Phillies 4, Braves 7(!)

ESPN Box Score

Runs here, runs there, runs everywhere! A day game with a lineup that included Ryan Doumit hitting cleanup was just the tonic the Braves needed, as they more than doubled the total number of runs they had scored in the first five games of this homestand combined and managed to not get swept by the 5th place Phillies. Scoring 13 runs during a 6-game homestand sounds pretty bad, but considering where the Braves were after last night’s game, it’s actually pretty incredible.

Christian Bethancourt got the start in place of Evan Gattis (since last night’s game apparently went too long for El Oso to start today), and he made the most of it. He picked up an RBI in the second and scored on B.J. Upton’s home run (!), scored a run in the 4th, and added another RBI in the 5th for good measure. Bethancourt was not the only hitter to contribute; the entire offense suddenly rediscovered the location and purpose of home plate. Jason Heyward did not get a hit, but he did pick up an RBI on a groundout in the 4th, Freddie Freeman and Ryan Doumit both scored two runs, Tommy La Stella went 1-for-2 with an RBI, and B.J. Upton got in on the fun with the aforementioned homerun.

The Braves only had seven hits (only! I would have taken 1/7 of that on Monday) to go with their seven runs, but they combined those with a costly Chase Utley error and nine walks, including two to Chris Johnson, which is a month’s worth of walks for him (literally, check out May and June).

Ervin Santana started the game and wasn’t his sharpest, giving up four runs over six innings. Twice he let the Phillies tie it up and twice his offense got him off the hook. I hope the other starters don’t come to resent him for hogging all the runs (he was the beneficiary of 12 of the Braves runs scored on this homestand; the rest of the starters got one combined). Chasen Shreve and David Carpenter bridged the gap to Craig Kimbrel and his shiny gold shoes, who earned his 42nd save of the year.

Even with the offensive ineptitude of the past four days, the Braves still only sit a game out of the Wild Card. The mediocrity of the National League this year is simply astounding. Over the past ten games, Washington is 5-5, St. Louis and Los Angeles are 6-4, Milwaukee is 2-8, and Pittsburgh is 4-6. The Braves 5-5 record fits right in. Among contending teams, only San Francisco (7-3) appears to be interested in making a run. If the Braves suddenly catch fire and Aaron Harang shares his pixie dust with the rest of the team, this team of all Braves teams could be the one to win the World Series, because, that’s baseball. You just never know.

Every team that is not Atlanta delenda est.
Natspo(s) maximus delenda est.

30 thoughts on “Phillies 4, Braves 7(!)”

  1. Right now I would give the Braves a 30 percent chance of getting the last wildcard spot but a 90 percent chance of still being in contention 2 days before the end of the regular season. This is too much of an up and down team not to expect giving up on them and then holding out hope until the very end. I won’t be surprised if that hope is totally crushed on the last day with an 8 to 0 shutout.

  2. I had completely stopped paying attention to the race, but where do we sit?

    I know we’re in the 3rd WildCard spot (coming to a league near you), but which teams need to lose?

    Hard to believe we’re still in it.

    Ya know, if we could pay opposing pitchers to throw BJ center-cut fastballs like that, we’d be sitting pretty. Good grief, what a HomeRun Derby pitch. (But I’ll take it.)

  3. I have given up. I have completely given up. And I will stay that way until they prove me wrong. PROVE ME WRONG PLEASE!!!!

  4. If Milwaukee loses tonight, we’re a half-game back of them for the last spot. If not, we’re still 1.5 back. We’re 1.5 ahead of Pittsburgh. San Francisco is pulling away for the first wild card spot.

  5. I still don’t think we’ll make it there. But, boy, wouldn’t it be insane to face Hudson in the play-in game? I’m sure they’d do everything they could to line up Bumgarner, though.

  6. @8 If we make the play-in game just to face Bumgarner, we may as well not get there at all. We all know what’s going to happen.

  7. Milwaukee did lose. They’re playing even worse than we are right now (this afternoon’s game notwithstanding). We’re just a half-game back.

  8. They’re playing worse than everyone. We didn’t hit much, but the Brewers are misfiring on all cylinders

  9. So, including tonight, in the 9 games I’ve seen Brian McCann start at Yankee Stadium this year & he’s hit 7 HRs.

    And in one of the other games, Martin Prado hit a HR. Weird.

  10. When I think of the Yankees having BMac, Ichiro, and now Prado, I become temporarily conflicted. But then I remember Teixeira, Jeter, and ARod and I’m good again….

  11. I’ve watched the Nats and Dodgers the past two days, and neither team looks that dominant. The Dodgers can’t score with the bases loaded, and the Nats’ defense is still full of holes. Ian Desmond tightens up under pressure, and he strikes out at an alarming rate. The Giants can take either team.

  12. @18 Yes, the Dodgers are not dominant….as long as Kershaw and Grienke are not pitching. We went through that route last year remember?

  13. If the Braves make it to the WC play-in game (and I think they will as long as the NL Central beats up on each other all month), they either win it 12-5 or lose it 2-0 because this team either looks great or terrible. There really is no middle ground with them.

  14. @24

    Thank you for your input, Sam. If we somehow win the World Series out of the second wild card spot, I’ll be sure to note that you won’t be at all happy about it.

    So, if St. Louis beats Milwaukee tonight, we’ll be tied for the second wild card spot, gaining a game-and-a-half during a week in which we’ve played like crap.

  15. Fun tidbit buried deep in ESPN’s Stats and Info blog:

    “The Elias Sports Bureau notes that Jason Heyward is the first player in the modern era to have three stolen bases in a game in which his team was no-hit. The only other player to have multiple steals in such a game was Frank Chance for the 1903 Cubs (two steals) also against the Phillies!”

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