Last night was one of those truly great baseball evenings that you can only get in May. The weather was perfect, the Braves jumped out to an early lead, and our staff never really put the game in doubt. All in all, I was extremely please with my first visit to the Ted this year. Also, my new shirt is 1-0 on the season, after having retired my jersey when we missed the playoffs last season. Game-day apparel is important, folks. Certain things are lucky and certain things aren't. You need to keep track and make sure you dress for success whenever you head to the park.
The Braves managed 6 runs on 12 hits. When you look at the overall picture of how we scored, the key inning was the bottom of the 3rd. Wilson singles, Huddy bunts and goes to first on a FC, Bourn singles, Prado singles, Chipper singles, Uggs sacrificed, BMac walked, and Heyward doubled. We just kept going station to station throughout the 3rd inning forcing over 4 runs. BMac also hit a rocket homer in the second, and Prado knocked in Bourn on an error by the Reds OF in the 4th. With the six early runs, and Huddy giving up only 2 in the 7th, the game felt like the Braves completely controlled the flow.
The MVP in my mind was Marteeeeeeen Prado. He went 3/4 on the night with a run scored, an rbi, and went 2-2 with RISP. I love it when our guys come up big like that in big spots. Also, he gets a delayed nod for his catch from the first game making it on top plays for ESPN. For those of you keeping track, Prado is now hitting .301 on the season with 19 RBIs. Atlanta is one of only two teams in the NL who have two OFs in the top 10 in OF batting average. Both Prado and Bourn make the list, along with the Dodgers' Matt Kemp and Andre Eithier. That's pretty awesome company.
Huddy really had the sinker working with 3 Ks and 9 ground ball outs in his 7 innings of work. The key for Hudson was getting ahead of hitters. In 20/31 hitters faced, he had first pitch strikes. He also did a great job of managing innings when runners got on base. One of the marks of a hall of fame veteran pitcher (and I think Tim is just that) is the ability to manage the game consistently, and not let one mistake snowball into a big inning. The Reds only went 1-8 with RISP, and Timmy helped them strand 10 guys over 7 innings with only 2 runs. The Reds had chances, but every time they got within striking distance Huddy would work his way out of the jam. Meanwhile, we gave Cueto his first loss, and his worst outing of the year. Welcome to Atlanta! Feel free to stop by anytime, Johnny.
So we split the two game series. As I said in the preview, no shame in that. I think anytime you have even numbered series your first goal should be to go .500 and then anything else is gravy. We face another two game series against the Miami Rainbowfish starting today. Luckily it's here in Atlanta instead of that lime-green-walled-affront-to-God-sculpture-thing they call a ballpark in Miami. Series preview will go up after lunch today. Hopefully we can have ourselves a good ole country fishfry!