Braves win! Braves win! And they outscored the Rockies in tonight’s game, too!
Of course, everyone knows the big news, that Jeff “The Human Out” Francoeur has been traded, and that not only did the Braves get a possibly useful player (Ryan Church) for him, they also managed the rare feat of addition by addition to someone else by sticking Jeffy on the Mets’ roster. Win-win-win. I’ll write up Church in a couple days.
The Braves all moped around (especially, unsurprisingly, Brian McCann) but then they went out and won. It’s almost like getting rid of bad players helps the team, “chemistry” or no. ACHE, no doubt hoping to avoid becoming the new subject of odium, doubled in two runs (Prado and Chipper) with two out in the first inning. To be honest, he should have had a triple. It stayed 2-0 for some time, as Derek Lowe was strong in a park that hasn’t been kind to him in the past, shutting out the Rockies until a sixth-inning homer by Helton. He walked only one, and allowed just three other hits, while striking out five. The strikeouts are especially good to see; he doesn’t need a huge number of them, but his rate had gotten far too low.
There was a 52-minute rain delay after the sixth, knocking Lowe out of the game. Acosta pitched the seventh, well. In the eighth, Diory Hernandez, who is a very strong candidate for being the subject of odium, came up with another two-out double to score two runs. (I thought he should have had a triple too. Meanwhile, the Braves twice scored from second on two-out doubles, which is only lessened in its impact in that they really should have been triples.) Acosta hit for himself, and drew a walk, but allowed the first two men in the eighth to reach. He got one, and then O’Flaherty came in and got Helton and Hawpe. That just goes to show how fundamentally stupid measuring relievers by saves is. O’Flaherty got a “hold”, which many sites don’t even track, for getting the most important two outs of the game. Soriano breezed through the ninth (with two strikeouts) with a three-run lead and gets a save, which will probably be worth about $500K on the contract he gets from the Cubs or somebody this offseason.
Chipper probably shouldn’t have been playing, but with Kotchman and Escobar hurting and Church not here yet, the bench was basically Blanco tonight, and the Braves needed Prado at first and Hernandez at short… The Prado had two hits and a walk. Yes, they got him out two times! We call that a moral victory.
Hey, did I mention that Francoeur sucks… and that this is the Mets’ problem?