Nine wins in a row. Ho-hum.

The Braves took care of business on Saturday, though they didn’t run away with it the way they did against the Rockies. No matter: it’s always nice beating the Phillies. It’s especially nice when such a beating results in a 9-game winning streak.

Philadelphia jumped all over Brandon Beachy early, scoring an unearned run in the 1st after an Evan Gattis throwing error and 2 more in the 2nd on a John Mayberry home run. But then Beachy settled down. He abandoned his slider, the pitch Mayberry destroyed, and leaned more on his curveball and changeup. The results were – and are - encouraging: only 2 baserunners (both on walks) over the next 4 innings. Beachy got into some trouble in the 7th, but we’ll get to that.

Before we do, I should mention that the Braves scored some runs too. Justin Upton took John Lannan deep in the 3rd inning – he has been destroying lefties all year, and Lannan is one of those – cutting the lead to 3-1. Atlanta then took the lead in the 5th inning. That frame witnessed Freddie Freeman drive in 2 with a base-loaded single and Evan Gattis drive in another on an “excuse me” check swing groundout to 2nd. These shenanigans gave the Braves a 4-3 lead and, to boot, chased Lannan.

But then, hibernation mode. Yeah, there’s a 9-game winning streak going on, so it’s hard to split hairs here… but come on now, fellas: the Phillies bullpen is horrendous. Like, -0.6 fWAR horrendous (2nd-worst in the league, behind only Houston). But crap bullpen or not, the Braves’ bats fell silent. Zach Miner, who hadn’t thrown a major league pitch since 2009, threw 2.2 shutout innings. Luis Garcia, Antonio Bastardo, Jonathan Papelbon: all of them also threw scoreless frames.

And that was a problem only because the Phillies managed to tie the game in the 7th inning. Fredi let Beachy start the inning, presumably with the desire of stretching him out to 100 pitches. Beachy, however, gave up a single to Mayberry; Carlos Ruiz promptly sacrificed the latter to 2nd; and Fredi went to the pen anyway. Luis Ayala, who is decent at getting righties out, got right-handed Kevin Frandsen to groundout, but then he surrendered the game-tying hit to left-handed hitting Jimmy Rollins.

Still, the Braves won the game anyway. I’d be lying if I denied that fortune wasn’t on their side. Twice Philadelphia batters took a Braves pitcher to the back of the warning track, yet sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good. Those two well-hit balls turned into noisy outs. Atlanta meanwhile scored on three walks and an errant throw to 1st in the 12th inning - a potential inning-ending GIDP that Paul Janish helped break up at 2nd and Dan Uggla hustled down the line to beat. JUpton scored, Craig Kimbrel shut ’em down in the bottom of the 12th, and the Braves were finally winners.

The Nats also won, but that hardly matters. The division lead is still 11.5 games. The Braves have also taken the series from the Phillies, which is a good thing because Cliff Lee awaits tomorrow night. Whatever happens in that game, now, Atlanta will take a double-digit lead into Washington. I’d say this is getting boring, but winning never bores me: let’s keep doing it.