Welcome, Brooks Conrad! This one was a little more adventurous than Iâ€™d like, but the Braves keep finding ways to win, which is nice. They look like a real baseball team all of a sudden.
Neither starter had much tonight—Kawakami was not helped at all by his defense, which managed consecutive Prados, one by the man himself, in the bottom of the 2nd—and while they were in, the game basically consisted of the Nats taking a lead and the Braves immediately tying up the score in the subsequent inning. Atlanta finally took its first lead in the 4th, when Detwiler was chased; Kawakami was chased in the bottom of the 5th, when he refused to take the easy out and thereby allowed the Nats to tie it back up.
Pinch-hitter Brooks Conrad, the gameâ€™s hero, broke the tie in 7thÂ when he knocked one over the right-field fence with two outs, driving in three; the homer was his first in a 20-PA career. I think KJ may be at the wrong end of a double-Pipping.
Moylan made it interesting in the bottom of the inning, giving up one, and after Gonzalez breezed through the next inning by striking out the side (and the Braves added an insurance run to bring the lead back to three), Soriano uncharacteristically made it really interesting in the 9thÂ by giving up two and putting the tying run in scoring position before recording the final out of the game.
Anyway, a winâ€™s a win, and Atlanta is only a game south of .500 now. The Braves are still 2 back of the Phillies, but they moved into a tie for third with the hapless Mets and are now only a game back of the Marlins. The Braves look for their sixth straight win and Tommy Hanson looks to keep his perfect record going tomorrow against John Lannan, the only half-decent starter in the Washington rotation.
(Francoeur, who sucks, was again pinch-hit for with ACHE in the late innings; the trend is encouraging.)