Originally written July 27, 2013 on Atlanta Bullpen:
The Braves got a clutch hit from Andrelton Simmons late in Saturday’s game, as they defeated the Cardinals 2-0.  The Braves have cut the Cardinals lead for home field advantage in the playoffs to 4.5 games. Saturday’s game turned into a pitchers duel, as Julio Teheran faced off against Cardinals starter, Joe Kelly.  Neither starter factored into the decision, as they both shut down the opposition.  Kelly pitched 6.1 innings before getting in trouble in the 7th.  He did not give up a run and struck out 3. Julio Teheran was just as good, if not better.  He pitched 7 innings and only gave up 2 hits to a good Cardinals lineup.  He also struck out 6.  It was a huge outing for Teheran, with the recent injuries to the Braves rotation.  The Braves are going to need Teheran and Minor to step up big to fill roles in the Braves rotation. The game stayed scoreless until what would prove to be the Braves final at bat.  It seemed as if the Cardinals pitched around Chris Johnson, so they could pitch to Andrelton Simmons, who has struggled all year with RISP.  The bases were loaded and the scene was set for Simmons in the bottom of the 8th inning.  Simmons came through in the clutch with a 2 out double that scored both Freddie Freeman and Brian McCann. It took a while, but the Simmons double would prove to be enough and Kimbrel sat the Cardinals down in order in the 9th.  With his save on Saturday, Craig Kimbrel has completed 20 straight saves. Chris Johnson continues to look like the best piece in the Justin Upton-Martin Prado deal.  Johnson’s 2-3 day improved his batting average to .332, which ties for first in the NL. Brian McCann (2-4), and Andrelton Simmons (2-4) joined Johnson by having a multi-hit game. Game MVP: Andrelton Simmons: 2-4, 2 RBI Teheran pitched brilliantly, but it may have not been a Braves victory without the clutch hitting of Andrelton Simmons. His 2 out double was huge with the top of the Cardinals lineup up in the 9th.  It was great for Simmons and the Braves to put something together in the 8th inning and beat the NL’s best team. It was great to see the Braves come up with a clutch win against a good Cardinals team.  The playoffs are going to be filled with pressure situations and the Braves need to learn to play through it. The Braves will look for a huge series sweep tomorrow night against the Cardinals.  Kris Medlen (6-10, 3.78) will head to the mound against Shelby Miller (10-6, 2.77) in the 3rd and final game. The post Simmons Clutch Hit Slips Braves Past Cardinals appeared first on Atlanta Bullpen.

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