Braves Bash Nationals 10-2, Mike Minor Impresses Again

After undergoing season, and possibly career ending surgery just a few days ago, Chipper Jones had this to say:

"We're not going to beat anyone 10-1. We have to do all of the little things and find ways to win."

In the 3 games since then, the Braves have scored 27 runs and have reached double figures in two of the three. We didn't have Chipper in any of those games, didn't have Prado in two of them and even Heyward and McCann both missed a game. Yet we've scored 13, 4 and 10 runs in our last three games and are 3-0. That's pretty neat.

Mike Minor was on the mound Tuesday night and impressed once again. Minor ended up going 6 strong innings of two run baseball on 5 hits, and struck out 5 Nationals in the process. One of his highlights of the night was back-to-back strikeouts of Adam Dunn and Pudge Rodriguez with two runners on base in the 1st inning. If the Braves go down early, maybe they don't ever wakeup against Scott Olsen. Minor kept us in the game until the offense erupted, and that's all we can ask for from our 23-year old rookie.

The Nats did score first on Tuesday, and it came on back-to-back doubles in the 6th inning. Wil Nieves hit a ball right down the left field foul line which scored Ian Desmond from 2nd. Michael Morse followed up with a moonshot double into the left-center field gap to bring in Nieves from 2nd. 

The Braves had had enough after that. Diory Hernandez (I'll be honest, I didn't even know he was still with the Major League club tonight) got the offense going in the 6th with a pinch-hit HR into left field on a no-doubt shot. I know a lot of people don't have much faith in Diory, but I still think he could turn into a Martin Prado-type player. He has the frame, and still has time to develop.

Anyways, the onslaught continued after the HR. Omar Infante hit a triple to right, and was followed by a Jason Heyward walk. Martin Prado, in his first game in nearly 3 weeks, came up with a big RBI double into right field which moved him and Jason Heyward into scoring position. Matty Diaz followed with a 2 RBI-double to left field to make the score 4-2 after 6 innings.

The Braves came right back in the 7th. Rick Ankiel scored from 2nd after Adam Dunn made an awful toss to the shortstop covering 2nd and Martin Prado drove in another runner with an RBI-single to center. Brooks Conrad walked to load the bases, and after both Glaus and Gonzalez failed to drive anyone in, Melky Cabrera came up big once again with a bloop double down the left-field line to drive in two more runners. Braves led 8-2 after 7 innings. 

Eric Hinske came in to pinch-hit in the 8th and drove in Jason Heyward with a single to right field. Troy Glaus then redeemed himself after a pretty miserable night with a double into the left field corner. The score was 10-2 after 8 innings.

Cristhian Martinez came in the 9th to close out the Braves and did so without any problems. Kyle Farnsworth also struck out two batters in a scoreless 7th inning and Takashi Saito looked great in the 8th. Man, our bullpen is filthy.

Braves win 10-2.

The Giants teased us tonight, but ended up getting killed 9-3 by the Phillies. Thanks guys. Our lead is still 2.5 games.

MVP:

Diory Hernandez - 1-1, pinch-hit HR(1); Look, I know that Martin Prado was great in his return, Mike Minor was impressive on the mound and Matt Diaz had the go-ahead hit in the 6th, but Diory started the rally in the 6th. We looked asleep at the plate, and his HR ignited the team on Tuesday. 

LVP:

Nats Bullpen - 3IP, 9H, 7R, 3BB, 4K; So i give you guys a lot of praise in the Series Preview, and you do this to me?! Thanks...I think.

Tomorrow's Game:

Livan Hernandez vs. Cy You -- I mean Tim Hudson. First pitch is at 7:10.

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