Once again, we have a second Sunday recap â€”Â this one by mavery. Again, my apologies for breaking up the threads. Enjoy!
What a great day for baseball! Beautiful day, wonderful temperatures,Â and the Braves going for the sweep.
I was lucky enough to getÂ to go to this game,Â withÂ seats 11 rows back down the 3rd base line. While theyÂ offered a good view of most of the action, this unfortunately meant IÂ didn’t quite have the angle to see where BJÂ Upton‘s lead-off line drive hit the wall. It was his first ofÂ two doubles down the third base line, and it came off the first pitchÂ he saw from GioÂ Gonzalez. Things went down hill for Gonzalez from there.Â After Heyward felw out to second,Â JustinÂ Upton walked, setting up EvanÂ Gattis for a run-scoring double.Â C.Â Dalton Johnson brought them both in with the first of theÂ four singles he’d collect on the day. After a 1-2-3 top of the second,Â Justin Upton lead off the 3rd with a solo HR (oppo, baby) andÂ AndreltonÂ Simmons broughÂ in DanÂ Uggla and Johnson on a three-run shot into the BravesÂ bullpen. I swear I saw BryceÂ Harper shed a single tear as he watched it fly overÂ hisÂ head. The Braves were up 7 and they’d push it to 9 in theÂ 6th off aÂ JasonÂ Heyward double (he’s FINE) and a Gattis sac fly. This ofÂ course, was after Gonzalez left with what my scorecard tells me is 5IP, 7H, 7ER, 3BB and 2SO.Â So Gonzalez was bad. PaulÂ Maholm was better. He was so much better than bad that he wasÂ good.
Like, really good. Like, filthy. 6 strikeouts, one walk, and only 4Â hits. No one even got to third until he was chased by two singles inÂ the bottom of the 7th. LuisÂ AvilanÂ and CoryÂ Gearrin went the rest of the way without incident. The crowdÂ at the start had looked like at least 35,000. By the top of the 8th, itÂ looked like I was at aÂ Marlins game.
What is there to say about this team? They’re hitting on all cylinders.Â You’d like to see Simmons level out his stroke a bit, and BJ goes afterÂ the first pitch a bit too often (although hard to complain about 3-5Â with two doubles), but as a team, they’re swinging the bats reallyÂ well, and the pitching’s been great. Braves pitchers allowed 5 runs toÂ the nationals over three games. That’s REALLY good! And the defense hasÂ been phenomenal. Reed Johnson (in relief of Heyward late) had two brilliant playsÂ in right, and to my eye, Dalton’s been more than adequate at first. IÂ suppose its important to point out that this won’t last, (it justÂ can’t) but for now, the Braves are playing great ball in every aspectÂ of the game, and I had a blast watching them do it today. I only wishÂ I’d brought a broom.