Braves closed out another good series with a 6-1 win on Thursday afternoon in front of dozens of Miami fans. That makes it a 3/4 win series for the Braves, and the magic number falls down to 6. The Nationals seem intent on winning also against bad teams, so we may not clinch this thing until we play in Washington or later. They are also making a last gasp push at the Wild Card if the Reds falter. The Braves would love nothing more than to go into Washington and taking 2 of 3, crushing their dreams for good.
But what happened in this game on Thursday? Well for starters, Freddy Garcia actually pitched really well. I was certainly concerned about tossing out the backups and Garcia in a game I wanted to win, but he pitched to contact and went 6 innings with only 5 hits and 1 run surrendered. Walden came back into the fold and went an inning in relief, along with Varvaro and Carpenter to shut it down. The key hitters in the game were Gattis, Freeman, and CJ, as they combined for 7/14 and 6 RBIs at the plate. BJ and Dan Uggla played and BJ got a hit. Dan got nothing. Combined they were 1/8 with 3 Ks. I never want to see them play for the rest of the year. They are officially on the DL in my mind, and we'll have to wait to next season to see what happens. I think the Braves will do everything in their power to get Dan Uggla out of here, and they'll probably pay 2/3 of his salary to do it. BJ? We'll ride him for another couple of years and see if he can't get it going the year after his big contract. Everyone hopes this is just a one year thing, and he'll settle in. I think he might, but not for the rest of 2013.
As has been typical lately, all the Atlanta scoring came in a flurry in the 3rd and 4th innings. The Braves plated 4 runs in the 3rd, and Freddie hit a 2 run homer in the 4th. Freddie gets the rare game MVP for his 3/4 day with a homer, 2 runs, 2 RBIs, and a walk. He did it all on his birthday, so he got a nice present from the pitchers that day. CJ also had 3 hits, including 2 doubles to go with his 2 RBIs. Gattis had just the one double, but it plated 2 runners as well. The rest of the lineup was mostly non-functional, except Justin who nabbed 3 walks and 2 runs as a result.
Now the Braves come home for a quick turnaround 3 game series against the Padres before they head to Washington. The weekend series preview is up next.