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Braves Vs. Phillies: Homers Back Solid Outing By Jair Jurrjens In 5-2 Atlanta Win

Sunday, May 8
(20-16) Atlanta Braves - 5
(22-11) Philadelphia Phillies - 2

MLB.com Box Score
FanGraphs Box Score

More yacks were the special of the day for the Braves as home runs led to another win. Three long balls put Atlanta ahead for good, giving them a 5-2 win and series win over the Phillies. The Braves now sit 3.5 back of Philly.

The Braves struck for two runs in the second inning when Freddie Freeman singled and Alex Gonzalez homered, worth .203 WPA, the biggest swing in the game. The Phillies scored their first run in the third when Jimmy Rollins singled, moved to second on a groundout and scored on a single by Placido Polanco, worth .101 WPA.

Freeman put the Braves back ahead by two in the fifth with a solo homer, worth .116 WPA. The Phillies tried to answer in the sixth by putting runners on the corners with one out with singles by Ryan Howard and Raul Ibanez, but Wilson Valdez grounded into a double play to end the threat, worth -.174 WPA.

Jair Jurrjens gave up a single to Pete Orr with one out in the seventh, prompting his exit and the entrance of Eric O'Flaherty, who induced a double play by Rollins to end the inning, worth -.086 WPA. In the eighth, Nate McLouth walked to lead off the inning and came around to score when Eric Hinske launched a two-run home run for a 5-1 lead, worth .079 WPA.

The Phillies climbed back to within three in the eighth when Shane Victorino tripled and scored on a single by Polanco, worth .046 WPA. With two outs, Ibanez singled to bring the tying run to the plate, but John Mayberry flew out to end the inning. Craig Kimbrel put two on with one out in the ninth, but a strikeout and flyout ended the game.

Stat of the Day:
Jonny Venters allowed three fly balls in his inning of work. He came into the game with two allowed all season.

The Game Changer:
Alex Gonzalez hit a two-run homer in the second inning to put the Braves ahead, 2-0, worth .203 WPA.

WPA Winners:
(ATL) Jair Jurrjens: .240
(ATL) Alex Gonzalez: .179
(ATL) Eric O'Flaherty: .086

WPA Losers:
(PHI) Michael Stutes: -.097
(PHI) Brian Schneider: -.060
(PHI) Jimmy Rollins: -.054

The Focus:
Jurrjens went to 4-0 in his first five starts with another solid performance. He held the Phillies to one run on six singles and two doubles in 6.1 innings, inducing 10 ground balls to seven fly balls, totaling 91 pitches. It's perhaps a testament to his maturity more than anything, because he didn't have his best stuff in this game, sitting a tick below normal with the fastball and having brief lapses in command. He also had a less-than-stellar slider working, but the changeup remained good. He never gave the Phillies a chance to score after the doubles, and they had to work for the one run by manufacturing it.

For more on the series, Braves fans check out Talking Chop and Phillies fans check out The Good Phight.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.