The cracks came in the 8th, for the Brewers.
After 6 innings of solid work from Chris Narveson (0 runs, 3 hits and 3 walks) and a solid inning of relief pitching from Kameron Lowe, former Braves reliever Takashi Saito was brought in to carry the Brewers’ 1-0 lead into the 9th.
Lead-off man Martin Prado drilled a solo-homer after a lengthy battle with Saito before Nate McClouth struck out swinging (that guy is the worst). Chipper grounded out as my local SportsSouth station cut to a mistimed commercial (also the worst) before our new best friend in the batter’s box (not so much at 2nd), Dan Uggla, managed to drill a chin-high cutter (my best-guess on the pitch) just off the top of the wall in left. No need for any ill-advised small ball today, gang.
The 2-1 lead held up as Moylan and Venters closed the bottom of the 8th and Craig Kimbrel came in throwing absolutely un-hittable stuff in the 9th. There were no signs of control issues this afternoon, which is simply wonderful when you have a guy throwing 98-99 MPH fastballs, mixing in the occasional 83 MPH slider.
Brandon Beachy of the Braves surrendered only 1 run (a solo shot from Brewers superman Rickie Weeks) in 6 innings of work. Brewers’ starter Chris Narveson matched Beachy’s inning output while holding the Braves scoreless.
Beachy deserves a lot of credit for holding his composure in the bottom of the 4th to get the Braves into a position to ride clutch hitting and great relief to the win – He opened the inning with a walk of 3B McGehee in the 5-spot, followed by giving up a single to Yeneskie Betancourt to move the runners up. Give credit to Freddie Gonzalez for staying with BB, however, as he forced a groundout to second from Niger Morgan and struck out the following 2 batsmen to get out of the inning without a run into a relatively soft groundout to second for his first out.