Someone disguised as Derek Lowe just went out and dominated the Nationals, who are not that bad of an offensive ballclub, for eight innings. I’d say he switched places with Tim Hudson, but Hudson wasn’t doing anything like that either. Lowe, if that was him, struck out a career-high twelve men, didn’t walk anyone, and allowed just six hits. Only one Nats batter made it to second base, on a leadoff double in the eighth, and he just stood there as Lowe pitched around it.
The Braves, meanwhile, got all their runs in the second. Brian McCann and Derrek Lee walked to start it off, and the Nats’ pitcher, some guy just off a boat, committed consecutive balks to score Brian and move Lee to third, whence he easily scored on a double by Nate McLouth. (Most of this year, even when McLouth had a hit, it was weak. The hits he’s getting right now are smoked. So are most of the outs.) Matt Diaz, getting a rare start against a righthander, tripled to make it 3-0, then came home on a two-out single by Omar Infante. The Braves didn’t do much the rest of the night, which isn’t good.
Lowe was really good. Seriously. Billy Wagner pitched the ninth, and struck out the side. Easy as pie.