It’s not very common to score seven runs in a three-game series and get a sweep, but I guess I’ll take it. The Braves’ formula of excellent starting pitching and just enough offense works; it’s just that a lot of the time they don’t get just enough offense, but none at all. Chris Volstad had a no-hitter going through five. Chris Volstad! Luckily, Jair Jurrjens was on the mound for the Braves, doing his Greg Maddux imitation.
Matt Young (Matt Young!) broke up the no hitter with a swinging bunt that stuck to the first-base line in the sixth. After Jurrjens bunted him over, he came in on a double off the wall by Alex Gonzalez. In the seventh, the Braves had four hits and scored twice. Chipper Jones reached to start the inning, but was erased on a truly boneheaded hit-and-run with Freddie Freeman at the plate. (Seriously, someone get Fredi Gonzalez a table game, nobody would do that in my league.)
Freddie then singled (Freddie good, Fredi bad) and after an Eric Hinske strikeout Brooks Conrad (in for Dan Uggla) singled as well, and it looked like the hit-and-run was a really big mistake. But Freeman scored on a wild pitch, and after Young was walked Jurrjens singled in Conrad to make it 3-0.
But Jurrjens suddenly was vulnerable, and with two out in the seventh allowed a homer to Giancarlo Stanton, a double, and a single to make it 3-2; he had to get Wes Helms pinch-hitting to keep the lead, and did. The Braves got a couple of baserunners in the eighth, highlighted by a double from Brian McCann, the best catcher in baseball, but stranded them. Eric O’Flaherty allowed a one-out double to Omar Infante in the eighth, then hit the next guy (the pitch after seemingly striking him out) but got out of it with a popop and a groundout. With Craig Kimbrel tired, Fredi actually used his best reliever — anyone’s best reliever — to finish it. Jonny Venters got them 1-2-3, ending it with a strikeout. Dan Uggla, defensive replacement, struck out in his only plate appearance. Braves are now two games under .500 all-time.