Even though the ending of Sunday's game between the Braves and Phillies definitely left a sour taste in the mouths of everyone who's sympathetic to the Braves' cause, this was still a productive weekend for the Braves. They took two out of three against baseball's worst team (by record), and as a result, they avoided getting embarrassed by said team.
The first game of this series was salvaged by two flashes of power. Jonny Gomes hit a no-doubter off of Adam Morgan to put the Braves in the lead in the early stages of the game. After the Phillies manufactured a run to tie things up, the game stayed tied until the seventh inning. That was when it was Juan Uribe's turn to put a ball into the seats, and his solo home run broke the tie. Julio Teheran and the rest of the bullpen was able to keep the lead, and the Braves took the first game of the series by the narrowest of margins.
Independence Day is all about fireworks, and the Braves set off their fair share of explosions on Saturday as well. The Braves scored four runs in the first inning, added another in the second inning, then added another four in the fourth inning. Heck, the offense was clicking to the point where Nick Markakis almost hit his first home run of the season! It was that type of night for the Braves, and although Philadelphia added their fair share of runs, it wasn't nearly enough to beat the Braves on the Fourth of July.
The Braves were unable to repeat the offensive performance the next day, as Cole Hamels and the rest of Philadelphia's pitching staff finally befuddled Atlanta's bats. However, Shelby Miller and part of the Braves bullpen did a good job of keeping Philly at bay, and we ended up proceeding through nine innings of scoreless baseball. The Phillies broke the deadlock in the tenth inning, which is when they had a four-run inning of their own. This was more than enough to beat the Braves on Sunday, and they avoided getting swept.
Atlanta needed to take at least two games in this series to feel good about themselves, and they did just that. Even though the offense was brutal to watch on Sunday, you can't really blame them. Cole Hamels is still a good pitcher, and the Braves' offense still disappears at times. It happens. Either way, this was a nice series for Atlanta. They'll probably have a sterner test against what is suddenly a very hot Milwaukee Brewers team, but at least the Braves are heading in the right direction as they take on Milwaukee this week.