Note to Bobby: Don’t use Medlen three games in a row. Especially not when he was bad the second game.
In a very similar situation to last night, the Braves led 3-1 after five, and trailed 7-3 after six. This time, the starter was pulled after five — Hanson allowed only two hits, but dealing with a postage-stamp strike zone he walked four and needed 104 pitches — and Medlen started the inning. It went pretty much the same way. Medlen — whom Joe Simpson almost immediately noted was struggling to get his normal velocity and throwing with great effort, and one wonders why the guys who wear uniforms for no readily apparent reason, and I don’t mean Norton, didn’t notice the same thing — walked a guy, allowed three hits, two of them doubles, and retired only one before getting pulled trailing 4-3.
O’Flaherty could have gotten out of it, but Chipper dropped his first batter’s foul popup, which was inevitably followed with another double. The next guy grounded out, which could have gotten the Braves out of the inning, but instead there were just two out, and O’Flaherty gave up three more hits and threw a wild pitch, and it was 7-3. Three runs — one on Medlen, two on O’Flaherty — were scored “unearned”, but they did combine to give up seven hits in one inning, and that’s never good. Tonight, there was no rally to tie it up, and Carlyle’s run in the seventh was just insult to injury.
The Braves very easily could have broken the game open in the fifth. They did get two runs, but both came on bases-loaded singles. Separate bases-loaded singles, as the Braves couldn’t score from second on hits. This is Church and Diaz, two of the fastest men on the team. I know that’s faint praise, but there’s no reason they couldn’t have gotten at least one more run there. McCann flew out to left, medium-deep, with one out, and Diaz didn’t try to score. On the left fielder, who is a converted second baseman. Seriously, that’s terrible… Their other run came on a homer by McCann in the second. He’s at 18, so there’s a good chance that the Brave will at least be spared the indignity of nobody hitting 20 homers.