One of the best pitchers in baseball, you say? A pitcher who was truly All-Star worth? Yes. The ace of one of the strongest pitching staffs in baseball? Yep. But could he be beaten tonight in Atlanta? No. That's because I'm talking about Jair Jurrjens. The other guy, Tim Lincecum, was a mere human tonight thanks to the hottest offensive unit in the NL this month -- the Atlanta Braves.
The Braves' offense did some striking out tonight, but between those strikeouts -- expected against the major league leader in strikeouts -- they got more crucial two-out RBIs from two of their big guns. Brian McCann started the scoring in the first with a run scoring single after Chipper Jones had advanced into scoring position with a well-timed stolen base.
Yunel Escobar had the big two-out hit in the third inning -- a three-run homerun to right-center. Yunel enjoyed that homerun too, he rounded the bases mighty slowly, but the Giants didn't seem fazed by it.
The real story of the night was Jair Jurrjens. After a second inning single by the Giants' lead-off hitter, Jurrjens sat down 17 batters in a row, and was completely dominant until running out of gas (112 pitches) in the eighth inning. He matched Lincecum with 9 strikeouts, while only walking one and giving up 3 hits -- 3 HITS! He was nearly unhittable tonight, and he and McCann had a good plan for attacking the Giants' batters -- something the Braves have done well all series.
Mike Gonzalez came on to relieve Jurrjens and allowed one of his runners to score on an infield dribbler. Rafael Soriano gave up a rare hit in the ninth, but rallied to strikeout the last batter and record his 14th save of 2009, which ties the team-high for a single reliever (Gonzalez) from last season.
A business man's special tomorrow as the Braves go for the sweep.
|Final - 7.22.2009||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||R||H||E|
|San Francisco Giants||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||1||2||6||0|
|WP: Jair Jurrjens (9 - 7)
SV: Rafael Soriano (14)
LP: Tim Lincecum (10 - 3)