The Braves continued their surge toward the postseason, walking into Philadelphia and throwing a monkey wrench into the Phillies' fading playoff hopes by taking two of the three games in the weekend series. They received awesome pitching performances from Mike Minor and Tim Hudson, who combined to allow just five total hits and three runs. With the losses, the Phillies dropped five games behind the second Wild Card spot with four teams between them. Atlanta's wins moved them to 23 games over .500; they kept their six-game lead atop the Wild Card and moved to within 4.5 games of Washington in the NL East with nine games remaining in the season.
While Minor and Hudson had dominating performances, the same cannot be said of Tommy Hanson. He struggled yet again on Friday, serving up three home runs in a 6-2 loss and acknowledged as much in his postgame comments, comparing his outing to equine excrement and admitting he hasn't pulled his weight recently. He is 0-4 with a 5.04 ERA in his seven starts since his DL stint, and has completed six innings only once (August 17) in his last 11 starts.
Minor surrendered Ryan Howard's 300th career home run in Saturday's win, giving him 42 in his career against the Braves.
Michael Bourn jammed his left thumb sliding into second base in Saturday's game. He had four hits in his last 11 at-bats and reached base four times in Atlanta's 8-2 win, perhaps showing signs of busting his second half slump. Bourn was out of Sunday's game and won't play until Tuesday at the earliest.
Atlanta's offense broke out in a big way Saturday, dropping seven runs on Roy Halladay and continuing his misery against the Braves. In his last seven starts against Atlanta, Halladay sports an ugly 8.44 ERA and has allowed seven home runs including Freddie Freeman's three-run blast in the first inning. He hasn't earned a win against Atlanta since September 21, 2010.
Martin Prado had two hits in each of the three games in the series, pushing his September average up to .351; Dan Uggla hit a pair of doubles in Friday's game, but was 0-7 with four strikeouts in the other two games; Jason Heyward's only two hits in the series came in Saturday's win, driving in four runs and giving him his first four-RBI game of the year.
Chipper Jones was 2-9 with an RBI double in his final series at Philadelphia. His final career numbers against the Phillies: 245 games, .331 avg. 49 HR, 152 RBI, 1.036 OPS.
At Citizens Bank Park: 59 games, .300 avg. 11 HR, 32 RBI, .943 OPS.
The Braves are off Monday before playing their final six home games of the regular season.