– MLB – Box Score – Reds at Braves

Who is worse, Adam LaRoche or Dan Kolb? That’s a tough one, huh?

Marcus was the offense today. He hit a solo homer in the first and another one in the sixth. Down 3-2 in the eighth, he hit a two-out triple that just missed being his third homer, then scored on Chipper’s double.

Horacio Ramirez pitched okay, going 7 2/3 and allowing three runs on a solo homer in the first and a two-run homer in the seventh. He left with the bases loaded, but McBride got the strikeout to keep the game at 3-2.

Adam LaRoche is killing the Braves. Nobody else has a first baseman hitting .247/.311/.424. Few have #5 hitters who strike out on three pitches with one out, runners first and third in the eleventh. If Bobby isn’t going to give more of his ABs to Julio, he at least has to get LaRoche out of the five spot. I’d use McCann and Estrada there, but anything would have to be better than LaRoche is right now.

Well, not Dan Kolb. To be fair, if not for the stupid overshift on Griffey he would have gotten a double play to get out of the twelfth. In the end, though, he allowed five runs on four hits and a walk, capped by a grand slam to reach the final score — and take away a chance to maybe re-tie the game. Anthony Lerew made his major league debut by retiring the Reds’ last two batters, though why not just let Kolb keep pitching at that stage?

The good news is that the Marlins and Phillies lost. The Braves maintain a five game lead… The Braves host the Mets for three, starting with Thomson going against… oh, no, not him… Steve Trachsel. Everybody drink a couple of pots of coffee if they want to make it through that game. It will be on TBS, but Smoltz-Pedro in the second game will be on — you guessed it! — Turner South. It’s uncanny.