In a game that took nearly two and half hours to complete, the Braves scored early and were backed up by a masterful pitching performance by Kris Medlen to secure his fourth win in a row by beating the Phillies 3-1 Tuesday night.
Medlen has been hot as of late, winning four starts in a row now, and backed it up with another excellent pitching performance tonight. He allowed five hits, one run, walked one (the last batter he faced) and struck out five batters over seven innings of work (not to mention an incredible play on a come-backer). Medlen started the eighth but walked Kratz to begin the inning and was pulled after the at-bat. It was a smart move by Fredi Gonzalez because in the previous inning Medlen’s pitches started to rise up a little bit, and the Phillies started to hit him hard.
Chris Johnson continued to show why he is the best hitter in the National League tonight. Although picking up just one hit, it was that hit that proved to be the difference in the ballgame when Johnson took Phillies starter Ethan Martin deep to left field for his ninth home run–a two run shot–to give the Braves a 3-0 lead at the time.
How about Jason Heyward? Heyward continues to shine in the lead-off spot and collected two more hits tonight to raise his batting average to over .250 at .253. It’s no secret that he’s been an absolute spark plug at the top of the lineup for the Braves offense during this incredible run they have had since the start of the second half.
Although he did not collect a hit in tonight’s game, Jordan Schafer made a spectacular play in center field tonight to really dampen the chances of Phillies’s rally in the eighth inning. Schafer made a diving, back-handed catch in center field that I don’t think a lot of center fielders could have made. He continues to play solid defense mixed in with some good offense, and he has been a really nice asset for the Braves off the bench.
Atlanta is now 10-2 in the month of August, and the team has spent 134 days in first place. That, my friends, is extremely impressive.
The Braves are back in action Wednesday night, looking to take the series against the Phillies. Brandon Beachy will get the start for the Braves and is looking to build off an impressive outing he had against the Miami Marlins. He will be opposed by John Lannan.