Derek Lowe, yes, that Derek Lowe had arguably his best start as a Brave since Opening Day 2009, and was filthy from the first pitch of the game. Lowe went 8 innings on Monday night and struck out 12 Nationals, and didn't walk anyone for his 2nd straight start. Lowe only gave up one extra-base hit on the night (a Nyjer Morgan double), and continually painted the outside corner from the start. As a matter of fact, Morgan was the only National to reach 2nd base tonight.
The Braves offense didn't do too much on Monday, but they were helped greatly by two balks in the 2nd inning by starter Yunesky Maya. The first balk moved Brian McCann and Derrek Lee into scoring position, and then the 2nd balk drove BMac in from 3rd. The red-hot Nate McLouth then doubled down the right field line to score Lee from 3rd, and the Braves had an early 2-0 lead. Matt Diaz then tripled off of Maya, and Omar Infante drove him in with a little flare into center field. The Braves scored all four runs in the 2nd inning, and that's all they would need.
Billy Wagner came into the game in relief of Lowe, and was absolutely filthy. He made quick work of the Nats final three hitters, and struck out all of them with a slider in the dirt. Combine his three strikeouts with Lowe's, and you have a grand total of 15 for the night. (That's some Joe Morgan math for 'ya!)
All-in-all, a pretty great night in front of a small Monday night crowd.
I guess if there was any down side to the game was Jason Heyward not extending his hitting streak to 11 games, but still managed to reach base in two of his four at-bats. Besides that, there's really nothing to complain about.
The Marlins continue to be absolutely worthless and are getting pounded by the Phillies, so we still trail by a game in the East. The annoying Rockies are currently losing to the Padres, and the Giants are off, so we could gain some ground in the Wild Card race tonight. Not that we're aiming for that or anything, though.
It'll be Jair Jurrjens against Livan Hernandez tomorrow night at 7:10. Be there.