Aaron Harang continues to be remarkably good. Unfortunately, the latest performance from the big right-hander was overshadowed by a stellar effort from Cole Hamels and a timely, 2-run home run by Jimmy Rollins, but there was plenty in the positive column to take away from the Atlanta Braves despite a 2-1 defeat.
Harang navigated six scoreless innings while allowing only 5 hits and 3 walks, and while it wasn’t always the prettiest display, he was quite solid. Sadly, Shae Simmons failed to keep up the scoreless standard, as he allowed the aforementioned home run to Rollins, and that was all the scoring that the Phillies needed behind Hamels, Ken Giles and Jonathan Papelbon.
Speaking of Papelbon, the most disappointing event of the night was seeing the Braves force the closer to throw only five pitches in route to three outs in the ninth inning. It certainly wasn’t a great day at the office for the bats, with only a Chris Johnson RBI double and a total of five hits to show for their efforts, but seeing only five offerings from a somewhat susceptible closer is an ugly finish.
The Braves and Phillies will reconvene on Sunday for the series finale, and Atlanta will look to stay in at least a tie for first place in the NL East. Stay tuned.