Even Kimbrel was impressed with Dan Uggla tonight.
It was another day of stellar pitching for the Braves staff, except this time the offense actually backed up the good pitching with some earned runs. Paul Maholm threw 5.1 innings of shutout baseball, and 5 Braves relievers combined to finish the job. A home run from Jason Heyward provided the Braves their first earned run in over 30 innings, and gave Atlanta a lead that would not be relinquished.
Maholm started for Atlanta and was not on top of his game, seemingly working out of jams in every inning. Despite allowing 5 hits and 3 walks in 5.1 innings, Maholm pitched out of trouble all night, using 6 strikeouts and a little bit of luck to hold the Mets scoreless.
Jason Heyward struck first in the fourth inning, drilling a long solo shot to right-center field of lefty Jon Niese. Heyward, who was dropped to 6th in the order against a lefty, looked locked in all night, hitting balls with authority. The homer was Jason's 25th of the year, and it's looking more and more likely that a 30-20 season could easily be in sight for Heyward (he's at 25-19 right now).
Uggla wasn't done there however, as he drilled a home run with two outs in the ninth off of Jenrry Mejia to account for the final score.
Johnny Venters worked a perfect 5 pitch 7th, Eric O'Flaherty worked a scoreless 8th, and Craig Kimbrel shut the Mets down in the 9th after a leadoff walk to seal the win. For Kimbrel it was his 35th save of the season. Paul Maholm picked up his 12th win along the way.
Atlanta plays New York again today in the middle game of the series. First pitch is at 4:15.