Dan Kolb has moved beyond the “bad pitcher” phase to the “if you kill him, all you need is one Braves fan on the jury” phase. Bobby, inexplicably, not only used him to start the eighth with a 6-3 lead but didn’t get him out until it was second and third, one out, and 6-5. Gryboski came in to give up the inherited runs, plus one who reached on an intentional walk. Then one of the good relievers — Foster, in this case — was used to get out of it after all the damage was done. It’s probably Andruw’s fault.
My only theory is that Bobby is in some sort of battle of wills with Schuerholz. “You got me this pile of crap, I’m going to use him. Get rid of him or I’ll keep using him.” But anyone should be able to get three outs without giving up three runs. Heck, a batting practice pitcher might.
What made it worse was that the Braves had just rallied with four runs in the top of the inning, capped by Estrada’s pinch-hit single that thanks to an error scored three runs. You get four, then they get five, and you can’t even blame the defense.
Betemit was 2-3 with a walk and scored twice. How do you take him out of the lineup? At least, how do you explain it to him? Langerhans, getting the start for Johnson, was also 2-3 with a walk, scoring once. He’s up to .221, which doesn’t sound like much except that he was in the .190 range just a few days ago. Chipper is in a terrible slump and has fallen below .300, but let’s face it, the offense is not the problem.
Decent seven innings from Ramirez, who continues to walk the fine line, allowing a homer, walking two, and striking out only one. That won’t get it done most of the time. But he can still get through an inning with a three-run lead most of the time.
Now three against the Pirates, starting with Hudson against Kip Wells, the whole series on Turner South. The whole rest of the division won. I’m sick. Alex will be by in the morning to curse at you.