It took two years, but Tim Hudson has finally arrived in a Braves uniform. He didn't seem to have his best stuff today as he scattered six hits and four walks over seven innings, but he was able to pitch around base runners in every single inning - thanks in part to three double plays. Until this game the Braves had only turned five double plays on the season, while they have grounded into 12. It was good to see Hudson pitch well despite the elements being against him. These first three starts of his should restore his confidence and only make him more effective as the season goes on.
Friday it was Florida's turn, and today it was Atlanta's turn. The Braves beat up on Scott Olsen pretty much just like the Marlins beat up on Mark Redman last Friday, with each pitcher getting chased in the third inning. In that third inning today it was Chipper Jones who put the Braves up by four, and then in the fifth inning Andruw Jones added some insurance with a two-run shot. With each of the Jones boys going deep today, it marked the 57th time they have each hit homeruns in the same game, which moves them into sole possession of seventh place on the all-time homerun tandem list. If the Braves are able to resign Andruw, and Chipper stays healthy, they may have a chance to climb to the top of this list:
|1||Hank Aaron/Eddie Matthews||75|
|2||Lou Gehrig/Babe Ruth||73|
|3||Willie Mays/Willie McCovey||68|
|4||Gil Hodges/Duke Snider||67|
|5||Ron Santo/Billy Williams||64|
|6||Bob Allison/Harmon Killebrew||61|
|7||Andruw Jones/Chipper Jones||57|
|8||Joe Adcock/Eddie Matthews||56|
|Dwight Evans/Jim Rice||56|
|10||Yogi Berra/Mickey Mantle||55|
|11||Jay Buhner/Ken Griffey Jr.||53|
|12||Orlando Cepeda/Willie Mays||50|
Jeff Francoeur didn't record a hit, but he did draw a bases loaded walk, his third walk of the year in only 11 games. It took Jeff until May 26th to record his third walk last year, a span of 48 games; and it took Jeff until his 40th game in 2005 to record his third walk. Could we really be seeing a more patient approach to the plate by Jeff Francoeur?
Tyler Yates looked spectacular in relief of Hudson in the eighth inning, striking out the side. His role in the bullpen becomes much more important with the injury to Chad Paronto, and outings like he had to today are just what he needs to deliver. On the other hand, outings like Moylan had are absolutely not what we need. The game ended up being less of a blowout than it originally was due to the rust that Peter Moylan needed to shake off in the ninth inning as he gave up three runs on three hits and a walk. But Bob Wickman came on and restored order recording a strikeout and a groundout to end the game.
By the way, with the Braves shuffling their rotation and moving Davies to Wednesday and Redman to Thursday, it allows them to have their top three starters - Hudson, James, and Smoltz - all set to face the Mets for the three game series in New York next weekend.
Florida 4, Atlanta 8 at Turner Field
Florida Record: (6-5)
Atlanta Record: (8-3)
Winning pitcher - Tim Hudson (2-0)
Losing pitcher - Scott Olsen (2-1)