Javier Vazquez had one of his strongest outings this season and the Braves offense couldn't even manage to get one run for him. In a game where I saw his ERA drop from 3.18 to 3.09 out on the screen in left field, Vazquez fell to 5-7 on the year. He pitched 7 2/3 innings and gave up only 6 hits and 1 earned run while striking out 8. O'Flaherty and Soriano finished off the game without allowing another hit.
Yet, I'm having to sit here and tell you about how the Braves lost to the Red Sox by a score of 0-1. While I think the home plate umpire did Vazquez and the Braves huge disservice by failing to call a strikeout on Big Papi in the sixth, allowing the inning to continue until a run was finally scored, the fact remains that you cannot win a game without scoring runs. And you certainly cannot win a game without scoring any runs at all.
The Braves had just four hits yesterday, two from Gregor Blanco who was filling in for the injured Nate McClouth. I'll give them credit and point out that there were only two strikeouts, both on Diory Hernandez. They just couldn't get a ball to fall in a gap, especially when there were runners on base. Speaking of runners on base, the Braves had two stolen bases yesterday. Perhaps not all that noteworthy except that one of them was by Brian McCann. Not at all known for his speed, McCann managed to rack up his fourth stolen base of the year. The element of surprise and the slow nature of Wakefield's pitching were contributors. Nonetheless, I love seeing McCann steal a base!
Today the Braves will send rookie Tommy Hanson (3-0, 3.13 ERA, and the author of our last win) to face Brad Penny (6-2, 4.93). This matchup is certainly the best shot at a win we've had this series, so let's hope we at least manage to avoid the sweep!
I'm leaving town from the game today, so I may not be able to get up the sixth installment of Six Games in Six Days, but I'll certainly try.