A couple of rules of baseball:
1. If you keep giving up lots of hits, eventually you will have innings where you give up six hits in a row leading to five runs. That’s what happened to Hampton in the third inning, putting the Braves in a 5-2 hole. They might have climbed out of it, but…
2. If you have a reliever who hasn’t pitched in eight days, you have too damned many relievers and should cut back. Roman Colon hadn’t pitched since April 25, and he gave up three runs in the seventh to really bury the Braves at 9-2. It looked especially bad when the Braves scored four in the eighth to cut the lead to three — the same three Colon gave up. Jorge Sosa, who’d pitched to one batter since April 19, pitched a good eighth; Adam Bernero, who has actually been pitching a good deal, gave up two in the top of the ninth to kill any chance of a comeback.
The Braves’ hitters were limited to six hits, but got seven walks and scored six runs, so they weren’t at fault. Chipper still isn’t among the regulars and struck out pinch-hitting in the eighth. The Braves are getting concerned about his foot, which isn’t getting better fast enough and may not be just a bruise. If the Braves had known this would linger, they probably would have DLed him and maybe called up Marte, but the guys playing third base have actually been hitting the last few days; it’s the corner outfielders, first basemen, and Furcal who have been dragging the lineup of late.
Second game of the series tomorrow, a day game matching Burnett and Hudson on TBS.