Mark DeRosa = (Bob Horner – Bat).
DeRosa committed four errors in six innings before being replaced by Mike Hessman. Jesse Garcia committed one, and Marcus Giles two costly ones. The Rockies scored eight runs off of Horacio Ramirez, none of them earned. Juan Cruz pitched two innings and was charged with four earned runs, but I’m trying to figure out how they were counted that way. It was bad.
It started in the first, when DeRosa failed to get back to third on a comebacker to the pitcher. Ramirez was going to throw there — I don’t like the play, but that’s how the Braves coach their pitchers — but the base was unoccupied and Ramirez’s hurried throw to first was offline. The game log is saying that it was charged as a sacrifice and a fielder’s choice, but really it was a team error. Then Marcus threw a sure double play ball into left field. (The run here is being called unearned, but it should be counted as earned if I understand the scoring rules correctly, because it would have scored anyway.)
Four errors by one player on four different plays, including back to back plays in the fourth? Have any of you ever seen that? I haven’t. Even Jeff Blauser, when he was having the worst defensive season of any shorstop in the postwar era (1996, when he fielded .926 and finished last in the league in range factor, zone rating, and fielding percentage — a nearly impossible trifecta) never did that.
Given all that, the Braves never had much chance. Marcus did have a homer, and Hessman broke out of a dreadful slump with a double. The Braves had eleven hits and left six men on base, but honestly I can’t get upset about what I consider a subpar (I mean, Shawn Estes in Coors Field!) hitting performance after that fielding debacle.
The Braves get a travel day and host the Padres for three starting Tuesday. I think everyone’s glad to get home. Maybe Chipper will be ready to go. He may not be that much defensively, but everything seems much more professional when he’s around. Plus, well, the hitting.