HT to Tara for catching some mistakes I made while writing in rage. You're the smartest person I know who has "diva" in their Twitter name.
Marlins 5 (49-49), Braves 4 (57-41)
WP: Sosa (2-2)
LP: Chavez (2-2)
Ah yes...what an infuriating game today was. We're going to start with the offense. The Braves jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead after a first inning RBI single from Brian McCann, and a third inning solo homer from Eric Hinske. After a pair of 1-2-3 innings, the scoring commenced with another run in the 3rd, after a Melky Cabrera sac fly with the bases loaded to cut the Marlins lead to 4-3. With men still on the corners, Bobby Cox decided NOT to pinch hit for Jair Jurrjens...it was an interesting move at the top, as JJ was an inning removed from allowing 4 runs. So he hit for himself, and flew out to end the threat. That wasn't all for the scoring opportunities though...the Braves would once again load the bases in the 7th. Bobby made the genius (cough) decision to pinch run Nate McLouth for Eric Hinske, who had reached base in 3 of his 4 plate appearances on the day. Naturally, Troy Glaus grounded into a double play, and the Braves' hottest hitter on the day was out of the lineup. Fantastic. 8th inning...nowhere near as heartbreaking. Cabrera doubled to lead off the inning, and Chipper Jones banged him home on the next pitch with a double of his own. Tie game. That ended the threat that inning. 9th inning. Brian McCann walks, and is pinch run for with Matt Diaz. Diaz tries to steal and is thrown out. So theres the Braves' best power option out of the game. Awesome. 10th inning. Jorge Sosa, the HORRIBLE TERRIBLE AWFUL Jorge Sosa, comes in...and gets a 1-2-3 inning on 8 pitches. At this point, I can't make anything up. One more for the road: 11th inning. 3 straight singles load the bases for Eric...er, excuse me. McLouth. He grounds into an inning ending double play. So the Braves load the bases 3 times in the final 3 innings, and get one run out of that whole ordeal...the other run naturally came with no one on. Woulda been nice to have that Chipper double with more than one runner on base. But alas. Omar Infante got into the game in the bottom of the 11th inning. He's been swinging a pretty sweet stick, and you don't use him to pinch hit for McLouth in the 11th? I understand you're trying to get McLouth's confidence up and all, but christ almighty. Overall: 11 stranded. Jason Heyward, Hinske, and McCann all reached base 3 times. Two of those men were pulled from the game. We're at the point where I'm actively cheering for Melky to be playing every day, and that is a sad, sad situation. He's 8 for 27 with 5 extra base hits since the break...I've reached the stage where I'm cool with that considering the complete lack of production out of McLouth. He's 1 for 17 since coming off the DL. I stood by him when he slumped this spring. I stood by him when he slumped in April and May. No more. No...more.
Lets talk about the pitching, and I'll probably get angry again. Jair Jurrjens pitched well, despite what the statline says. He allowed 4 runs in his 7 innings, all of which came in a 4th inning where a downpour was raging and he couldn't grip the ball properly. 2 walks, 6 strikeouts, and only 103 pitches in those 7 innings. I wasn't too pleased with the decision to not pinch hit for him back in the 6th, but it paid off and saved a couple innings out of the bullpen. He did very well, and I'm happy with his progress since his return. As for the bullpen...Peter Moylan struck out the side swinging in his inning of work. Takashi Saito got a pair of strikeouts in his perfect inning. Jonny Venters allowed a hit, but got an easy DP ball to get out of it. And then...Jesse Chavez. Single, single, walk single, and we're going home. He only threw 10 pitches...and 4 of those came on an intentional walk. When you allow 3 hard hit singles on only 6 pitches, you suck. He needs to go. I can't take seeing this sack of crap in the bullpen coming into situations like this. I can understand why Bobby didn't want to use Mike Dunn, after his last performance where he couldn't find the strike zone with a seeing eye dog. He hasn't pitched since Thursday though, so he's fresh. What about Kenshin Kawakami? He's pitched exactly once since being booted from the rotation a month ago. Why are you even going to keep him on the roster if you're not going to use him? Cox is essentially working with a 5 man bullpen right now due to his lack of use of Kawakami, apparent nonreliance on Dunn, and the straight up "blowtorch to the gasoline" phenomenon that is Chavez. The best question of all...why not use BILLY WAGNER in that key spot? He's the best pitcher in the pen. I don't care if he's got 2 straight blown saves. He is the *best* pitcher in the pen, and I don't care what people have to say about Venters. The stupid philosophy that managers have today about using closers in non-save situations infuriates me. He'll use Wagner with a 6 run lead to get him work at home, but won't use him in a tie game in extra innings on the road? Stupidity. Pure, unabashed stupidity.
Alright. Offday tomorrow, then on to Washington to take on the not totally horrible Nationals. Awesome pitching matchup Tuesday between the NL East studs of the next 5 years: Tommy Hanson vs Stephen Strasburg. SICK!
Site notes: WPR will be up tomorrow. Mississippi's got a doubleheader today that's not starting for another 2 hours, and Randall Delgado is pitching the second game...don't want to neglect his first AA start.