It was one bad pitch to Cody Asche that turned a great night into a bad night for Mike Minor, as Asche launched a 2-run home run into right field in the seventh inning to give the Phillies the lead that ultimately gave them a win by a final count of 2-1.
Aside from the fact that Minor grooved one to Asche, the pitching performance by Minor was one that showed why he has been the clear-cut ace of the staff in the 2013 season. Minor pitched seven innings and allowed four hits, two runs, walked one, struck out nine and allowed the home run. If Minor pitches the way he did tonight in October, the Braves are going to be an extremely tough out. You really have to tip your cap to him this year bouncing back from a horrendous first half of the season last year.
The Braves lone run came on Andrelton Simmons’ 14th home run of the year. I think it’s safe to say that by now moving Simmons down in the lineup has immensely helped the shortstop. However, it is a shame that Simmons’ glove work over shadows his at-bats because he, since being moved down, has become a better, but not great yet, hitter.
Folks, it is what it is. The Braves happened to run into Cliff Lee on a very good night as Lee allowed just two hits over eight innings and a solo home run. Thankfully, the Braves will not see him in the playoffs.
The good news is the Nationals lost again tonight so the magic number is now down to single digits at nine, count ‘em nine, games. So barring anything short of miracle, the Braves and their fans can rest easy tonight knowing they are one game closer to slamming the door shut in the NL East and bringing the division championship back to its rightful home at Turner Field.
The Braves are back in action tomorrow at the same time, and in the same place. Alex Wood will take the bump at Citizens Bank Park and will be opposed by Kyle Kendrick.