FEAR THE PRADO. Note that I do not say, “fear the Melky”. This is because I am not totally stupid. The same can not be definitively said of A.J. Hinch, the Diamondbacks’ manager. After taking a 5-4 lead in the top of the ninth off of Billy Wagner, Hinch had no choice but to go to his closer, Chad Qualls, whose ERA was over six. Qualls allowed a leadoff single to Hinske, then had some bad luck when Infante’s bunt bounced high off the plate for a single. McLouth bunted both runners over. And then Hinch had Qualls intentionally walk Melky Cabrera to load the bases. I kid you not. Prado worked the count to 2-2 and then lined a single over first base to win the game without a throw.
So, Kenshin Kawakami won’t go to 0-8, though he was never in danger of going to 1-7. He allowed an “unearned” run in the first and an “earned” one in the fourth. Pulled at 96 pitches with one out and two on in the fifth, he saw his two runners score off of Venters to make it 4-0.
But McCann led off the seventh with a homer, and then the Braves got to first-and-third, one out, with McLouth up. McLouth had looked terrible in striking out his first two times up, but this time he took a 3-2 pitch over the right field wall to tie the game.
Infante was 4-4, and as a reward will probably sit tomorrow because Yunel is expected back. The Braves had twelve hits in all, most of them in the last three innings.