Diamondbacks 7 (23-35), Braves 4 (33-25)
WP: Haren (6-4)
LP: Lowe (8-5)
SV: Qualls (11)
Once again...the Braves did not deserve to win this game with the way they played, yet the go ahead run was at the plate in the 9th inning. The game started badly and ended badly, and you usually just can't overcome something like that. Derek Lowe...was really bad last night. It was a flashback to his start in Philadelphia at the beginning of May. 4 innings, 7 earned, a homer, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts, and a big fat loss. FIP for the evening: 6.95. The game was still in reach until the 4th inning, when the Diamondbacks took a 5 spot, highlighted by an absolute BOMB of a homer by Mark Reynolds and a three run triple by Stephen Drew that was 5 feet away from being caught by Jason Heyward. Thing is...once Lowe left, the Braves pitching was fantastic. Cristhian Martinez stopped the bleeding by pitching 2 perfect innings with 3 strikeouts, and Craig Kimbrel and Billy Wagner each threw 2 scoreless with a pair of strikeouts. I'm not going to mention the point that it was apparently OK to use Wagner down 3 in the 8th inning as opposed to a tie game in the 11th...because that would just get me angry.
The Braves offense was a mess. One run scored on a DP ball that Melky Cabrera somehow beat out. One run scored on a bases loaded hit by pitch to David Ross. The other 2 runs scored legitimately...ironically by hits from Cabrera and Ross. The Braves stranded 12 men, and Yunel Escobar hit into a game ending double play with the bases loaded in the 9th to end the game. Always nice and frustrating. The Braves had 11 hits, walked 6 times...and only got 4 runs. It makes you want to SCREAM. 6 Braves reached base multiple times, highlighted by Eric Hinske's 4 times on base, and Troy Glaus's 3. Neither of those men drove a runner in though, since the top 4 men in the order combined to go 4/17 with 5 strikeouts. Two of the top 3 men in the order, Jason Heyward and Martin Prado, both had hand issues and couldn't swing the bat worth a damn, going 1/9 with a walk and those 5 strikeouts I previously mentioned. They've been the key to the offense during this 15-5 streak the Braves have been on, and when they struggle, the Braves struggle to score runs. Both deserve a day off, but with Chipper Jones and Nate McLouth both battling injuries of their own...its not a good time for a day off.
Tonight's game is another 9:40 start time...I have to be up at 5 AM on Wednesday, so I have no idea how much I'll be able to watch, or when the recap will be up. Pitching matchup is Edwin Jackson for Arizona, and Kris Medlen for the good guys. Hope this one turns out a lot better.