Memorial Day, and the Braves are in first place. Of course, the last time they beat the Phillies to take over first place, they then lost their next nine games in a row. But it’s a lot better than not being in first place.
While Tommy Hanson was wild in the early innings, Joe Blanton threw straight and true and right down the middle of the plate, as the Braves put three runs on him in the first (and he was lucky that was all, as two of the outs he got were on hard-hit flyballs) and three more in the third. Zombie Chipper — Chipper! — hit a two-run homer, his first homer since April 16, and after Glaus reached on an error (on another long fly) he came home on a single by Hinske. In the third, McCann scored on an error by Howard, and Yunel drove in Glaus and Hinske, but was thrown out trying to stretch. Still, 6-0.
Hanson, after some early struggles, was cruising; after Blanton singled leading off the third, Hanson retired fourteen Phillies in a row before allowing a two-out double in the seventh. Bobby pulled him then (at 107 pitches) and oddly brought in Moylan with a six-run lead. Oops, make that a five-run lead. Four… Three… Moylan allowed three consecutive doubles to let the Phillies back into it. Venters came in and hit the next man, but got a groundout to end the threat. The Braves then got the lead back to six when Glaus hit a three-run homer in the bottom of the seventh. Venters had no problems in the eighth (retiring Utley and Howard; he may have passed O’Flaherty given the latter’s recent struggles) and Jesse Chavez was able to get through the ninth, allowing a day off for Saito and Wagner.
All this on a day in which Heyward was 0-5. McLouth continues to be McLousy, but everyone else was there to pick the kid up… Jayson Werth did not play for the Phillies, and I assume he’s really hurt, as the Phillies didn’t use him when they went with a pinch-hitter representing the tying run in the seventh.