The Braves have managed to shut up a lot of their critics over the last five games. In fact, Joe Simpson might tell you that they are "hotter than a dancing bobcat." After taking the last two in Houston, the Braves managed to sweep a solid Brewers ball club in their first home series of the 2012 season.
Friday night was a shootout. In contrast to the last two games of the series, the Braves didn't get solid pitching from their starter, Jair Jurrjens. JJ went just five innings, as had been par for the course for starters so far this season. He gave up seven hits, five earned runs, and two walks in the outing. Eric O'Flaherty didn't exactly help the cause during his appearance, giving up three runs to allow the Brewers to tie the game up at 8. However, the Braves offense was enough to win by a score of 10-8 behind a big 4-for-5, four RBI night by Mac, as well as three RBI from Dan Uggla.
Saturday, Mike Minor was absolutely terrific. He threw 7 and a third innings of two hit ball, sitting down eighteen straight at one point and earning the win by a score of 2-1. As it turned out, the Braves' two run second inning was all that it took to win their fourth straight. Craig Kimbrel did his best to make it interesting in the ninth, though, when he loaded the bases with just one out before striking out the next two batters to end it.
Brandon Beachy followed the same script on Sunday. He was spectacular during his start, giving up only one unearned run in his seven innings and giving the bullpen the rest that they weren't able to get during the start of the season. Chipper was welcomed back with a bang. He homered in his first official at-bat at home in his final season. That sent three runs across the plate and put the Braves up 4-1. They would extend to 7-1 before Chad Durbin managed to give up three runs in the ninth inning before finally getting the 27th Brewer out.
This was a great series to watch. Friday was a great slugfest and the starting pitching provided some much-needed innings on Saturday and Sunday. Jason Heyward continues his hot start, going 4 for 10 from the plate and scoring three runs. However, McCann would likely be the MVP of the series, going 5 for 10 with 5 RBI. Michael Bourn looked better at the plate, going 3 for 5 on Sunday and raising his average .118 points over the course of the series. Next, the Braves will look to bury the Mets in response to all of the humiliation that they handed the Braves by sweeping the opening series of the season.