– MLB – Box Score – Braves at Cubs

John Thomson’s not right. That’s pretty clear. He gave up four runs in the third and left with a runner on and two out in the fourth. Joey Devine isn’t ready. This is also clear. He relieved Thomson, allowed a double, then a walk to load the bases, then a grand slam to put the game away — his second in as many outings. Jerome Williams, meanwhile, was great, but unfortunately he pitches for the Cubs.

Thomson’s third inning wasn’t entirely his fault. He did commit three crimes. He allowed a double to the pitcher. He walked in a run. And he allowed a two-run single to Neifi Perez. As Bobby has said, the problem isn’t Thomson’s stuff but his location; even if his finger is “healthy” he doesn’t have the feel of it right now. But the key play in the inning, and the game, was when Marcus tried to cut Williams down at the plate one a one-out grounder. Williams scored the first run of the game, but it was only the third inning.

The problem is that you have to take the out in that situation. The game is still young, and you have to hope you’re going to score at least two runs. Instead, the run’s in anyway, there’s a runner at first with one out. After a walk and an infield single, the bases are loaded, still with one out. Then Thomson walked in a run, followed by a strikeout, then the hit by the Amazing Neifi. Obviously, we don’t know what would have happened after that, but the runner that reached on the fielder’s choice scored, and the other two runs came with two out. You do the math.

I guess I obsessed over one play, but after that inning the game was essentially over. The Braves had only three hits. Andruw hit his 40th homer in the fifth, breaking up a no-hit bid. Marcus and Estrada had the other hits.

Foster and Boyer had good outings. Kolb gave up three hits but got a double play. Reitsma allowed two more runs, which didn’t matter so much except as an example that he’s still not right.

This is at least the third time in the last two years that the Cubs have scored 10 runs on the Braves… The Natspos lost and the Marlins are losing by nine runs. But the Mets have a big early lead and the Phillies are winning… All this and Mark Prior tomorrow. Hopefully Hampton will find his control, since Thomson hasn’t.