Washington Nationals vs. Atlanta Braves – Box Score – April 11, 2009 – ESPN

After a bit of a rough start, Kenshin Kawakami was as good as we could have hoped, picking up a quality start and a win. Kawakami allowed a run in the first and a two-run homer in the third, and his control was shaky early. But after that, he was strong, retiring his last eight in a row. He walked four, but struck out eight, and got some nice defense behind him.

Meanwhile, KJ was the offensive hero again, hitting a solo homer in the third and a two-run double to tie the game in the fourth. Chipper singled him home to give the Braves the lead. The bullpen, for once, was solid. Peter Moylan looked like a completely different pitcher — heck, a completely different species — striking out the side in the dreaded seventh inning. Soriano gave up a leadoff double (he was lucky it wasn’t a triple — Francoeur chased it like he was wearing lead boots) but struck out the next man, and after pitching around Dunn got a double play to end it.

Schafer doubled with one out in the eighth, and after KJ was hit by a pitch, Escobar singled him home to make it 5-3. Gonzalez started off the ninth with two overthrows, but then found the strike zone, striking out two for the Braves’ first save of the year.

Schafer continues to be outstanding, going 3-4 and scoring twice. KJ also had three hits, and Escobar two. The Braves are, once again, getting great work from the up the middle positions. Imagine how good this team could be if the first baseman and the corner outfielders are even average.