Saturday, April 28, 2007

The Braves regain top spot in the East.

Despite more ninth inning drama, the Atlanta Braves were able to outlast the Colorado Rockies with a 9-7 victory Friday night. In the ninth inning, Matt Holliday hit a deep fly that could've tied up the game to Jeff Francoeur, who had dropped a double by Holliday earlier, but this time he made a very nice running catch on the warning track to end the game. After the game, while eating some barbecued ribs, he was given an extra rib by pitcher, Tim Hudson, who had his gem of a game blown in the ninth just two nights ago, and said "Here's an extra rib for you".

Francoeur, playing deeper than normal, raced after it and reached out his glove at the last second. The fans in the corner went quiet and Holliday threw down his helmet in disgust.

"Considering the situation, yeah it was [one of my better catches]," Francoeur said.

"I didn't hit it great, but I thought I had a chance to tie the game," Holliday said. "He made a good play. I wish he hadn't made the play."

Brave's closer, Bob Wickman, came into the ninth, even though it wasn't a save situation, most likely to regain his confidence after blowing only his second save opportunity as a Brave, but that was quickly over as he was unable to get the final out in the ninth, and forced Bobby Cox to go to two more pitchers to finally get the job done. I'm not too worried about Wickman, given the next time he comes in it will be a save situation, I think he'll get the job done.

Both starters pitched quite well last night, Chuck James going 5 1/3 innings, giving up four runs(all earned), striking out four and walking just one batter and Rockies starter, Jeff Francis also went 5 1/3 innings, 4 runs given up(all earned), striking out four and walking three. The big difference in the two pitchers was James gave up just 6 hits while Francis gave up 11, but Francis did get lucky, like when he got James to ground into a double play with the bases loaded while their were no outs. Both our big offseason additions, Mike Gonzalez and Rafael Soriano, both had one scoreless innings of work and to go along, one strikeout each.

Our offense was very good tonight, we continued our regiment of hitting homeruns and getting 2-out hits with Craig Wilson(must be the socks) going deep for the first time as a Brave and Andruw Jones continuing his hot hitting at Coors, went deep for the 4th time on the year and his 13th career HR at Coors. The Braves had eight runs with two outs gave them a major-league-leading 63 two-out RBIs. Chipper Jones had a big 2-out, 2-run double(his second of the game) in the 7th inning and gave the Braves a four run lead, which turned out to be the difference in the game. The word clutch to describe the Braves is a bit of an understatement, but i'll take it.

"I don't know how to explain it," Cox said. "One thing is we have good hitters. We're always capable."

WP: Chuck James(3-2)
LP: Jeff Francis(1-3)
SV: Peter Moylan(1)

HR: ATL- Andruw Jones(4) and Craig Wilson(1) COL- Troy Tulowitzki(1)

The Braves next game is later tonight at 8:05 PM ET. We have John Smoltz, fresh off his new contract, going and the Rockies have Jason Hirsh going.

NOTE: Were back in first place in the East, we now lead the Mets by half a game.

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