THAT is the Braves team we all know and love. Timely hitting, fantastic pitching from the starting pitcher and bullpen, and solid defense. The Braves played a complete game on Thursday night, and it led to them defeating Tim Lincecum, one of the top-5 pitchers in baseball.
Jair Jurrjens was on the mound for the Braves and pitched his heart out. He ended up going six innings and only allowed two runs, despite giving up five doubles to the Giants. Jurrjens probably could've gone longer in the game, but umpire CB Buckner continued his streak of awful umpiring in Braves games.
The Giants got on the board early on Thursday. After their first two runners got into scoring position, Aubrey Huff drove in the first run of the game with a groundout to 2nd. Jurrjens was able to get out of the inning mostly un-scathed though, and allowed only one run to score. The Giants struck again in the 2nd inning. With two outs, outfielder Andres Torres ripped an RBI-double over Rick Ankiel's head in CF to give the Giants a 2-0 lead. Jurrjens, once again, was able to avoid the big inning and held San Fran to only one run for the second inning in a row.
Alex Gonzalez got the Braves on the board with a 2-run HR to left-center field. It appeared that Sea Bass was fooled on the pitch, but he still managed to hit it over the fence. In three weeks, Gonzalez already has 2 more home runs than Yunel Escobar had since last September.
Eric Hinske, who had had some great swings on Lincecum all night, finally came through in a big way in the 6th inning. On a high fastball, 'Ski hit a line drive rocket to right-center field. It appeared as if Aaron Rowand had a play on the ball, but it continue to carry out of the park. Braves led 3-2 after 6. It was time for the Braves phenomenal bullpen.
Mark Bowman had a gem tonight:
Gotta love baseball's traditions. Every time you attend a Braves game, you can hear the national anthem and watch Jonny Venters pitch.
It's sad, but proved to be true once again on Thursday night. Venters came in the 7th and was absolutely filthy, striking out two hitters and then inducing a groundout to the mound on one pitch.
Takashi Saito had one of his best outings in recent memory, and followed up Venters' with a 1-2-3 inning.
Billy Wagner came in the 9th, and made an incredible catch on a line drive up the middle hit by Edgar Renteria for the 2nd out in the inning. Andres Torres singled and Freddy Sanchez just missed a 2-run HR down the left field line, but Wags was able to strike Sanchez out with a filthy slider.
Braves win 3-2.
Umpire Bob Davidson won the game for Philly tonight, as he called the game-winning hit from Gabby Sanchez foul. It was pretty darn obvious. Check ESPN at your own risk, because you'll probably get mad. Really mad. The Fish ended up not scoring, and the Phillies won it in the 10th. Thanks, Bob. Go call some more balks or something, you a$$hole.
Tom Glavine will have his number retired tomorrow night at Turner Field. First pitch is at 7:35EST, and the ceremonies start at 7:31, sharp. It'll be Mr. Bad Luck Tommy Hanson against Barry Zito, so we should be in for another pitchers dual. You have to be there for this one.