For once, the Braves’ bullpen pitched well and the Braves actually got some runs off the other team’s middle relief to pull out to an easy win.
After falling down 1-0 while the country was getting to watch a college football game instead of the Braves, the Braves got five runs in the third. Jorge Sosa and Furcal singled. Marcus hit a flyout on which Sosa advanced to third, but stumbled going in and may have tweaked something. Chipper grounded out but beat the relay to avoid the double play and tie the game. Andruw doubled home Chipper, LaRoche walked, and Francoeur hit another three-run homer.
But as keeps happening, the Braves immediately gave back half the lead. Sosa showed ill effects from his baserunning adventures, loading the bases on two walks and a single, then walking in a run. But he got a sac fly, a strikeout, and a groundout to get out of it with the score 5-3.
In the sixth, the Braves finally got some runs off the opponent’s middle relief. Francoeur and Franco were both hit by pitches (are the Braves’s pitchers ever going to stand up for their hitters, by the way?) after LaRoche walked. Furcal singled in two and Marcus doubled in two more.
The Braves, meanwhile, got four good innings from the pen. Boyer is still coming in to pitch the sixth, and I don’t get it, but he threw a perfect inning, as did Foster in the seventh and Brower in the ninth. McBride allowed one hit in the eighth.
The Phillies are losing late; no, the stupid Natspos blew a 4-1 lead in the ninth. I hate them. The Mets blew a lead to the Marlins, who stay 5 1/2 back… Horacio Ramirez is supposed to start tomorrow on short rest, and I have no idea why. The Braves called up Anthony Lerew, who warmed up in the bullpen today and would be available for long relief tomorrow.