Suffice to say that I am surprised that the Braves have scored 17 runs in the last three games. Before tonight, they were averaging 3.3 runs a game in September. Then they exploded for four runs in the first. With Hudson on the mound, it looked like it would be a cakewalk. It almost wasn’t, thanks to a classic Episode and the fine work of CB Bucknor, but all’s well that ends well: the Braves won their fourth in a row, and with the Nationals enjoying an off day, the lead in the NL East is down to 5 games.
Interestingly, Andrelton Simmons batted second, and Fredi could have found confirmation for any conclusion he might want to draw. On the one hand, the Braves scored seven runs, their highest total since September 8; on the other hand, Bourn and Simmons went a combined 1-9 with four strikeouts at the top of the lineup. The Braves had 11 hits but only two guys had multihit games: Martin Prado, who had four singles, and Dan Uggla, who had an infield single and a three-run homer. Anyway, it was 4-0 after the first and 6-0 after four innings.
But the Marlins, being pure evil, mounted a comeback. They pushed across four runs in the fourth inning against Hudson, stringing together three singles and two triples. (The last triple was by Gorkys Hernandez, whom the Braves traded in the deal that brought Nate McLouth to Atlanta. Weird.) Fredi yanked Hudson after the fifth; by that point, Huddy had thrown just 81 pitches, but he had allowed 10 hits and all four runs, and it was probably the right call. Avilan-Gearrin-O’Flaherty-Kimbrel allowed just one run the rest of the way, a Carlos Lee RBI single off Gearrin, and the Braves tacked on a helpful insurance run in the 8th when Heyward singled, advanced on a passed ball, and scored on Prado’s fourth hit of the night. Get ’em on, get ’em to make a miscue, get ’em in.
Pretty good night of baseball. Kris Medlen is very obviously our ace and every other starter very obviously is not.