The Braves did not lose all six games of this road trip. Today they beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 2-1.
Big Dawg Alex Wood was dominant. He had to be. Wood went 7.1 shutout innings. He allowed five hits, hit one Pirate, walked none and struck out eight.
Offensively, the Braves EXPLODED for two runs.
After swapping goose eggs through the first four innings, the Braves waited until two out in the fifth to A-B-E their first run. Cameron Maybin singled, took second on a Francisco Cervelli passed ball and scored on Nick Markakis’ single. Chris Johnson followed Neck with another single, but A.J. Pierzynski’s cued liner was gracelessly snared by Sean Rodriguez to forestall further damage.
Wood was good until he allowed an almost home run two-bagger off the left field wall to Neil Walker with one out in the eighth. Fredi, bless his little heart, brought in Jim Johnson in relief. Johnson ended the threat, striking out Always Trouble Josh Harrison and getting pinch hitter Pedro Alvarez to fly out to center.
In the Pirates’ eighth, Eury Perez replaced Jonny Gomes in left field for defensive purposes. What this simple declarative sentence implies about The Grit’s remaining baseball skills I do not know. I have opinions on this subject which I will share if you ask.
Jason “Full Pack” Grilli retired the first two Pirates in the ninth without trouble. Then Grilli breathed life into the Buccos by walking Cervelli. Braves Killer Jordy Mercer hit a long but playable fly ball to deep left center, and Braves fans everywhere learned that Perez and Maybin skipped physics class the day they covered the laws of motion. Otherwise, they would have learned that every object in a state of (Braves) uniform(ed) motion tends to remain in that state of motion unless an external force is applied to it.
Perez and Maybin both ran at full speed chasing Mercer’s blast. Both called for the ball, neither heard the other and…
For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.
At Eddie Perez’s urging, Maybin hustled the ball back to the infield, holding Mercer at second. Perez didn’t hustle anywhere or anything. For the second time this series, a Brave lay damaged on the Pirates’ field.
After quite a while, Perez walked under his own power off the field. Joey Terdoslavich took his place in left.
Ho-hum. Braves win. Let’s go home.