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game-recap-81010 | August | 2010 Articles

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Game Recap - 8/10/10

Written by Joe Lucia on .

Let me break from my usual teaser tradition and say...THIS was a game. Holy god, THIS was a game! Braves 4 (65-48), Astros 2 (48-64) WP: Venters (4-0) LP: Lindstrom (2-3) SV: Wagner (28) Lets start off with an apology: there was none of the usual Monday fun because...I was in the ER for 4 hours! Always fun. I'm fine though, and actually might be blogging more over the rest of the week because I've been barred from working. Always a good time. Now, the nitty gritty. It looked like the major storyline coming out of tonight's game would be the injury to Chipper Jones in the bottom of the 6th inning. A ball was hit down the line that he backhanded and made a Zimmerman-esque leaping throw to get the runner at first. Problem is, he landed bad on his left leg (the one with the reconstructed ACL from 16 years ago) and went down in a heap. After a few minutes, he was able to limp off the field under his own power. The initial diagnosis is a strained left knee, which is a huge relief to Braves fans. There could be more damage however, and a MRI is scheduled for Thursday in Atlanta. So yeah...no Chipper in the lineup probably through the weekend, which is a shame with the way he's been hitting. He had a double in 2 at bats tonight, and has a 1.297 OPS in August. Yeah, the old Chipper is back...here's hoping this knee injury is nothing serious and that he's back in the lineup next week. Tonight was all about Jair Jurrjens and his dominance...until the 8th inning, when shoddy managing and defense took center stage. Through 7 innings, JJ had only allowed 5 hits, hadn't walked a batter, and struck out 2. He also had gotten 12 ground ball outs, and would end the night with first pitch strikes to 23 of the 31 batters he faced. Bobby let him stay in the game for the 8th, going through the Astros lineup for the fourth time...that usually does NOT end well. Tonight was one of those nights. Michael Bourn led off with a triple to put a runner on third right off the reel. JJ got a fantastic, tough struck of Angel Sanchez (note: I have no idea who Angel Sanchez is), and that brought Jeff Keppinger to the plate. Keppinger bounced one to short that Alex Gonzalez speared...and threw away, just like we're getting used to. All of a sudden, its a tie game and the Astros have a runner on second with one out. Hunter Pence was intentionally walked, and that spelled the end of the day for Jurrjens, to bring in Peter Moylan...for his 4th appearance in 5 days. Bobby, I'm begging you...don't go killing bullpen arms in August. Its not gonna end well in October. Moylan's first hitter was the fat tub of goo that is Carlos Lee. Lee bounced one to Gonzalez...who threw it into right field instead of taking the sure out at first. The error was inexplicably charged to Omar Infante. Keppinger scored, 2-1 Houston. The rest of the inning went by uneventfully...Pence was thrown out trying to steal third, and Moylan allowed a single to Chris Johnson on a hit and run (WITH CARLOS LEE DOING THE RUNNING) that somehow worked. Moylan out, Jonny Venters in. Venters actually got last night's shellhammer game off, and was relatively fresh. He got Jason Michaels swinging to end the Houston 8th. The Braves offense was struggling terribly all evening. Going into the 7th inning, the Braves had one hit: the aforementioned double by Chipper. Happ had walked a pair, and probably shouldn't have come out for the 7th inning...but he did. He started off with a walk to Brooks Conrad. Matt Diaz worthlessly struck out. Brian McCann walked. 2 on, 1 out for the decaying corpse of Troy Glaus, with the exhausted Happ on the hill...and Glaus smashes a single to right to bring in Conrad. First run of the game, and it felt good to get. But as we already discussed, that lead would be blown by the crappy defense and bullpen management that took place in the 8th inning. So anyway. Braves down 1 in the 9th, Astros closer Matt Lindstrom up...tonight's scapegoat, Alex Gonzalez leads off with an infield single on a ball he beat out by maybe a step. That brought up the replacement for the legendary Chipper, Mr Conrad...and the king of clutch does it again. Deep fly ball to right...and gone. 2 run homer to give the Braves a 3-2 lead. And just for the hell of it after another Diaz strikeout, Glaus tattoos a fastball into the left field seats. 4-2. Wagner comes in for the 9th and goes 1-2-3 as I post Metallica lyrics on Twitter. Huge win for the team, despite the crappy offense output until the 9th inning. Conrad and Glaus were the only Braves to reach base twice, and they were also the only Braves to drive in runs...and they scored 3 of the team's 4 runs. I'm gonna miss having Conrad's bat off the bench while he's playing third for the rest of the week with Chipper out, but man is he one hell of a player for this team in 2010. Remember back in March, when I was going back and forth between him and Joe Thurston making the final roster? Yeah...that was a long time ago. In even better news: the Phillies got crushed by the Dodgers today, and in the process, used nearly their entire bench and bullpen. The lead is up to 2.5 games, and that makes me a very happy man. Tomorrow, we've got a day game, and I know what I'll be doing in my time away from work...its a 2:05 start at Minute Maid Park. Your pitchers for the afternoon are Tommy Hanson and Wandy Rodriguez. 7 of Rodriguez's last 8 starts are of the quality variety, while Tommy counters with 4 in a row, and 7 straight starts of 3 earned or less. Should be another low scoring game. Celebrate tonight's win Braves fans...we all earned it with everything this team put us through tonight.
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