Braves hurt Philadelphia's playoff hopes
This week the Atlanta Braves were able to take 2 of 3 games from the Philadelphia Phillies, and make their playoff push that much harder. With the Mets right behind Philly, this series loss was a big hit to their playoff hopes.
Philadelphia started the series out with a win. J.A. Happ gave a quality start for Philly, going 6 and 2/3 innings while allowing 2 earned runs. Jair Jurrjens was slightly better for Atlanta, tossing 7 innings of 2 run ball. The game was even until the Phillies broke it open with 4 runs in the 8th inning. Jeff Bennett let Atlanta down but allowing 3 earned runs. Bennett has been solid for the Braves this year despite rough stretches. One of those rough stretches came today, which led to a 6-2 Philly victory.
Mike Hampton and Cole Hamels dueled in game 2. Mike Hampton went 6 strong innings of 2 run ball. Hamels went 7 strong while allowing 3 runs, 2 of which were earned. Neither bullpen allowed a hit after the starter exited the game. This being said, Atlanta claimed a 3-2 victory. Casey Kotchman hit a home run for Atlanta to prove he does have power. He has shown little offense with the Braves. Hopefully he has become comfortable and will blossom into the player Atlanta traded for.
Game 3 was crucial for the Phillies with Mets right on their tail. Jo-Jo Reyes got his last chance to prove he has improved this season. Reyes dropped the ball. Reyes lasted just 3 and 1/3 innings while allowing 3 earned runs. Reyes allowed 2 home runs and greatly hurt his chances for a rotation spot next year. Reyes is a great kid, but great kids don’t always make good ball players. He has not improved at all this year and may have actually gotten worse. Despite Reyes’ pathetic performance, Atlanta walked away with a victory. Chipper Jones launched his 22nd home run of the season off of Scott Eyre in the 5th inning. This capped off a 6 run 5th inning that helped Atlanta grab a 10-4 victory and a series win.
Atlanta has an off day on Thursday and then will fly to Houston to take on the Astros. Jorge Campillo (8-7) is set to face Brian Moehler (11-8) in game 1. James Parr (1-0) will try to continue his strong major league start in game 2 against Brandon Backe (9-13). Game 3 is set to see Jair Jurrjens (13-10) take on Wandy Rodriguez (8-7).
By Ben Burrows
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