When the rains came (and came… and came…) in Atlanta this weekend, the Braves missed an opportunity for a full, 3-game slate with the Mets. However, the rain may have benefitted Atlanta, as they managed to miss All-World pitcher Matt Harvey, and as a result, were able to get a “getaway” victory. Let’s take a glance at what took place over the weekend.
Friday, May 3rd – Loss (7-5 in 10 innings)
As I touched on earlier in the week (click here for the gory details), the bullpen let the game get away on Friday night. Craig Kimbrel, Eric O’Flaherty, and Jordan Walden each allowed game-tying or lead-losing runs to the Mets in the 2-run, extra-inning loss after Mike Minor threw 7 very good innings. Marlon Byrd and David Wright each hit solo home runs in game-tying fashion, but the crushing blow came from back-to-back RBI singles by Ruben Tejada and Daniel Murphy in the 10th inning. The Braves bats were able to scratch out 10 hits (and 5 runs) here, but the late innings belonged to the Mets clutch-hitting. This one was pretty painful because of the manner in which the Braves dropped the game, but the overall performance wasn’t a disaster outside of Fredi Gonzalez‘s managerial performance. It’s too early to panic on the bullpen, and this type of implosion happens once in a while in the big leagues.
Saturday, May 4th – Rain-Out
As referenced above, Saturday’s tilt was rained out and the rain-out was announced almost 6 hours prior to game time with the insane weather in Atlanta. On the beneficial side, Atlanta was able to skip Julio Teheran, giving him some additional rest, and were able to miss Matt Harvey as the Mets elected to throw Saturday’s scheduled starter (Jon Niese) on Sunday. This was a blessing in disguise.
Sunday, May 5th – Win (9-4)
Win #201 for Tim Hudson was headlined by a spectacular hitting performance from Freddie Freeman. The Braves’ 1st-baseman smacked 3 hits in his 5 plate appearances, including a 2-run double in the 3rd inning and a solo home run in the 5th inning to key the Braves offense. In addition to Freeman’s stellar day, Reed Johnson contributed 2 hits (and 3 RBI) while Dan Uggla walked twice, scored 2 runs, and blazed a triple off of Niese. On the pitching side, Hudson was effective once again, as he tossed 7.1 innings of 3-run ball, walking just 1 and striking out 7 Mets hitters. It was also an additional opportunity for Gonzalez to rest Kimbrel and Walden, as the 5-run lead allowed Anthony Varvaro to “close” the game with a perfect 9th inning. This was a very nice, series-closing win.
With three road games on the horizon in Cincinnati this week (Monday through Wednesday), it was crucial for the Braves to get a split on Sunday and they were able to come through with a victory. It looks as if there will be a rare, five-game series later in the year to make up Saturday’s rainout, but for now, we’ll consider this a split, and it’s on to Cincinnati. Stay tuned.