Wow, what a duel. Also, wow, how terrible is the Phillies bullpen this year? This was a game that had everyone on edge for about seven innings of solid baseball, then we crushed their faces with a hobnail boot. Hudson and Kendrick were equally masterful for 7 innings of shutout, 4 hit baseball. However, in a battle of the bullpens, it's always going to be advantage Braves.
Brian McCann gets the MVP for his one hit of the game. But what a hit it was. The grandest of all hits, and that bomb plated 4 runs to seal the game for the Braves 5-0. I can't say that Brian hit well in this game, because he didn't in his first three ABs. However, he was extremely clutch, and that's all that matters in baseball. Nobody really hit well in this game due to Kendrick's pitching, except for Jason Heyward. Jayhey went 2/4 on the game, and he was the only player with multiple hits. Let's be really fair about this game. We didn't hit well. I'll say it again, WE DID NOT HIT WELL. That's scary considering that Kendrick is pretty awful against everyone else. We got really lucky off a bad bullpen, and that should be the strategy we carry into game two. Work counts, knock Blanton out early, and abuse their crappy pen.
We went 1-6 RISP in this game. The Braves have won their last 2 games with a total of 12 runs, but they are only a combined 2-10 with RISP during those wins. That bothers me because we're living by the long ball. Why does that scare me? Because living by the long ball is like living by the 3 pointer in basketball. It's streaky, and when it dries up, you look really, really, one-dimensionally terrible. The thing about baseball is that you have to look past the results and see how you're getting there. There are bad wins and there are hard-luck losses in a 162 season. I'd qualify this game as one where the Phillies let us off the hook. There's no reason we should have been tied going to the eighth inning against a starter that had a 6.96 ERA in June.
As for scoreboard watching, the Nats dropped a game, the Mets dropped a game, and obviously the Phillies dropped a game. That puts the Braves 5 back with 2 to play before the break. We also have a unique opportunity during these games. We can sink the Phillies to double digits under .500 with another win, and their worst record at the break in over a decade. Personally, I would love to do that. I would love to step on their throats and smile at them while we do it. Can you feel my hatred of that city and their teams? They are everything wrong with sports, and I wish them nothing but sadness on the field for the rest of the season.
On to tonight's game. I want to see us string together some hits tonight. Let's go 4/10 with RISP at the plate and really stick it to them. Hanson will lead the way!