Hey, a one-run, come-from-behind win. We didn’t see a lot of that last year.
The Pirates took a 1-0 lead in the first on a couple of singles and a sac fly. The Braves came back to tie with a two-out rally in the third, Chipper driving in the run with an infield single. But sparked by the usual lackadaisical defense from Anderson — it’s almost like he wishes he was in Anaheim or something — and McLouth’s rather more organic poor defense, the Pirates got two runs in the next inning to re-take the lead. The Braves got three straight hits to lead off the fifth, McCann driving home Escobar with a single to make it 3-2, but ACHE grounded into a double play to end the rally.
Diaz (who started in right field, against a righthander, yet) singled to lead off the sixth. KJ bunted, well enought that reached first with a single. Blanco pinch-bunted — I hate the pinch-bunt, Lowe couldn’t do that? — and it was second and third, one out. McLouth was walked, and Yunel came through with his third hit of the night, a two-run single. Chipper grounded into a double play to end it, but we’ll cut him some slack.
He’s having problems on defense, though. Bobby brought in Gonzalez to pitch the eighth, and Chipper screwed up a grounder that could have
brought the tying run to the plate could have put the tying run on base — should have, except that Yunel made a quick throw to first on the deflection, and the umpire missed the call and called the hitter out. In the ninth, Soriano (despite pitching two innings last night) was brought in to close, and was dominant. With two out, Chipper mishandled another ball into a two-base error, but Soriano buckled down and got the strikeout to end it.
As mentioned, Diaz started in right; Jeffy came in for defense in the ninth. Norton started at first, with Prado coming in for defense in the ninth. Norton was 0-4, and if they have such a low opinion of his defense, it’s increasingly bizarre that they’d rather keep him around than Canizares. However, it was Norton’s first start of the season, and in fact his first appearance as anything but a pinch-hitter this year, and I’ll cut him a little slack.