In the first 4 innings off of Mets starter Mike Pelfrey, the Braves had 7 hits and 3 walks... but no runs. Lots of stranded runners and double plays contributed, as did the fact that all those hits were singles. But the Braves did run Pelfrey's pitch count up quite a bit, and their hard work paid off in the 5th.
The Braves started the 5th with 5 straight singles, from Chipper Jones, Brian McCann, Troy Glaus, Eric Hinske, and Omar Infante. That ended Pelfrey's night. Elmer Dessens came in and got a double-play from Yunel Escobar, but that made the score 3-0. Tim Hudson then came up and got the Braves' first extra-base hit, a looping double down the right-field line that scored the Braves 4th run. Pelfrey ended with a line of 4 IP, 12 H (all singles), 4 R, 3 BB, 2 K, and a -0.165 WPA.
Tim Hudson, in addition to his hitting, was his usual self on the mound. He gave up only 6 baserunners in 7 innings, and when he did have baserunners, he often got a double play to end the threat (2 ground-ball DPs and one line-drive DP). Huddy got his usual 60% ground balls (12/20), and really could have gone another inning if needed. He threw only 92 pitches in 7 innings, or 1 fewer than Pelfrey threw in 4-plus innings. And of course, he didn't give up any runs. Hudson's final line was 7 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 3 K, and a 0.315 WPA.
Jonny Venters and Billy Wagner worked perfect innings in the 8th and 9th to close out the game with ease.
Six different Braves had mutli-hit games, led by Omar Infante's 3 hits. Omar now has 7 hits in the series, and there's still one more game to go. That'll do. Martin Prado went hitless for the second straight game, though he did have 2 walks.
The Braves have now clinched the series win and will have at least a 4-game lead going into the All-Star Break. That's pretty sweet. Even better, they have a chance to win tomorrow and take as much as a 6-game lead into the break (depending on the Phillies' results tonight and tomorrow). It's been a hugely successful first half so far, and winning tomorrow would just be the icing on the cake.
Tim Hudson-- 7 shutout innings, plus 2 hits, an RBI, and a 0.107 WPA as a hitter
Omar Infante-- 3/4, RBI, 0.137 WPA
MVP in a Losing Effort
Angel Pagan (for the 2nd straight night)-- 3/4, 2B, 2 SB, and a 0.137 WPA
Brian McCann's RBI single in the 5th (0.122 WPA)
Martin Prado grounding into a 1-2-3 double play with the bases loaded and no outs in the 4th (-0.184 WPA)... but we forgive you, Martin!