Hey, that was pretty good! Johan Santana wasn’t quite his dominant self, but pitched well enough to win. Fortunately, the Mets’ defense let him down big time. I’m not a fan of the unearned run statistic, but it should be pointed out that the first five runs the Braves got were “unearned”.
In the first, David Wright did his Bob Horner imitation, waiving at a ball off Martin Prado’s bat (Prado hit third, playing for Chipper, whose elbow is still wonky and won’t let him throw), then when he actually caught up with a ball hit by Diaz, he threw to first, even though he had no chance of making the out, and threw it in the dirt to score Escobar.
Derek Lowe was in ground ball mode. He made the 1-0 lead hold up until the fifth, not allowing a hit until the fourth. He gave up a couple of hits and a sac fly in that inning. But in the seventh, the Braves erupted, with a little help from Jose Reyes. Santana left after giving up a one-out single to KJ; the reliever gave up a hit to Escobar, then got Prado for the second out. The next reliever, a LOOGY, got a routine groundout from McCann, only Reyes up and dropped the ball to load the bases. Diaz singled in two, the throw to the plate allowing him to advance to second and McCann to third, and Kotchman followed with another single to score both of them.
Lowe gave up a couple of doubles in the bottom of the inning, the first of them eventually scoring, and was pulled with two out and a runner on; Moylan got out of it. Norton hit for Moylan, and singled, followed by a bee-yootiful hit and run single from KJ, and a groundout from Escobar to score Norton. Soriano was wild in the eighth, giving up a hit and falling behind the next two batters, but rallied to strike them out, and got Beltran to fly out to end it. McCann led off the ninth with a double, and came in on a Francoeur sac fly (and one of the worst throws to the plate I have ever seen, from Beltran); Kotchman eventually came home on a pinch-single by Infante.
With a six-run lead, Gonzalez could sit, but Buddy Carlyle screwed the pooch. The leadoff infield single was one thing, and then he got a double play. But he gave up a walk, a double, and a single, and Gonzalez had to get up as the save was suddenly close to in play. But Carlyle got Gary Sheffield to end it.
The Braves had sixteen hits, with everyone but Schafer (who did walk) getting one, including Lowe. Escobar and Diaz had three apiece, and KJ and Kotchman had two. They had only one extra-base hit, McCann’s double, but when you get fifteen singles you’ll usually score some runs. Defensively, they turned three double plays, which helped a whole lot.