The Braves beat the Phillies Saturday afternoon in another hard fought extra inning affair, 4-1. It was a tough battle between two great starting pitchers (Tommy Hanson & Cliff Lee) with each coming away with a no decision.
The Phillies cracked the scoreboard first in a surprising way. In the bottom of the 3rd with 1 out, Lee battled Hanson with a 10 pitch at bat that ended when Lee hit a home run (his first) to right field on a high Hanson fastball.
In the top of the 5th, Dan Uggla hit the first pitch for a homer to left(15 HR, 34 RBIs) to make the score 1-1. That was it for scoring until the Braves half of the 11th. Against RH Michael Stutes, pinch hitter Eric Hinske led off with a walk. Fredi inserted Wilkin Ramirez to pinch run for Hinske (good call). Jordan Schafer put down a good sac bunt to move Ramirez to second. Alex Gonzalez hit a foul pop that Ryan Howard got to but dropped while attempting to make a basket catch. It was a tough play but he was there and I think he should have made the play but no error was given. Given a second life, Gonzalez stroked a RBI (his 27th) single to center, scoring Ramirez without a throw. Brian McCann followed with an eight pitch at bat, finally hitting a 2 run homer (15 HR, 50 RBIs) to right making the score 4-1.
Craig Kimbrel came on in the 11th to get Utley, Howard, & Ibanez to earn his 28th save.
Hanson went 7 innings, 94 pitches, giving up 1 run, 4 hits, 1 BB, and 6 Ks. Jonny Venters pitched a perfect 8th and Eric O’Flaherty did the same in the 9th. In the 10th, lefty George Sherrill struggled a little. After getting 2 outs, he gave up back to back singles but he was able to get John Mayberry to ground out to first to end the threat.
Cliff Lee went 8 innings allowing 1 run, 3 hits, 2 BB, while striking out 9 Braves. Lefties Antonio Bastardo and Juan Perez made the Braves look bad in the 9th & 10th, striking out 4 of the 6 batters they faced.
Sherrill got the win (2-1) while Stutes was the loser (3-1). It was another really good, well played game between 2 evenly matched, good teams. The Braves are back to 2 1/2 games behind the Phils.
Chipper Update: Chipper had surgery on his knee today at 3:00 in Atlanta. They found that not only was his meniscus a mess but he also had a cracked kneecap. Everything was cleaned up, surgery went well and they are still projecting 3 weeks recovery time. That sounds awfully optimistic to me but they are the experts.
Prado Update: Martin Prado had 2 hits last night for AAA Gwinnett. The Braves project his return as the Friday after the All-Star break.
More on Jeter: Not only did Jeter get his 3000th hit today by hitting a homer but he went 5-5 and knocked in the winning run. Come on–that’s just overkill!