Wow, where has this good pitching been from the bottom of our rotation all season? Two nights ago it was Jo-Jo, and last night it was Chucky, with probably his best start of the year. A start and a win which earned the Braves their first sweep since right after the All-Star break. As good as Chuck was, I have a feeling it was as much about how badly the Marlins suck right now as it was about how well he pitched last night. He hadn't had a start like this since mid-July.
As the season comes to a close I thought I'd keep an eye on the NL Batting Title race. There are pretty much five players who have a shot at it, with Matt Holliday in the lead and on fire right now, followed by Chipper and Edgar. I think it will be a fun side-story to watch for the remainder of the year.
NL Batting Title Watch
|Player, Team||Last Night||Average|
|Matt Holliday, COL||2-for-3||.340|
|Chipper Jones, ATL||2-for-3||.339|
|Edgar Renteria, ATL||3-for-4||.338|
|Chase Utley, PHI||1-for-3||.333|
|Hanley Ramirez, FLA||0-for-3||.331|
Pitching for the Braves tonight is minor league journey-man Jeff Bennett (scary photo alert!). Jeff will be starting against the club he made the majors with back in 2004 - the Brewers. He was 1-and-5 for them that year as a reliever. And if you look into his stats and see that in 60 appearances he finished 20 games but didn't record a save, it's pretty obvious he was a mop-up man. His stats that year were nothing to write home about. He had right elbow surgery in 2006 and has made a pretty decent comeback this year, primarily at Richmond and primarily as a long reliever. Bottom line on him is that we need to score about 12 runs to win tonight. Should be a fun game!