Braves escape with their first victoryPosted: April 10, 2012
Braves claim their first win, 6-4
Braves win! Braves win!
Good to get that monkey off our back, now let’s talk business.
The Astros were sporting their old Colt .45 throwbacks, and Chipper was back in the lineup and batting in the six hole for just the ninth time in his career. He would be the hero tonight, but more on that later.
That little turd Jordan Schafer immediately tested Chipper’s knee in the first inning by attempting a drag bunt. Chipper put him back in his place, making a tough play look easy for the out. In the top half of the second, Jones welcomed himself back with a first-pitch single back up the middle. Braves fans held their breath as he slid into second to break up a double play just seconds later, but he popped up and jogged off the field like it was 1999, and it was back to business as usual.
Hanson worked himself into a jam in the bottom of the frame, but Chipper made a heads up play to get a confused-looking Carlos Lee at home. Marwin Gonzalez (can’t believe I’ve mentioned that name twice in two days now) drove in Chris Johnson for an ealry 1-0 Colt .45 lead.
In the third, Uggla tied it up with a long double to center, causing McCann to chug around all the way from first to score. Chipper followed with a two-run homer to right, and suddenly all was right in the world. Turns out all the Braves needed was an additional 40-year-old bat. Pastornicky added on with his first career home run in the fourth, a solo shot to left off Kyle Weiland, and suddenly the Braves were leading 4-1.
Schafer proved to be a pain in the you-know-what all night, going 3-5 and stealing three bases off Hanson, the second two of which set up Carlos Lee for an RBI single in the fifth to bring the score to 4-2.
Tommy’s curveball was flithy and was his weapon of choice in striking out eight. However, with 101 pitches through five innings, the Braves would again have to dip into their bullpen early. Medlen came on and pitched a perfect sixth, which included retiring Justin Maxwell (the kid that tatood a Chad Durbin “fastball” last night).
The Braves manufactured an insurance run in the seventh with a Bourn walk and steal. Prado advanced him to third with a ground ball, and Freeman drove him in with a little help from the defense ineptitude of Carlos Lee. 5-2 Braves.
But Medlen ran into trouble in the bottom of the inning when Carlos Lee drove in Schafer with a very long single off the left field wall and was lifted in favor of Eric O’Flaherty. EOF conceded an RBI single to Chris Johnson (the run was charged to Medlen), and suddenly it was 5-4 and Braves fans were starting to sweat. But Hinske beat the shift with a big two out pinch hit that scored Jason Heyward, and the Braves recaptured their two run advantage.
Both Venters and Kimbrel allowed men to reach in their innings, and Braves fans everywhere were praying to whatever God they hold holy when Kimbrel finally closed out the Colt .45′s with an appropriate game-ending groundout to Chipper. 6-4. Braves win.
It was undoubtedly the best game yet for the Braves offense, which almost certainly had something to do with Jones’ presence. In total, the boys went 11/36 but more importantly had some good at bats and played a solid game all around.
The Braves look to take the series tomorrow at 8:05 EST against tough lefty Wandy Rodriguez. The Braves will send Randall Delgado to the bump and hope to harness some offensive momentum to close out the series.