That ended up being a close game, as the Braves closer Rafael Soriano battled some wildness in the ninth inning to get the save after allowing 2 runs to score. But thanks to the newest Braves player, Brooks Conrad, Atlanta had a 3-run lead going into the ninth.
Kenshin Kawakami struggled through his four-plus innings while throwing a lot of pitches, and was ultimately unable to get out of the fifth inning. Every time Kawa would give up a run or runs, the Braves would come back the next inning and tie it up. The Nats scored 1 in the first, we came back and tied it in the second. They score 2 in the second, we score two in the third. They score 1 in the third, and we finally take the lead in the fourth.
The Nationals tied it in the fifth as Kawakami exited the game. The bullpen kept it close and that allowed pinch-hitter Brooks Conrad to slug a three-run homerun to right field in his first at-bat as a member of the Braves. It was Conrad's first major league homerun. Washington added another run in the bottom of the seventh, but Atlanta got it right back in the eighth.
Nate McLouth was back in the lineup, and looked a little slow in the batters box and in the field, but did end up with a hit late in the game. Martin Prado stays hot with 3 hits on the night, and Chipper, McCann, Escobar, and Diaz all had 2 hits a piece.
Should I even harp on the Lilburn Flash-in-the-Pan? He was 0-for-4 with a strikeout and 6 men left on base, and was again pinch-hit for in a critical situation late in the game.
Mike Gonzalez struck out the side in the eighth and was hopping off the mound after each K, hopping almost half way to the third base line -- he is a funny guy. That reminds me somewhat of Mitch Williams, the closer for the Phillies several years ago, who is now an analyst for the MLB network.
Hey! This is now a 5-game winning streak. Let's keep it going tomorrow afternoon.
|Final - 7.3.2009||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||R||H||E|
|WP: Boone Logan (1 - 0)
SV: Rafael Soriano (8)
LP: Jesus Colome (1 - 1)