So, what kind of game was it? It was the kind of game where Casey Kotchman went 3-4 with two doubles, but the one out was a fly ball with the bases loaded and two out, trailing by one run, in the eighth inning. It was the kind of game where Jair Jurrjens, having gutted out a quality start on a night where neither his control nor his luck was much in evidence, allowing two runs, gets hung with a loss because after leaving trailing 2-1 after six, he saw Moylan walk the pitcher leading off and then give up a two-out single to score him the half-inning before the Braves score what would be the tying run. It’s the kind of game where they hold Albert Pujols to 1-5 with six runners left on base, and lose.
Jurrjens could have pitched six shutout innings with a little luck. Some will disagree with me, but singles are basically luck, and they just fell right for the Cards in the first two innings. He allowed six hits, all of them singles, but three of them were in the first inning, which is just the sort of thing that happens. He had good stuff, but didn’t have the best control of it. After Moylan gave up the run in the seventh, Soriano cruised through the eighth, and Bobby used three pitchers — well, two pitchers and O’Flaherty — to get through the ninth.
The Braves’ big chance was the eighth, when Schafer singled and Infante (switched-in for the ice-cold KJ, who was a particularly hapless 0-3) after pinch-hitting in the sixth) bunted him to second. Pinch-hitter Norton walked, but Escobar flew out. Chipper walked on four pitches, a semi-intentional walk, and Kotchman, after getting ahead in the count, took a home-run swing on a hittable pitch. Unfortunately, whatever his virtues, Kotchman does not have home-run power and it was a routine fly ball. The ninth was routine.