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Atlanta Braves: Fredi Gonzalez Gets Decisions Right in Win over Nationals

ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 16: Fredi Gonzalez of the Atlanta Braves walks back to the dugout after arguing a call in the seventh inning against the Kansas City Royals at Turner Field on April 16, 2013 in Atlanta, Georgia. All uniformed team members are wearing jersey number 42 in honor of Jackie Robinson Day.  (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)
Daniel Shirey/Getty Images
Joe TanseyFeatured ColumnistApril 29, 2013

The Atlanta Braves did not have any chance to rest after ending their 10-game road trip in Detroit on Sunday night as the Washington Nationals came to town on Monday night for a NL East showdown. 

The Braves won the game 3-2 and the reason why they won the game was the decision making of manager Fredi Gonzalez. 

The three biggest decisions of the one-run game came in a fairly short time span but they were crucial to the result of the ball game. 

Gonzalez let starting pitcher Julio Teheran go out and pitch in the top of the sixth inning after he stood on second base for an extended period of time in the bottom of the fifth inning.

Teheran conceded a single to Jayson Werth and then walked Adam LaRoche before striking out Ian Desmond for the first out of the inning.

Instead of letting Teheran finish what he had started in the sixth, Gonzalez opted to make a call to the bullpen to bring in Jordan Walden. 

Walden made his manager look like a genius after he got out of the one-out jam by striking out Chad Tracy and forcing Kurt Suzuki into a fly out to right field. 

Gonzalez then got a crucial offensive decision correct in the bottom of the seventh inning when he chose to use Tyler Pastornicky as a pinch-hitter for Walden instead of the hot-hitting Evan Gattis.

With Gerald Laird on first base, Pastornicky was sent up to the plate to bunt over the Braves catcher. 

Pastornicky executed the sacrifice bunt with perfection and sent Laird over to second. Instead of pinch-running for Laird with one out, Gonzalez decided to keep him in the game and that decision once again paid off. 

After Jordan Schafer advanced him to third base on a single, Laird scored on a sacrifice fly by Andrelton Simmons and the Braves took the lead for good. 

In the final two innings, Eric O'Flaherty and Craig Kimbrel took care of business to give the Braves their eighth consecutive win over the Nationals, a win that would not have been possible had Gonzalez made not made the right calls from the dugout. 

Follow me on Twitter, @JTansey90. 

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