Thursday night's game was a typical Javier Vazquez start -- he doesn't give up a lot of runs, and the Braves don't score a lot of runs for him. Only this time, we actually came back to win the game.
It wasn't the top of the lineup like it had been in the previous two games, tonight the offense came from the bottom of the lineup and Matt Diaz and Casey Kotchman. They had 5 hits between them, including a key double by Diaz in the decisive 3-run eighth inning.
Brian McCann, who scored the wining run in the eighth, helped save the Braves from falling behind in the top inning by hustling back to the wall on a wild pitch and then twirling and throwing a bullet to Mike Gonzalez who sacrificed his body to tag out the runner attempting to score. The opposing manager put it best:
"That's momentum," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "They stopped us. ... That turns the whole game, the whole energy, the brightness of it. They're going back in the dugout thinking, 'Man, we dodged a bullet there. Let's go get 'em now. Things liven up.'"
Diaz now has his average up to .299, and with Anderson at a respectable .287, the .248 with no power hitting Francoeur might find himself Kelly Johnsoned out of an everyday role. Diaz and Anderson aren't names that blow your socks off, but either of them are better at the plate than Francoeur.
"If we keep playing with the same errorless baseball and the great pitching and timely hitting, this team's going to be tough to beat," McCann said.
Timely hitting, then Francoeur need not be in the lineup.
But enough about the negative, let's enjoy this win and enjoy this sweep, and let's hope the team doesn't let up when they play the Nationals this weekend.
|Final - 7.2.2009||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||R||H||E|
|WP: Mike Gonzalez (3 - 0)
SV: Rafael Soriano (7)
LP: Ryan Madson (2 - 4)