I know there are a lot of other things going on in baseball right now, but let's talk about the Braves' thrilling sweep of the Phillies to take over 1st place! That was one hell of a series. The Braves pitched great, hit well (except against Kyle Kendrick), and fielded well. They went from 0.5 game out of first to 2.5 games up. They won their 6th, 7th, and 8th straight games. They completed a sweep of the all-Pennsylvania homestand. They have not given up more than 3 runs in the entire winning streak, and until yesterday's 2-1 win had not scored fewer than 5 runs in any of those games either.
In other words, it was a dominant performance. This team is playing as well as any Braves team in recent memory. They are now only a game behind San Diego for the best record in the NL. Let's hope the Bravos can keep this up on their tough 11-game road trip.
Here are the links to the recaps and FanGraphs pages:
Series Awards after the jump...
Braves' Pitching MVPs
Tommy Hanson-- 6.2 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 2 K, 0.164 WPA
Tim Hudson-- 6 IP, 5 H, 2 R, HR, 2 BB, 6 K, 0.144 WPA
Derek Lowe-- 8 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 IBB, 7 K, 0.397 WPA
A great job all around, especially by Lowe.
Phillies' Pitching MVP
Kendrick-- 7 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 4 K, 0.297 WPA
Braves' Hitting LVP
I hate to say this, but it's Jason Heyward-- 1/11, SB, 3 BB, 2 K, -0.134 WPA
No one else really had a bad series (McLouth was 0/6 but he scored the winning run Wednesday).
Braves' Pitching LVP
Peter Moylan is the only one who pitched badly-- 0.0 IP, 3 H (all doubles), 2 R, -0.064 WPA
Phillies' Hitting LVPs
Ummm... Pretty much everyone. Let's say it's a combo of Utley, Howard, Victorino, and Ibanez:
6/44, HR, 2 2B, 3 BB, HBP, 7 K, 3 GIDP, 3 R, 2 RBI, and a combined WPA of -0.720
Phillies' Pitching LVPs
Blanton-- 6 IP, 8 H, 6 R (4 ER), HR, BB, 2 K, -0.328 WPA
Jose Contreras-- 1.1 IP, H, R, 2 BB (1 IBB), K, -0.278 WPA
Cole Hamels-- 0.2 IP, 2 H, 3 R, HR, 2 BB, K, -0.265 WPA
Chad Durbin-- 3 IP, 5 H, 3 R, HR, BB, 3 K, -0.082 WPA