Hey, a one-run, come-from-behind win! This calls for some Phil Collins!
Looked bad early. Jair Jurrjens (pitching on three days’ rest) wasn’t right and was elevating his pitches. The A’s have really no power at all and a team batting average of .250, but what they do is work the count and draw lots of walks, the most in the American League. Tonight, they got some hits — eight against Jurrjens, and three walks — but couldn’t hit it out of the park and ran the bases like… well, like an American League team. They got both their runs in the second inning, but in the process had two runners thrown out at the plate, and the only reason it wasn’t three was that Jurrjens threw the ball away allowing their first run to score.
The bullpen shut them down, but for the first five innings the Braves couldn’t do much of anything against “Dana Eveland”, whoever that is. Through four, they had one hit (a double by McCann, who still inexplicably hits sixth against lefties even though he’s outperforming Francoeur and far outperforming Teixeira) and a walk (Chipper, naturally). They got a hit and a walk in the fifth, but screwed it up with some terrible baserunning of their own, Diaz running on a 3-2 strikeout of Blanco.
Finally, in the sixth, someone other than Chipper and McCann did something. Infante singled, and Chipper followed to make it first and second. Teixeira remained hapless, grounding into a double play, but Francoeur singled in Infante, and McCann followed with his second double of the night to tie the game. Joey Devine (!) finished the inning and got through the seventh with another horrible bunt (Glavine with a pinch-popup) to help. In the eighth (with another ex-Brave, Alan Embree, pitching) Chipper singled, Teixeira and Francoeur couldn’t do anything, and McCann singled. Kotsay doubled to the gap (anyone but McCann would have scored with two out, but come on, the man was 3-4) and the Braves had the lead. Acosta, who had pitched the eighth, pitched the ninth as well with no problems. The scorer managed to figure out that this was a win and not a save. I actually like this bullpen usage, but would like it better with better relievers.
Chipper and McCann were a combined 5-7 with two doubles; the rest of the lineup was 4-24. Par for the course against lefthanders.