Our Hudson is better than your Hudson. That didn't shock me, given how big of a mismatch I thought the game was on paper. Daniel Hudson ended up leaving the game in the second inning after experiencing some sore elbow issues. Uh-oh. I've heard this before. Let's just hope for Arizona's staff that it's just soreness and not a TJ situation. We know better than anybody how much that sucks.
The game was ours from the first batter. Michael Bourn continues to be the best power-hitting leadoff man in the league with a homer in his first AB. By the end of the second inning, the Braves were up with Huddy in control. They flashed a stat up there that Hudson basically never loses when you give him a 5 run lead. He didn't disappoint in this game either. Eight innings, only one run. Sure there were a lot of hits, but they went nowhere except for the one mistake he made that left the park. Overall, a very solid performance by Tim.
The hitting was exactly what we needed it to be. We put our foot on the Dback's throats early and never let up. We had 17 hits in this game. SEVENTEEN! That's more hits than we had in the first game against Arizona in their stadium when we won 10-2 with Collmenter on the hill. We ended up winning 3 out of 4 of those games against Arizona on the road. I see no reason why we can't win at least one more game here at home and take this series. The bats are going to be the key to our success though. Arizona's staff is shaky all the way around, and our hitters sense blood in the water. Two things I loved about our approach yesterday. One, BMac, Chip, and Bourn all saw 25+ pitches in their 5 plate appearances. When you're averaging more than five pitches an appearance, we're eating up their staff. That's great for the first game of a series since it limits their bullpen options later. Second, we were 5-15 with RISP. Nothing makes me happier than the Braves going over .300 with RISP. I will take it every game, and we'll win at least 75% of them.
The MVP of this game was Brian McCann. I was all over him yesterday, and I'm happy to see him swinging the bat better against this inferior pitching talent. Brian had his first multi-RBI game since June 13th against the Yankees. Two hits, 2 RBIs, and 2-3 with RISP including a 2 out RBI. Very clutch for our struggling catcher. I've said before, I'm hard on you when you're bad, but I will absolutely give you kudos when you're good. Brian was good last night, and I'm happy to see it. We can't win the division without Brian McCann hitting well in the middle of our order.
With the good comes the bad. Everybody got a hit EXCEPT Dan Uggla. You're killing me Dan. Your average has dropped 36 points since June 5th. You are batting .169 in June. Here's the constructive analysis of what's going wrong for Dan. He goes up there with a good approach in his first AB of games. Usually he's looking for something specific and tries to wait for it. However, in the case of this game after going 1-0, he proceeded to swing at the next four pitches until he struck out. That's when things start to spin out of control mentally. Next AB, Dan swung at the first pitch, took a ball, and then flied out. Third AB, Dan swung at the first pitch and fouled out. Fourth AB, Dan goes 0-2 swinging and gets off the hook because he gets plunked. Last AB, he swings at the first pitch again, goes 0-2, runs it back to full by laying off, and strikes out on a full count.
Do you see the theme there? After the first AB, Dan's patience has left the building. He's swinging at every first pitch and getting himself into bad counts with no chance. They aren't necessarily even good first pitches. Things like the foul out on the first pitch in the third AB drive me nuts. If Dan gets on base there, Chipper walks next and Freddie gets a base knock. That would have scored Uggla and we would have had a 6-1 lead. Then Simmons, even if he hits into that double play, would have scored another run. So because Dan was impatient, we didn't get 2 runs. Did we need them? No, but there are times we will. Dan's got to stop freewheeling at the first pitch.
Next up, Cahill v. Hanson. Given that Tommy hasn't lost a game since May, I'd be pretty terrified if I was Cahill. Especially since he gave up 6 runs in his late game, even though he got a win. Guess what Cahill? Your bats won't be able to bail you out like that again. We're coming for you.