Pirates 5 (47-91), Braves 0 (79-60)
WP: McDonald (3-5)
LP: Hudson (15-7)
Lets get one thing straight right off the bat: James McDonald is a good-looking young pitcher for the Pirates. Fans who are jumping on this game saying RAWR MCDONALD SUCKS WTF are being silly. But that said...there's no way the Braves should have put up a grand total of 0 runs tonight. The Braves shot themselves in the foot during tonight's game: a caught stealing (with 2 outs), a man thrown out going to second (for the third out of the inning), and a double play (with the bases loaded and one out) were what killed this team. 3 good opportunities to get a run in...and nothing happened. The most patient team in the NL only walked 4 times against this Pirates staff, and could only manage 5 hits. Brian McCann walked twice, Jason Heyward got a pair of singles...and that was really all. Melky Cabrera actually positively contributed, doubling in 4 at bats and seeing 29 pitching...an astounding total. But it didn't matter, because no one could get on base and STAY THERE.
Pitching...Tim Hudson was cruising through 6 innings. 3 hits, no walks, 3 strikeouts...the Pirates couldn't do anything. Then the 7th inning came, and the game went pear-shaped. After a strikeout to start the inning, Hudson allowed the next 4 runners to reach, and it was 3-0. After a Peter Moylan strikeout, Eric O'Flaherty came in and gave up a gopherball to make it 5-0. But those runs didn't matter with how inept the offense looked on the evening. Shoo money tonight, game over. One bad inning is enough to sink this team, apparently. Bright spot: Mike Dunn struck out the side in the 8th. Little things, you see?
Oh, and by the way. For the first time in over 3 months, the Braves aren't in first place. Philly took the lead tonight with an 8-7 victory over the Marlins...who apparently just can't treat both teams better than them in the NL East the same. Depressing. The Braves sit a half game back.
Tomorrow, the Braves look to avoid getting swept and losing on the road yet again. They'll send Derek Lowe to the mound to take on Zach Duke for the Pirates. The Braves have now lost 7 outta the last 8 on the road. That series in Chicago seems like so long ago, doesn't it?