This was a good one, folks. The Braves earned their second sweep of the last three series, finished June with a 17-9 record, and went 4-2 on this west coast trip. They're still 4.5 back of the Phillies after they beat the Red Sox today, but are now 3 games ahead in the wild card race and hold the fourth best record in all of baseball. However, they could surpass the Giants for third with a San Francisco loss tonight.
The Braves were able to take care of some of the elite pitchers in the American League over this three game set. First went Erik Bedard, who surprisingly went onto the DL today with a knee issue that definitely wasn't apparent during Monday's start. Then the Braves took care of Michael Pineda, a likely candidate for AL rookie of the year and maybe even for the Cy Young. And then today, the Braves took the AL's reigning Cy Young for 5 runs which was good enough to get a win and complete the sweep.
Brian McCann was a wee bit good in the series. He was 8 for 14 with 4 RBI and a couple of runs. Meanwhile, Freddie Freeman was productive after a modest slump through mid-June. Freddie went 4 for 11 with 4 RBI during the series.
The pitching staff did it's job well, too. Beachy's outing was definitely the most impressive of the three starters in Seattle. He struck out nine batters and gave up just one run and three hits. He mixed his fastball, changeup, and curve to perfection. Hanson went to the bump the next night and had to work from behind after just the first pitch of the game, which Ichiro drilled into the right field seats. Hanson only got better throughout the night though and got the win. Derek Lowe also did what was necessary to get one of those elusive "w"s that has escaped him since May 6th. Kimbrel racked up three saves in the Braves' three wins. Venters may be showing signs of fatigue though and the All-Star break will be a welcome sight. He gave up another two runs tonight to total 6 in his last 2 and 2 thirds.
Next up for the Braves is the Orioles at home in the Ted.