The Braves got a measure of revenge on Ubaldo Jimenez for last year’s no-hitter, and non-All-Star Tommy Hanson went to 10-4 for the year, largely behind the bat of Freddie Freeman. (Remember, Freddie = good, Fredi = bad.)
The no-hitter wasn’t in the cards from the first, as Brian McCann, the best catcher in baseball, singled through the Stupid Shift with two out. Freeman followed with a homer to make it 2-0, which would turn out to be enough.
Hanson got the first ten men he faced before allowing a walk, a stolen base, and a single in the fourth to give up the Rockies’ only run. He was pretty dominant, going seven and striking out six against four hits and only the one walk, but it’s important that Ryan Vogelsong get rewarded for whatever.
The Braves got another run, and chased Jimenez, in the sixth. McCann singled to the opposite field after a long PA, and Heyward (hitting fifth) doubled off the wall to score him; the run was eventually, I believe, changed to “unearned” because McCann probably should have been thrown out at the plate but the shortstop dropped the relay. The Braves actually loaded the bases with two out thanks to walks to Uggla and McLouth, but Hanson swung at a 3-2 pitch that looked out of the zone to me to end the threat. There are all sorts of reasons why you probably should hit for Hanson there, but it looks like second-guessing at this stage and I won’t elaborate.
At any event, it almost backfired when Hanson gave up two two-out hits in the seventh, but he got a strikeout to get out of his only real jam. Jonny Venters still doesn’t look right; he’s throwing very hard but his control is off and his pitches are up. He went 3-2 on the first man before getting a groundout, seemingly struck out the next on a 3-2 pitch but it was changed to a foul tip, then walked him, then got two flyballs to end it. In his defense, the end of the inning (and the remainder of the game) was played in a driving rain, and I tend to discount what happens in the rain. Freeman hit his second homer of the game in the eighth to make it 4-1, and Kimbrel cruised through the ninth.