a 2009 Atlanta Braves: Braves take advantage of struggling Nationals
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Walk off saves series for Braves

 

Despite strong starting pitching and a solid bullpen the Braves were only able to win one of three games from the less than spectacular Nationals. Derek Lowe took the mound in game one for Atlanta but took the loss after allowing three runs and seven this in six innings of work. Washington’s starter Jordan Zimmerman was slightly better, allowing two runs on six hits in six innings. Washington also got strong outings from four relievers to seal the deal on the Braves in game one. Washington would take game one 3-2 in a low scoring ordeal that would be common throughout the series.

Atlanta would suffer another one run loss when Kenshin Kawakami had a rough time recording outs in his five innings of work. Kawakami walked three and allowed four runs on seven hits in just five innings. Kawakami has struggled with his command since coming to the United States and doesn’t seem to have a strong grasp on the game. Washington was again able to limit Atlanta’s offense to just three runs on nine hits. Atlanta’s offense has struggled along with All-Star catcher Brian McCann who has been suffering from blurred vision. The clean up hitter has since fixed the issue and should return to form. Washington was able to raise their season win total to three with a 4-3 victory over the Braves in game two.

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Atlanta Braves hats & merchandise The final game of the three game series was a pitchers duel up to the ninth inning where Garrett Mock walked Kelly Johnson with the bases loaded to give Atlanta their only run. That run would prove to be enough for a combined effort from Jai Jurrjens, Mike Gonzalez and Rafael Soriano. Jurrjens had his best start of the season, throwing 7.2 innings and not allowing a run. Nationals’ starter John Lannan was also very good, holding the Braves scoreless over seven innings but earning the no decision. On a ‘walk off’ the Braves would win 1-0 to salvage the series and end their two game losing streak.

The Braves have a travel day on Thursday and then being a three game series with the Cincinnati Reds on Friday. Javier Vazquez (1-1, 3.00) will face off with Edinson Volquez (2-1, 6.46) in game one. Volquez hopes to return to the form he had at the begging of last year where he was an early Cy Young candidate. Derek Lowe (1-1, 3.27) will take on Bronson Arroyo (3-0, 4.19) in game two which could prove to be the best pitching match up. Atlanta has yet to announce a starter for the series finale but Jo-Jo Reyes and possibly Tommy Hanson are both possibilities to face Micah Owings (0-2, 5.59).

 

 

By Ben Burrows
Atlanta Braves Correspondent


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