There are two things we definitely learned about the Nationals and Braves: the Braves can score runs with the best of them, and the Nationals bullpen is completely terrible. The Braves have not much room to talk as there have been glaring weaknesses with even some of the best Braves teams of the last two decades, but how does a contending team give this little care to its bullpen? But I’m not crying; the Braves took 2 of 3 in Washington from the division leaders.
But what is even more impressive is that the Braves produced 13 runs with only one long ball. Kurt Suzuki accounted for the lone home run, but 5 lineup regulars each had multi-hit games. Brandon Phillips had the first 4-hit game since Ender’s 5-hit game a week and a half ago. We were starting to get worried. Kevin Seitzer really deserves a lot of credit.
Good Julio showed up again, this time limiting his Nationals Park home run allowance to one. But a big point is that Julio got 9 groundball outs to just 3 fly outs, and when he can finally keep the ball down, he could get back on track. All told, he pitched 7 IP, 6 H, 1 BB, 2 ER, and 3 K. 4 out of 5 and 5 out of 7 of his previous starts have been of the quality variety (though the other starts were real clunkers), so maybe he’s getting back on track as we speak.
On pace for 72 wins… your Atlanta Braves!