowing one run on five singles. He got into some trouble in the 7th, giving up a run on two singles and his only walk on the day, so it was perfectly appropriate to take him out after that. Jonny Venters looked okay in the seventh, allowing a walk but erasing him on a double play; he may never be the guy he was in 2010-2011, but he did his job. Cristhian Martinez managed to make it interesting, allowing a hit and a walk in the 9th and giving Fredi enough heartburn to get Craig Kimbrel up and throwing in the bullpen. But then Martinez shut the door.
Despite all the handwringing over the last week, we actually have picked up ground on the Nationals. They were five games ahead of us when we traveled to Washington, and now they’re 4.5 games ahead of us, following a three-game sweep at the hands of the Phillies. However, because Washington isn’t Philadelphia, everyone in the city isn’t currently gnashing their teeth and booing everyone on the team, which must be nice for Jayson Werth.
Anyway, they’re still a frontrunner for a playoff spot, and so are we. Funny how scoring 7 runs makes you look like a good team, when getting shut out makes you look awful. I’m not saying that benching Dan Uggla makes us score runs, but I’m certainly not not saying that.