If I would have told you 5 minutes before tonight's game that Chipper Jones, Brian McCann, Nate McLouth and Jason Heyward would have seven hits combined including a HR and a two 2Bs, would you have believed me when I said the Braves would only score 3 runs?
I doubt it.
That's exactly what happened on Tuesday night as the Braves fell to the Nationals 6-3.
The night started off well for our boys in blue via a leadoff double from McLouth and then Martin Prado reached on an error from Nationals RF Roger Bernidia. After a Chipper Jones strikeout and Brian McCann walk, Troy Glaus juuust missed a bases clearing double that was caught by Nyjer Morgan which brought in McLouth from 3rd. Jason Heyward walked to keep the inning alive, but Melky Cabrera weakly grounded out to end the inning. Braves lead 1-0.
The 1-0 lead didn't last long for the Braves, as Kenshin Kawakami surrendered a solo-HR to Josh Willingham in the 2nd inning. The Nats scored again in the 2nd when Ian Desmond drove in Ivan Rodriguez on a single up the middle. KK really struggled with his command in the 2nd.
The Nats lead was short lived as Jason Heyward ripped a line-drive to center field for his 8th HR of the season. It was an absolute rocket to the gap and the ball cleared the entire field within 2 or 3 seconds. This Heyward kid might be good one day.
With the game tied at 2 in the 5th, Ian Desmond hit his 2nd HR of the season to left and Adam Dunn absolutely destroyed a baseball to the upper-deck in right field to make it a 4-2 game in the 6th. The Natinals would add a run in the 7th and 8th inning courtesy of RBI singles from Cristian Guzman and Roger Bernidia. The Nationals lead 6-2 going into the 9th.
The Braves battled back in the 9th, but ultimately fell short. Chipper Jones reached base with a walk and moved up to 2nd base on a wild pitch. Brian McCann had a fantastic AB and drove in Chipper with a RBI single up the middle. Troy Glaus came up to the plate with 1 out with BMac on 1st and Heyward on deck, but Glaus hit into a 5-4-3 double play to end it.
Nationals win 6-3.
The Good, Bad and Ugly after the jump.The Good:
1. Jason Heyward - 2-for-2 w/ 2BBs, HR(8); I know he's only 20-years old andI know it would be already has a ton of pressure on him as it is. I know this. But with the way the kid is hitting, he might just force the Braves to move him up in the lineup. And if teams start pitching around him to face Melky, the Braves might have to move him up. He's unquestionably our best hitter at this point.
2. Brian McCann - 2-for-4 w/ a BB
3. Chipper Jones - 2-for-4 w/ a BB
4. Kenshin Kawakami - 5IP 7H 3ER 1K/0BB 2HRs; I kinda wish there was an "average" section in the post, because that's exactly what KK was tonight. No walks and 3 runs in 5 innings isn't bad, but it's not good either. The 2 solo-HRs weren't good and it still feels like Kenshin has little episodes during games where he starts to throw BP to the hitters. Tonight's start was an improvement over previous ones and hopefully he'll continue to pitch better in May and beyond.
1. Martin Prado - 0-for-5; I think it's safe to say Nitram has come back to earth. He's still hitting the ball well, but it's seems like it's always right at someone.
2. Omar Infante - 0-for-4; the Braves NEED Omar to hit well while Esco is on the DL.
1. Melky Cabrera - 0-for-4, 7 LOB - 7 runners left on base? Are you freakin' kidding me Melky? If he gets one hit, the Braves probably win tonight. Andas long as he hits behind Jason Heyward, teams are going to pitch around our 20-year old phenom to face Melky. I'd love to see Matt Diaz tomorrow night, bad April be damned.
3. Home Plate Umpiring - Yeah, I'm not even get into this. What a joke.
MVP - Jason Heyward
LVP - Melky Cabrera
The Braves and Nationals will face off on Wednesday night for game 2 of the 3 game series. The Braves send ace Tommy Hanson to the mound and the Nats counter with former Brave Luis Atilano. First pitch is at 7:05EST.