If only the Phillies would lose.
Tommy Hanson was great, again — he hasn’t had a really poor start yet. He got in trouble in the second, allowing two runs, though it wasn’t entirely his fault as Diaz (in right against a lefty) botched a line drive he probably should have had. Hanson’s mistake was walking the pitcher, who was 0-18 with 15 strikeouts entering the game and was trying to bunt. TAKE THE OUT.
ACHE got a run back in the bottom of the inning with a homer, then Chipper hit a two-run shot with McLouth aboard to take the lead. Hanson pretty much held it from there, and was dominant, striking out eleven in the game. But in the seventh came example number 49,401 of the utter stupidity of the “unearned run”. McLouth completely lost a routine pop fly, then stood around looking like an idiot while ACHE had to jog in from left and pick it up and the hitter made it to third for a leadoff “triple”. As always, if you play it bad enough, they won’t charge an error. McLouth made a nice catch on a one-out line drive that scored the tying run, but it wasn’t a great play. Anyway, that’s an “earned” run. If the shortstop almost makes a play but drops it and then you give up a two-out homer, that’s two “unearned” runs, even though when you think about it the defense didn’t have anything to do with the homer.
So, when I started to digress, McLouth had cost the Braves a run and almost cost Hanson a chance to win the game, though Bobby let him finish the inning (at 112 pitches). And then the Braves erupted for six runs in the bottom of the inning, five with none out. Escobar got it started with a liner to left. ACHE hit a little pop fly that fell for a (legitimate, but weak) hit. Diaz was supposed to bunt, but he can’t, and only managed to fall behind 0-2. So he stood in there, swung away, and laced a triple to right-center. Kotchman kept History’s Worst Hitting Streak going with a single to right to make it 6-3, then Church hit a pinch-hit two-run homer. With two out, McCann singled in McLouth to make it 9-3. The Braves added two more in the eighth, Church singling in Diaz and Kotchman scoring on a McLouth flyout.
Bobby, again, brought in Gonzalez to pitch the eighth with a big lead. I don’t get this one. The excuse is that he was already warmed up, but frankly the inning was so long (and so many runs were scored before the first out) that he was overheated if anything. I don’t think you needed to use him there. Medlen, not Soriano, pitched the ninth.
Everyone had a hit but Prado, breaking a ten-game hitting streak, but he did have a walk.