A month ago, the Atlanta Braves had a wild card lead of nearly 10 games. After an embarrassing 4-0 loss on Wednesday night to the Florida Marlins, they now have a lead of just 1.5 over the Cardinals.
Derek Lowe actually pitched pretty well and ended up working 6.1 innings. The veteran only made two mistakes the entire evening -- one a hanging slider to Gaby Sanchez that he hit for an RBI-double, the other a solo-home run to Brett Hayes -- and displayed an apparent change to his pitching motion. Scott Linebrink finished out the seventh inning once Lowe departed and Anthony Varvaro also worked an inning.
Atlanta recorded just two hits, one of which was a Jason Heyward double that just missed being a home run by a foot or two, and the team never seriously threatened to score multiple runs. Javy Vazquez continued his excellent play on the mound and kept the Braves off balance for seven innings. Give the veteran credit -- he earned his victory tonight.
The Braves now have an off-day while the Cardinals will look to sweep the Mets. A win would move St. Louis to just one game back of Atlanta with six games to play. After the off-day, Stephen Strasburg awaits our club in Washington D.C.