I have a theory that when a pitcher is being outpitched in a pitcher’s duel, he doesn’t just crack, he just shatters. Since even one run is huge in a game like that, he has to work really hard and be extra-fine to stay in the game. With no margin for error, when things go they often go a lot, and in a hurry. That happened to Javier Vazquez tonight. He kept the Marlins off the board through five innings, but Anibal Sanchez was throwing a no-hitter. Finally, Vazquez cracked, allowing an RBI single to Ramirez in the sixth. Javy broke up the no-hitter himself in the bottom of the inning, but was erased on a double play. But in the seventh, he had nothing, and after Yunel couldn’t get to a grounder, making it 3-0, Vazquez gave up a two-run homer to Ramirez to put the game seemingly out of reach. He probably shouldn’t have faced Ramirez for the fourth time — you should face that guy four times unless you’re going really well.
It certainly hurt in the bottom of the inning, when the Braves finally made some noise. Church doubled, and Chipper reached on an infield single. McCann kept the rally going by lining into an out, but LaRoche ended it with a three-run homer. (I will never stop making fun of Francoeur for that one.) Yunel reached on another infield single, but the Marlins got out of it after that. The Braves couldn’t mount a threat in the eighth — Norton led off the inning, which explains that — and in the top of the ninth, the rains came and basically never stopped. They came back to finish the game with some rain still coming down after about two hours, and it ended in about five minutes. LaRoche actually singled with two outs in the ninth but was thrown out trying to stretch. You know, with the run that wouldn’t tie the game.
Bullpen did a pretty good job; Moylan finished the seventh, and O’Flaherty cruised through the eighth. Medlen was on the mound when the rains came, and had a strikeout and a walk. Logan finished up. Everyone should be available tomorrow.