So, it’s two of my least favorite types of games: the “Get out to an early lead, then the offense goes into hibernation while the bullpen blows it,” and “Rally from way behind to tie it, only to wind up losing anyway.”
Tom Glavine did what he usually does. He worked from behind a lot, gave up lots of hits, especially on singles to center, but kept the ball in the park and managed to escape largely unscathed. He allowed two runs, one earned; you know what I think about “unearned” runs, but this one came home on a two-out error on a routine grounder to KJ (who soon left the game because his knee was bothering him). If you allow lots of baserunners (Tom allowed nine in his five innings) that’s going to happen.
Still, he was ahead 4-2 (having, among other things, scored the Braves first run after drawing a walk in the third) but the bullpen collapsed. First, Resop allowed a run in the sixth, then Bobby used three relievers in the seventh, Ohman, Moylan, and Ring, but the Pirates tied it up. Then Manny Acosta went completely Kolbous, allowing four runs on a pair of homers in the eighth to make it 8-4. A run off of Bennett in the ninth made it 9-4.
Cue the ultimately fruitless rally. A bases-loaded walk to Escobar made it 9-5. Chipper’s single made it 9-7. Teixeira popped out, and seemingly so did McCann — but the Pirates misplayed the fly ball and two runs scored. Two “earned” runs. See? Francoeur couldn’t get the next run home to win it, and we went to extras.
Soriano got through the tenth, then Boyer the eleventh, but in his second inning of work he fell apart and allowed a three-run homer. The Braves almost rallied again, getting a run on Francoeur’s homer and another on a single by Diaz, but Abe Miller flew out to end the game.
Credit where it’s due department: Kotsay had two hits and two walks, and scored twice. Escobar was outstanding, going 3-4 with two walks, three RBI, and two runs scored.