The Braves moved ever closer to clinching a playoff berth by winning two of three against the Marlins, shaving three games off their magic number down to nine. The series very easily could've been a sweep; it seemed like just one hit would have won the game Monday, but it never came. The Braves were 3 for 20 with RISP in the game with 15 LOB. Nevertheless, two out of three is still good and the Braves can look forward to a much-needed day off Thursday.
Alex Gonzalez certainly had himself a series. He was 8 for 11 (3 doubles, 1 HR) with 5 RBI in the series. As was noted in Tuesday's recap, he had consecutive three-hit games for the first time since July 2006. Sitting out the St. Louis series seems to have worked; we can only hope this streak continues.
The rookies the Braves threw out there pitched pretty well. Brandon Beachy certainly struggled a bit, giving up four runs in 5.1 innings, but the offense behind him couldn't give him the lead despite numerous opportunities. None of the starters pitched past the sixth inning. In fact, no Braves starter has pitched seven full innings in three weeks (Aug. 24, Lowe vs. CHC). The bullpen has certainly seen a LOT of work and it'd be nice to give the arms a reprieve once in a while.
Brian McCann said he switched to a lighter bat and it apparently worked in Tuesday's game when he belted a three-run homer in the sixth inning. The home run was his 24th of the season and tied a season high. Up until the series started, he had been hitting just .159 since he returned from the DL August 14. He was 4 for 13 in the series.
Dan Uggla also set a personal milestone with his 34th home run of the season. He was 3 for 10 in the series.
Finally, Brad Hand's wild pitch may have been one of the funniest Braves game moments I have seen all year.
The Braves start a three-game series at home against the Mets on Friday.