At this point, what should we really consider a win?
Whatever you think on the matter, the Braves were officially credited with another win, and improved to 58-90 thanks to a short, but solid, outing from Williams Perez and a shutout effort from the bullpen.
Perez looked solid in this one, although he ran his pitch count up fairly early. He came out after 5.2 innings of work and 104 pitches, but held the Phillies to just one run after striking out six and walking just one.
The sole run Perez allowed came during the second inning when Cameron Rupp deposited a sinker that didn't sink into the shallow right field bleachers. Other than that, it was smooth sailing for Perez, who has now thrown three consecutive games while allowing three or fewer runs.
For the Braves hitters, there wasn't much going on, but there didn't really need to be, given the rare performance from the pitching staff. Freddie Freeman had a two-hit performance and scored a run while professional hitter Nick Markakis was responsible for the other run, as part of his 1-for-4 effort at the plate.
Andrelton Simmons made an incredible defensive play in the seventh inning that involved throwing a mid-90s fastball into the ground about 15 feet in front of Freeman at first. However, because Chase d'Arnaud was running instead of his brother Travis — and because of instant replay — he wasn't able to get the out. Either way, Simmons remains one of the few consistent exciting features of this team.
After a solid effort from the
quartet trio of Brandon Cunniff, Andrew McKirahan, Peter Moylan and Matt Marksberry to get the Braves into the ninth with a 2-1 lead, Arodys Vizcaino decided to add a little drama. Maybe he just really wants that first pick.
Regardless, Vizcaino walked Jeff Francoeur and then a Hector Olivera error at third allowed Carlos Ruiz to reach first. Two strikeouts later and Odubel Herrera was standing on first after a passed ball on strike three. Fortunately (or unfortunately, the choice is still yours) though, Darin Ruf proceeded to line out to Daniel Castro at second base and the Braves managed to hang onto their 2-1 victory.
Whatever your thoughts are on the final few weeks for the Braves, it was certainly nice to see this kind of performance from Perez on the mound.
We get back at it for game two tomorrow at 7:10 p.m. ET, with that Ryan Weber kid on the mound against some Philly pitcher named Jerad Eickhoff.