Well, that was no fun. It started out fine, as Prado led off the game with a homer, and Conrad hit a two-run double in the second. But then Tommy Hanson went all Kawakami, and allowed nine runs in 3 2/3. It wasn’t that he was pitching that badly — it was just that he wasn’t pitching well. As I keep saying, if you don’t strike anybody out — and Tommy had no strikeouts tonight — you are going to run into runs of singles and doubles no matter what. It even happened to Glavine sometimes.
Thing is, he still could have gotten through with only average luck. Four of the thirteen (!) hits he gave up were infield singles; only two of the thirteen (one of them, a backbreaking homer in the fourth) were for extra bases. He only walked one man, and he (the inimitable Mark Kotsay) was thrown out on the bases. But the Sox were putting the ball in play, and more often than not putting it in precisely the right spot. Five runs in the second, all of them on singles. Two singles in the third for another run. Two more singles (one of them providing comedy, as Conrad lost the ball in his shirt) in the fourth were followed by the homer; it was only after a double by Kotsay and infield single number four that Bobby finally got him out of there.
Chavez did his job, sitting in there and somehow not giving up any runs for 4 1/3. He did pitch really well, in a really low-leverage situation. The Braves rallied late, getting a run on a groundout in the eighth. In the ninth, McCann hit a solo homer, and Conrad hit another double to score Yunel Infante (who had reached on an error), which at least forced the Sox to bring their closer into the game. He got Prado to end it.