These weren't the results we were hoping for, but they were the results that many expected. The Phillies altered their rotation so that "H2O" would face the Braves for their three game home set. None of their starters disappointed, with the likely Cy Young winner, Roy Halladay, pitching the worst game between the three.
What We Liked:
Tommy Hanson: In a playoff-like atmosphere, Hanson brought his A-game against a very tough offense. Tommy threw six scoreless innings while allowing just five base runners. The Braves needed this game in order to stay in reach of the division, and Hanson certainly did not disappoint. Unfortunately, neither did Roy Oswalt, who allowed just one hit in seven scoreless innings of his own.
Brandon Beachy: Pitching in his first ever Major League game this late in the season is no easy task. He knew the team needed a solid start from him and he delivered. Although he lasted only 4.1 innings, he allowed just one earned run. He wasn't incredible, but he was far from terrible.
Craig Kimbrel: Kimbrel pitched 1.2 scoreless innings and showed off how great he can be in the back-end of a bullpen. He struckout two batters while allowing two base runners as well, but his performance last night was solid after Peter Moylan was removed.
Freddie Freeman: Freddie had just two plate appearances in the series, but he crushed his first ever Major League home run in his first. He didn't come through against Brad Lidge at the start of last night's ninth inning, but you can't blame him for that. His home run was the first of many to come in a Braves uniform.
What We Didn't Like:
Mike Minor: Minor was awful in his start. He lasted jut 2.1 innings and allowed eight base runners and three runs, which came on a Jayson Werth three-run blast. He was lucky to allow only those runs. Minor is obviously fatigued, which is why Bobby Cox is considering starting Beachy in his place next time through the rotation.
The Offense: The team scored just four runs in the three games. Although they were opposing three great starters, you have to be more productive than that. They won't face many weak starters in the playoffs, so being patient and getting on base will be key the next time they face top-level pitchers. What's worse, they put just two runners on in three innings against the inconsistent Brad Lidge.
Michael Dunn: The Braves had a chance to win game two. They were down just one with Dunn, who had yet to allow an earned run, pitching against the middle of the Phillies lineup. He walked one, allowed two hits, and allowed two runs, which ended up being the difference in the game. He was going to allow runs eventually, it is just unfortunate that it game against this team at this point in the season.
Number of the Series: 0
Zero is, obviously, the amount of games the Braves won. This was a series that they needed and they let each game slip away. In addition to zero being how many games won in the series, it is also the amount of games the Braves are ahead of the Giants in the loss column. They need to come to play in every game from here on out to make the playoffs as Bobby Cox's career comes to a close.