Very high on the list of “annoying ways to lose a baseball game” is when you’re trailing 5-0 in the eighth and 5-1 in the ninth, tie up the game on a three-run homer by a struggling rookie, only to lose it when one of your putative top relievers allows a walkoff homer in the tenth. Not that I’d know anything about that.
For seven innings, the Braves played “strand the baserunner”, leaving runners all over the place while the D-Backs build their lead — two in the fourth, two in the sixth, one in the seventh. Hudson allowed eight hits, but more troubling was poor control, for him anyway, with three walks and a relatively poor 54 strikes in 90 pitches. Three of the hits were doubles. He’s going to allow some hits, but he can’t walk guys and he has to hold them mostly to singles. He was charged with four runs, three earned. Boyer also had control problems and allowed a run in the seventh. McBride made his debut, getting a hit and a strikeout, in the eighth, and Kolb allowed a single in the ninth.
Finally, in the eighth inning, the Braves got a run, but that was frustrating as well. Johnson doubled, Giles singled, Andruw singled Johnson home, and then the next three guys went down like bowling pins.
In the ninth, Langerhans tripled, Julio walked, Furcal reached on an infield single to score a run, and Johnson hit a three-run homer. But then it happened again; after Giles struck out, Andruw singled, Chipper walked, and LaRoche and Estrada made outs. LaRoche actually hit what should have been a double play ball but they botched it. The two were a combined 0-10 and left a combined 14 men on base.
Then Jim Brower came in and allowed a leadoff homer in the tenth. Six different Braves had two hits — Furcal, Johnson, Giles, both Jones, and Langerhans. How do you have six guys get two hits apiece and lose? See the above weak 0-10 from the 6 and 7 hitters.
The Natspos lost big to the Astros, and the Braves remain in a first-place tie. Should have been more. The Phillies won and are now just four back. I expect that the rest of the season will be Braves versus Phillies; I still can’t take the Mets (who lost) seriously and the Marlins (who also lost) are in disarray… Hampton versus Brad Halsey tomorrow. The game is actually on TBS!