McCann Smashes Braves Past White Sox

Brian McCann - Atlanta Braves Catcher

McCann has been on fire lately

The Atlanta Braves started the 2nd half of the season with a win on Friday night.  It was a Brian McCann home run that paved the way for a 6-4 Braves win over the Chicago White Sox.

Andrelton Simmons was the 1st Atlanta Brave to homer in the 2nd half of the 2013 season.  His 2-run shot in the 3rd inning put the Braves up 2-0.

The Braves lead would not last long however.  The White Sox were able to tie the game back up on a double by Alex Rios. Josh Phegley and Alexi Ramirez came in to score on the double by the White Sox right fielder.

The score would be tied at 2 until Braves all-star, Brian McCann, hit his 13th homerun of the season in the 6th inning. Joey Terdoslavich, and Justin Upton were on the bases when McCann sent a ball over the right field fence.  McCann’s 3-run homer put the Braves up, 5-2.

The White Sox pulled within 1 run of the Braves in the 8th.  Alexi Ramirez, and Jeff Keppinger both singled in runs in the inning.  The Braves lead was cut to 5-4.

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Chris Johnson gave the Braves a much need insurance run in the 9th inning. He singled to right field to bring Justin Upton in to score and put the Braves up 6-4.

That would be all the game’s scoring as Craig Kimbrel came in to shut down the Sox in the 9th.

Tim Hudson was solid in his 1st start of the 2nd half.  He pitched 7.1 innings, and gave up 4 runs. 2 of those 4 runs came in the 8th inning, when most people felt like Fredi Gonzalez should have gone  to the bullpen. Either way, Hudson got the win and improved his record to 7-7 on the season.

Justin Upton and Chris Johnson were the only Braves with multiple hits on Friday night.  Upton was 2-4, while Johnson was 3-4 on the night.  Braves’ fans have to love the production Chris Johnson is providing.  With his 3-hit night, he improved his average to .336 for the season.

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Braves fans saw a good sign, as Freddie Freeman entered the game as a defensive replacement in the 8th inning.  Freeman should be playing tomorrow after resting his sore thumb.  He did not get any at bats on Friday.

Game MVP:

Brian McCann: 1-4, 1 R, HR, and 3 RBI

It was McCann’s homer un that helped lift the Braves over the White Sox.  McCann also called a great game behind the plate.  A great at bat, and great game management gives Brian McCann the game MVP.

The Phillies were able to jump the Nationals in the NL East standings.  The Braves now hold a 6.5 game lead over the Phillies.

The Braves will take on the struggling White Sox again on Saturday afternoon.  Paul Maholm will look to start his 2nd half the same way he started the 1st half of 2013.  He will be opposed on the mound by Jake Peavy as the Sox and Braves tangled at 4:05 ET.

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John Harmon
John Harmon

Great way to start the second half!!

Bob Long
Bob Long

Peavy is tough. I hope the Braves can eek out a win!

John Harmon
John Harmon

Haven’t seen Peavy pitch in a few years. In his prime he was absolute
hell, particularly against right-handed hitters. If I recall, he had
arm problems a few years ago and has lost a fair amount of velocity. Hopefully Freddie will be back today.

Bob Long
Bob Long

True, he is also coming off an injury, too. Unfortunately, the Braves struggle against pitchers that have more than a 3 pitch repertoire. If Peavy is not throwing fastballs, the Braves may be in for a long day. On the other hand, if he is rusty, the Braves may score 10 runs!
I love this team, but their offense can be maddening.