BRAVES WIN! BRAVES WIN! BRAVES WIN!
I'm not really shocked we won that game since the pitching matchup was dramatically in our favor, but it's still nice to get off the shnide and silence the panic. I told my friend Ashleigh that there were no must-win games in April, but this one was about as close as you can get. Luckily, after a lot of mistakes by our pitching staff, we got out of that game with a 6-4 victory.
The highlight of that game had to be the return of Chipper Jones, who started off the night with a smacked single up the middle, and then went yard in his second AB to give us the lead. Also, Houston tried to test him at third right off the bat with a bunt, and Chip said, "Not so fast," as he pulled off his now patented bare-handed scoop'n'toss from the line. Nobody in baseball makes that play better than Chipper Jones.
The Braves managed 6 runs on 11 hits, and everyone got in on the parade. The only guy who got robbed was Freeman, who hit a couple of balls to the deepest part of the ballpark. Even Hanson got a hit, and that guy swings the bat like a blind man with a flyswatter. Uggs and Bourne came off the deck with 3 hits between the two of them, and Bourne managed to swipe second late in the game when we needed some insurance. That turned out to be huge since Houston threatened nearly every inning.
The downside to this game was that the Braves pitching staff put the leadoff man on base in six innings. Against Houston, we barely got away with that. Against a team with a remote chance of competing for the playoffs, that will get us murdered. Kimbrel looked shaky in his first save opportunity by putting two men on with no outs, but he was completely bailed out by Johnson rapping into a horrible double play on a low pitch. Tommy still couldn't make it past the 5th, but he got out of trouble several times with only two runs to his credit. A win is a win, and a save is a save, but that doesn't mean I was ever comfortable watching that game. The good news is that when all is said and done, the O'Flaherty, Venters, Kimbrel connection didn't give up any runs.
I want to give special credit to Tyler Pastornicky, who is seeing the ball really well for a rookie. I didn't know a guy who looks like a baby out there could hit home runs. Just make sure not to do too much in the field and you'll be fine, young gun.
Tonight we face Wandy Rodriguez with Randall Delgado. I have no illusions about this matchup; it's a disaster. I'm glad we got a win last night, because Wandy's record against us is quite good, and I think Delgado needs to spend more time in AAA. So, the hope is that the Braves bats stay hot, and we put a few more 2 run dingers in the seats. Either way, people can put the 1988 references to bed, and take their finger off the panic button. The Braves have found the win column.