God bless the Astros. They’re going to need it. Tommy Hanson struck out fourteen in seven innings, with three more added from the bullpen, and in a relatively close game the home team never seemed to be in it. (Actually, they barely seem to be at home; there have been just about as many Braves as Astros fans in Minute Maid Park this series.)
The Braves didn’t have much going for them offensively today, but made what they had count. In the first, Jordan Schafer singled, and then the suddenly useful Dan Uggla followed with a homer to make it 2-0. In the sixth, Uggla singled, and Brian McCann, the best catcher in baseball, hit another home run to make it 4-0.
It was enough for Hanson; if it wasn’t for Carlos Lee (who had two of the Astros’ three hits off of him) Hanson wouldn’t have had any trouble at all. Lee’s double in the sixth cut the lead to 4-1, but that’s all they got.
Hanson had thrown 112 pitches, though, so Eric O’Flaherty came in to pitch the eighth, allowing one hit. Jonny Venters closed today, which makes me wonder about Craig Kimbrel‘s health (yes, Kimbrel pitched yesterday, but Venters did too) but he didn’t have any trouble getting four outs (the umpire blew an obvious call at first base leading to a single on a terrible swinging bunt) to get the save.