David Buchanan, tonight's starter for the Phillies, came into the game with a 9.00 ERA. (By the way, this is the worst for any pitcher with at least 40 innings pitched this season.) No one would blame you if you thought he'd blank, or at least stymie the Braves. But that was not to be the case, as the Braves erupted in a way that actually raised Buchanan's ERA, torching him for 10 hits and 4 runs across the 10 outs he was able to collect.
The Braves began the night with a pretty disappointing but non-shocking occurrence, loading the bases with none out against Buchanan in the first but scoring only on a Nick Swisher double play grounder. With the game tied at one apiece in the fourth, Christian Bethancourt would knock a pitch into the seats to give the Braves a lead, opening the floodgates. Later in the inning, Freddie Freeman singled with the bases juiced to drive in two more runs -- this was apparently Freeman's first hit with the bases loaded this season. After a walk to Swisher, Buchanan was lifted.
The Philadelphia bullpen didn't fare much better, with Ken Roberts giving up runs to the Braves through an Andrelton Simmons sacrifice fly and a Nick Markakis single. Michael Bourn, who had a team-high four hits on the night, would pull the coup de grace off on Nefi Ogando, swatting a two-run triple to left center and barely missing what would have been his first homer of the season.
Julio Teheran, in an attempt to salvage an uneven season, silenced the putrid Philadelphia offense. The Phillies managed just four hits and two walks against him. The two walks both came in Teheran's last inning of work and resulted in a bases loaded, two-out jam. But Teheran was able to wriggle out of it by striking out a pinch-hitting Andres Blanco. (Side note: Andres Blanco has been the Phillies' best hitter with over 100 PAs this year. Andres Blanco has been released and re-signed with the Phillies three times. Baseball!)
The Braves did their best to fill up the box score. They had 18 hits, including two doubles, a triple, and a homer. To that they added six walks, a sacrifice fly, three sacrifice bunts (all by Teheran, who put on a bunting clinic tonight), and three double plays (two off the bat of Swisher). Overall, they left 14 men on base, but that's not awful considering they went 5-for-15 with men in scoring position and scored eight runs overall.
Edwin Jackson and Ryan Kelly shocked the baseball world in the eighth and ninth by throwing scoreless innings. Hector Olivera and Michael Bourn reached base four times each, while Bethancourt had three hits of his own on the night. Bethancourt also showed off his athleticism and howitzer of an arm by transforming a bunt attempt into an out at second base, and appeared to have a strong game behind the plate as well.
The series win in Philadelphia is the Braves' first since August 14-16 against the Diamondbacks. They now return to Atlanta to start a four-game series with the division leading Mets, who are coming off a veritable knockout blow against the Nationals in DC by means of a three-game sweep.