Atlanta 9, Pittsburgh 6

ESPN.com – MLB – Box Score – Pirates at Braves

The Braves rode a seven-run sixth inning — their best inning of the year — to a victory that would have been easy except for yet more horrifying pitching by Dan Kolb, and Blaine Boyer leaving the game with what appeared to be a muscle problem.

Kyle Davies started off awful, walking two of the first three men he faced, then allowing a three-run homer. But after that, he was terrific, allowing only one more hit and one more walk, and striking out eight. He needed 112 pitches to get through six, as he still can’t work efficiently, but he’s pitching better.

Jeff Francoeur had cut the lead to 3-2 in the fourth with a two-run homer, but the Braves had left baserunners in three of the first five innings, and even though they were hitting the ball hard weren’t seeing a lot of results.

Juliometer.GIFThen in the sixth, they got six straight baserunners to start off the inning. A fluke single by Andruw, a walk by Julio (who earlier in the game had his 2500th hit), and then Francoeur doubled them both home to take the lead. Estrada doubled him home, then Johnson doubled him home, and Betemit pinch-hit singled to make it first and third. They finally got an out — as Furcal hit a fly ball to the track to advance both runners. Marcus tripled him in, then Chipper’s sac fly put the cap on the inning, Braves 9-3.

No lead is safe from The Kolb! Blaine Boyer came in for Davies in the seventh and struck out the side. He got the first man in the eighth, then allowed an infield single. He started pitching to the next man, then was pulled with some sort of injury. Enter The Kolb! He ingeniously walked the first man he faced, knowing in his tiny little mind that the walk would be charged to Boyer, then really got to work, allowing two singles and an infield grounder to get the game to 9-6. Two runs charged to Boyer, who looked great, and one to Kolb, who sucks and everyone knows it. Reitsma pitched a perfect ninth for an easy save.

Everyone in the starting lineup but Davies had at least one hit. Furcal, Giles, Francoeur, and Julio all had two… The Mets lost, the Phillies are winning. The Braves now lead the division by five, 5 1/2 over the Marlins, 8 on the Mets; the Phillies are six out pending their game… Tomorrow’s game, the third of a four-game series (I was thrown off by the monthly schedule and the stupid wrap-around series features Smoltz against Josh Fogg and will be on TBS. Trading deadline is tomorrow afternoon. I’m sure Scheurholz is looking for a reliever if nothing else.

19 thoughts on “Atlanta 9, Pittsburgh 6”

  1. Just back and saw the h/l! nice game :)
    Nick name suggestions for JF
    a) Wonder Boy! : Hobbs’ bat ( lightning struck :) ). A primate was referring to him as wonderboy. kinda liked the idea
    b) Smurph : chipper’s idea as he reminds him of Murph

    no original suggestions yet. will watch him tomm!

  2. Report on Jay Powell is that he broke his arm — specifically, he “fractured the distal end of his humerus” just above his elbow. All of the docs, from James Andrews on down to the team guys, say they’ve never seen a break quite in that location.

    http://atlanta.braves.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/news/article.jsp?ymd=20050730&content_id=1150946&vkey=news_atl&fext=.jsp&c_id=atl

    Interestingly, Bobby said that “he’s like a Gryboski, only with breaking stuff.” Ummm….

  3. Can you believe the Padres have dropped below .500? I am kind of pulling for the Marlins to win the wild card (yeah, I know, Marlins and wild card are bad omen), but I don’t want to face the Astros or the Cubs in the first round at all (I don’t want to see Clemens, Oswalt, Wood and Prior again).

    On Francoeur, I am waiting to see other teams stop challenging him in the strike zone and start taking advantage at his agreesiveness. I am still hooping Jeff will start drawing walks soon. On the other hand, there is no point to be patient if pitchers keep throwing strikes at him. That’s why I am waiting for the adjustment period which will hit Jeff just like the one hit Kelly Johnson.

  4. ouch at Powell

    i hate dan kolb so much that i’d punch a baby in the face to get out my anger(not really)

    i hate him so much i made a dan kolb sucks group on myspace….

    dan kolb is hurt the braves more than any player on any team ever could….

  5. Is Powell’s injury similar to Dave Dravecky’s? I hope it is not career ending, in a way i am glad it isn’t another blown elbow.

  6. How dare dan kolb give up 2 hits. I mean, 2!!!!!! A whole 2! That’s so many. No reliever has ever given up 2 hits before.

  7. Danny not only gave up two hits, he was pitching badly. He was lucky he was facing the Pirates, because every pitch was up in the zone. For a sinkerballer, that’s bad news.

  8. The Pirates were missing his fastball right down the middle. You can tell whether a pitcher is unlucky or purely sucks. In Kolb’s case, he sucks.

  9. G..we`re not talking tonight alone..he does this all the time…..9 out of 10 times he fucks things up

  10. I guess the thing that strikes me is…bad as Kolb has been pitching, he hasn’t been costing the Braves the game lately. I remember early in the year, he’d come in & cough up the lead and the Braves would lose. Lately, he gives up runs in lower-leverage situations (mostly – I know that some have been in tight 1-run type games), so he has had value as an inning-eater (hopefully maybe he’s keeping Reitsma from being overworked).
    I’m not saying it’s not frustrating to watch him. But as long as they keep winning, I’ll cut him some slack (ok, so that goes against everything sabermetrics stands for {ie. judging by short-term results, which can be flaky, like the Natspos record in 1-run contests}, so revoke my card – but it’s the fan in me, and the ‘fan’ does not always react rationally to certain situations).

  11. Jonathan, the reason why Kolb has not been pitching in a tight situation is because Cox doesn’t trust him anymore. He has been given enough oppurtunities to recover his form and he keeps on disappointing us. I have been giving him slack for the first half of the season, but this is now the second half and the team has no room for a bullpen pitcher who Bobby doesn’t trust. While I can understand why there is no taker for him considering his contract, his role should be restricted to be the last man out of the bullpen, and he must not be on our playoff roster.

  12. kc — re: Francoeur’s aggressiveness — while he does go for some marginal pitches, it appears as though he’s got the ability to make something happen with them a good bit of the time. I’ve noticed him taking more pitches lately and doing something with the ones they do give him; he’s not going after pitches clearly out of the zone, while the ones in the zone or near it he’s crushing. I’m sure he’ll cool down a little bit with time, but he’s got that inate ability to do something with anything in or near the zone…not many players have that. If we can handle the strikeouts that are sure to come, I think he’ll do just fine. He’s got enough bat speed to get around on most pitches and foul them off; I recall one sequence a few days back where he fouled off a bunch of pitches before getting (I think) a double on the at bat.

    Is it too much to expect him to have an impact much like another elite youngster did in our own division just recently? I’m talking about Miguel Cabrera. Similar pedigree, somewhat similar packages, both young and raw….but extremely good. Call be a little hyped up, but I don’t see Francoeur crashing back down.

  13. Boyer has a “left lower back strain” and is day-to-day.
    No big deal. He only pitches every three weeks or so. He’ll be fine by the time it’s his turn again.

    I’ve drifted into the pro-Kolb group. He’ll never be dominent, but rubber armed sinkerballers have their uses.

  14. He also threw the walk that was charged to Boyer. And they were the first three batters he faced. He sucks. What he throw the guy, like one pitch? Yeah, that’s all his fault too. It’s one thing to criticize a man, but be realistic.

    The fact of the matter is he’s been simply average since leaving the closers role and for the most part has had good outings over the last month. I’ve seen people here claim Bobby goes too much on first impressions, yet it’s is WAY worse here. A person struggles a bit and you all think they suck forever, no matter what happens after that.

    kc – Kolb has not been disappointing us as of late, the facts simply do not support your position. His numbers have been basically average since he’s been used in middle relief. The problem is you and everyone else has already made up your minds, anything less than perfect and you’ll claim he “sucks”.

  15. Kolb is simply awful. Any pitcher that relys on balls being hit to someone should not be in the majors. It was different when it was Maddux and he could tell short or third the ball was coming. Cause in his case he could make the batter hit his pitch in a given direction. Kolb knows he can’t strike anyone out and just hopes they hit to someone. Why can’t he see he’s hurting the team and just quit?

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