That was terrible. Bobby hung Derek Lowe out to dry in the fourth inning, allowing him to give up eight runs on nine hits, resembling nothing so much as trying to save the staff. Except that the Braves entered the inning leading 4-0 and the bullpen was fairly well rested. There was no excuse for that.
The excuse will be, I will guess, that Lowe got some ground balls that the Braves didn’t make plays on. To a degree, that’s fair; LaRoche didn’t react to a sharp one past him for the second hit of the inning, and the backbreaking runs scored on the last hit Lowe allowed which Infante, playing second base, really should have fielded. But there were also the rockets; a liner to open the inning that glanced off Lowe’s fielding hand, and back-to-back doubles by Sheffield and (God, does it hurt) Francoeur, the latter of which would have been a homer in most parks. Lowe was less unlucky than not-lucky; if the Braves had played good defense, he might have gotten out of it with a tie. He was probably nursing a hand problem; at any rate, he showed his right hand to Jeff Porter after the second and the third innings and the booth speculated it might have been a callus that was peeling. And then after the line drive his other hand was hurting; sure, it’s not his pitching hand, but it can mess with your delivery.
Diaz hit a three-run homer in the second to give the Braves the lead; LaRoche, who entered the game after Prado left with a “sudden onset headache” that reminded me of nothing so much as an anemia headrush I used to suffer, and I wonder if they’ve tested his blood, hit a solo homer in the third. The Braves had a couple of other chances after that but nothing came of them. Giving up eight runs in an inning tends to have that effect.
Medlen relieved Lowe, and after giving up a double got out of the inning, then pitched two scoreless innings. He struck out five. The Braves absolutely could have won the game if Bobby had gone to the pen earlier. Acosta, who sucks, gave up a run in the seventh.