The Braves managed to salvage a series split against the Brewers on Sunday with an offensive-laden 11-6 win. Brian McCann had a huge day with a third-inning grand slam and an RBI walk. Matt Diaz added his own homer with a solo shot in the 5th and Omar Infante banged out four hits in place of the ailing Chipper Jones. Chipper sat out for the second consecutive day with a strained hamstring. Diaz continues to hammer left-handed pitching and his performance (3-4, 3 RBI) is beginning to lessen the need for an outfield bat from the trade market.
Lowe pitched effectively enough (5.1 IP, 3 ER) to earn his 10th win of the season. The Braves bullpen got out of a few jams in the middle innings, up until the amazing Jesse Chavez entered in the 8th with an eight run lead. The Brewers tagged Chavez for 3 earned runs off of 4 hits and a walk in just 1.1 innings. His horrendous outing forced Bobby to bring in Billy Wagner to finish up the 9th. How that guy still has a major league job is beyond me. He could have at least retaliated for Heyward and Glaus getting plunked by drilling Fielder, but instead gave up a solo homer to the 300lb slugger. Hopefully Chris Resop comes off the DL soon enough to send Chavez down to Gwinnett.
The Braves extended their division lead by a half game as the Cubs roughed up Roy Halladay and the Phillies 11-6 last night. They also had a chance to put some additional separation between themselves and Mets, but home plate umpire Phil Cuzzi ruined any chance of that with a blown call yesterday afternoon in the bottom of the 9th on what would have been the Giants game-winning run. The Braves are 5 games up on the Mets and 5.5 games ahead of the Phillies.
This upstate, NY Braves fan was again lucky enough to watch these weekend games on TV because Time Warner is running a free ‘preview’ of their MLB Extra Innings package through the Wednesday, July 21st. Definitely beats the free online MLB.tv promotion running through Tuesday.
The Braves are off today and will begin a three-game series against the NL West leading San Diego Padres on Tuesday. Jurrjens, Hanson and Hudson will be facing off against LeBlanc, Garland and Richard, respectively.