Kris Medlen is the man.
What a team. Tonight's game was proof that every player on the 25-man roster has to contribute in order to win against quality opponents.
The Braves got on the board in the 1st inning when Mr. May MVP Troy Glaus ripped a 2-out single up the middle to score Martin Prado from 3rd. Glaus showed his POWAH again in the 4th when he hit a deep solo-HR to left field, his 4th HR in the past 5 games. Nate McLouth then doubled...no seriously, he really did...and drove in Yunel Escobar from 2nd. Kris Medlen then did his best Tim Hudson impression in the 6th when he hit a double to Manny Ramirez in LF. Manny did his typical "iron glove" performance in left and failed to make the catch. To be honest, the Braves probably lucked out a bit. If it was hit to any other LF in the league, the ball would've been caught. It's whatever though and we'll take it.The Braves led 4-0 after 6 innings.
Kris Medlen was fantastic on Thursday night and went 7 and 1/3 innings for the longest start in his short Major League career. Medlen was a victim of a few lucky hits and bad defense by Omar Infante in the top of the 8th, or else he probably could've gone for the complete game. Peter Moylan came in to a 1-out, bases loaded mess in relief of Meds and wasn't able to strand the runners. Pinch hitter Ronnie Belliard hit a 2-run single to RF on a crazy play. At first, it appeared that only James Loney would score. Heyward oddly made an awful throw that was 15 feet away from home plate and it went to the fence behind home plate. Blake DeWitt headed home and figured to reach without a throw, but the ball bounced right to Moylan and he made the throw to a scrambling Brian McCann at home. DeWitt made an incredible 1-handed slide to touch the plate and avoid the tag.
Yeah, check the highlights for that whole thing. It's kinda hard to explain.
After that whole cluster-you-know-what of a play, former-Brave Rafael Furcal drove in Jamey Carroll with a RBI-groundout to Prado. Moylan then walked Matt Kemp which brought up Andre Ethier, the NL's leading hitter. Eric O'Flaherty came in and recorded the biggest out of the night. On a 2-2 pitch, he got Ethier to swing and miss at a filthy slider on the inside corner. The Braves led 4-3 heading into the 9th.
After failing to score in the top of the 9th, the Braves sent Takashi Saito to close out the game against his former team. Nothing was wrong with Wagner. He just needed the night off. Saito got both Ramirez and Loney to pop out and had an 0-2 count on Russell Martin when he injured his left knee. It looked like his knee buckled in a way after making a pitch and the team was on it immediately. He left the game and Jonny Venters entered the game. One pitch later, he had the first save of his career. He threw a filthy slider in the dirt to Martin and he swung and missed badly.
Braves win 4-3.
Kris Medlen - 7.1IP, 6H, 3R (2ER), 0BB/4K
Troy Glaus - 2-for-4, HR (10), 2 RBI (42)
Eric O'Flaherty - He only retired one batter, but that batter was Mr. Walkoff himself Andre Ethier. He's been struggling a bit lately, but he was huge for the Braves tonight.
Omar Infante - 0-for-5, 2 bad defensive plays in the 8th; He bobbled a catchable grounder to start the inning and then horribly mis-read a ball off of Blake DeWitt's bat. We need Omar to play solid defense while Chipper is out. And I'm starting to think I'd feel a little more comfortable with Prado at 3rd and Infante at 2nd.
To be honest, the Dodgers received pretty solid play from everybody despite the loss. No LVP for them.
Open Thread Comments Count: 3,057 -- Lots of new "faces" in the GT tonight. Nice to see.
Upcoming Game: Kenshin Kawakami vs. Clayton Kershaw, 10:10EST; The Dragon Slayer will try to go for his 1st win of the season, but faces a tough task going against Kershaw. CK is a lefty, so I'm guessing we'll see the MVP, Melky Cabrera, in LF tomorrow night.
*UPDATE ON SAITO: As expected, Saito has a left hamstring pull, but they're still not sure how serious it is. They'll see how it does in the upcoming days and then decide if he'll need to go to the DL or not.