Aug 7, 2013; Washington, DC, USA; Atlanta Braves relief pitcher Craig Kimbrel (46) throws during the ninth inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Atlanta Braves Sweep...On The Road?!?

Oh, what a beautiful sound it is…Braves sweep the Washington Nationals.  I believe today at work, I’ll just stand at the water cooler and smile all day.

Going into the Washington series we heard from smack talking Bryce Harper saying “we still have 9 game left (with the Braves)…this s$%& isn’t over yet.”  And during the series he heard him yap his mouth when he was hit by Julio Teheran‘s pitch in the second game.  Sorry Bryce, hopefully your tears don’t get caught in your mustache.

Aug 7, 2013; Washington, DC, USA; Atlanta Braves right fielder Jason Heyward (22) slides into home during the seventh inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

One night after something strange happened to Jason Heyward (first at-bat of second game he got a weird headache after a swing and had to leave the game) he comes up big again for the Braves.  He led off the game with a double and was drove in by Freddie Freeman.  Then in the 8th inning he delivered a two-out single that helped the Braves clinch a 6-3 win and the series!

“When we came in here, we definitely wanted to win the series and we had a chance to sweep tonight…. we came out and played good baseball,” Justin Upton said after the game.

The Nats are now 15.5 games behind the Braves in the NL East.

“They outplayed us,” Nationals manager Davey Johnson said.  “Plain and simple.  They just outplayed us.”

The Braves have now won 13 games in a row and we don’t plan on stopping there as the Miami Marlins come into town this weekend for a three game series.

B.J. Upton had a four hit night on Wednesday and has been hitting the ball really well since returning from the DL.

“I’m starting to get there.  I’m definitely starting to feel pretty good out there,” B.J. Upton said.  “I’ve just got to keep working and maintain to keep it to where it is.  Tonight is probably the best I’ve felt.”

The Upton Brothers were a big hit last night as Justin and B.J. combined for seven of the Braves 15 hits.

“Both Justin and B.J. are swing the bats well and getting on base…it’s nice to see that.”

Atlanta has not lost since changing up their lineup and placing Heyward leadoff and Justin Upton second.  Fredi looks like a genius right now and hopefully they continue to play this well.

Justin Upton on the new looking lineup “We made some changes and it worked out.  It’s been working for us lately so we’ll ride it out and hopefully it works for us the rest of the year.”

Medlen produced his finest start of the season going seven complete innings giving up three hits, three runs, only one walk and six strikeouts to pick up his ninth win of the season.

Aug 7, 2013; Washington, DC, USA; Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Kris Medlen (54) throws during the second inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

“I felt I needed to step up and kind of close out the series,” Medlen said.  “I felt great.  It’s probably the best I’ve felt all year.  I felt like I was throwing my curveball both for strikes and for chase.  Anytime I have that third pitch, it’s really going to help me.”

Medlen retired the first 11 batters he faced and then issued a five-pitch walk to Bryce Harper just ahead of allowing Jayson Werth to tie the game with a two-run opposite-field home run in the fourth inning.

“Other than one pitch that went over the middle to Jason Werth, he was as good as we’ve seen him, Manager Fredi Gonzalez said.  “We did a nice job keeping the pressure on.  We scored a few runs in the 8th inning, we scored three.  The 9th inning didn’t go exactly like we plan out but it ended a nice road trip and it’s going to be a good off day tomorrow and go back at it again.”

The Braves have an off day on Thursday and though the winning streak is still intact, it’s a well timed day off.

“We need to recharge a little bit,”  Gonzalez said.  “When you win that many games in a row and your using a lot of bullets out of the bullpen, the same guys.  We need a day off tomorrow to recharge the batteries in the bullpen.”

Chris Johnson somehow continues to find gaps in the field and picked up two more hits…his batting average is now sitting at .339.  Andrelton Simmons is playing out of his mind at short stop and continues to swing the bat well.  And the man, the legend, and superstar Craig Kimbrel came into the game in the 9th and picked up his 36th save of the 2013 season.  He struggled a little but was able to still pick up the save.

Gonzalez spoke to the media after the game about the team “Our goal is to win series and these guys are playing good baseball.  We are pitching really good and playing good defense so lets just keep going.”

 

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