Dan Uggla, once again, got things started, and out of the way, with a second-inning homer to straightaway centerfield. Later in the inning, a Jose Constanza bunt attempt (he was called out, rightly, for running out of the baseline to avoid a tag) scored Chipper Jones to make it 2-0. The Cubs got a run back off of Mike Minor in the third, but that was as close as they’d get.
Chipper hit a long homer in the bottom of the inning, scoring Freddie Freeman and Uggla, to make it 5-1, and then Constanza (career minor league homers: seven) added on with a solo homer — down the line to the opposite field — to make it 6-1. Freddie and Uggla went back-to-back in the fifth, and then Zambrano threw at Chipper to get ejected from the game. Joe Simpson went crazy about how unprofessional Zambrano was being, as if pitchers haven’t been doing that after giving up homers for a hundred years, but anyway I had a certain sympathy for Zambrano. If I had given up eight runs and five homers in 4 1/3 innings and my manager was refusing to come get me, I might take matters into my own hands myself.
Anyway, the Cubs crawled back to 8-3 when Martin Prado hit the wall and dropped a ball for a double in the sixth; Cristhian Martinez wound up having to come in and finish the inning for Minor. There would be no Proctoresque setup for a save nonsense on this night. The Braves got the runs back in the bottom of the inning with a Brooks Conrad single and Michael Bourn sac fly.
Farewell to Ernie Johnson. He is missed.