– MLB – Box Score – Nationals at Braves

Wow. Walk off, grand slam homer by Francoeur with two out. Braves rally in a game that they never should have had to.

After Sosa blew a 2-0 lead with single runs in the third and fourth, he got the lead back in the fifth on a solo homer by Pratt. But Bobby waited too long. As I’ve been saying since he got here, Sosa’s a guy you have to be very quick with the hook with. Once he gets around 80 pitches, you have to be ready to pull him. Bobby wasn’t, or didn’t anyway, and after giving up a double to Royce Clayton — who is a good player only in comparison to the man he replaced at shortstop — then a game-tying single to the pitcher, Bobby left him in there. Soriano homer, 5-3. Ruined what was to that point a pretty decent outing (5 K 2 BB) from Sosa.

The Braves were hitting rockets off the Natspo bullpen but couldn’t get a run in the sixth, seventh, or eighth. Finally, McCann led off the ninth with a homer to cut it to 5-4, then Langerhans and Giles hit hard singles, the first of which nearly took off Cordero’s head.

Bobby had Renteria bunt. I hated that, even though it’s a situation (first and second and none out) where a successful bunt is a good play, because (1) it’s a hard bunt to get down and (2) you have one of your best hitters going up against a guy who isn’t fooling anyone. Why give him an out? Renteria got a decent enough bunt down, but Cordero made a good play to cut down the lead runner.

Chipper hit a ball that almost tied it but which Vidro knocked down for an infield single. Then Andruw just got in front of a ball to pull it foul, then struck out. Then Francoeur ended it.

Reitsma, of all people, got the win for a shutout ninth. Ray and Villareal also pitched, the latter with probably his most impressive outing as a Brave, two strikeouts in the eighth… Marcus had three hits, Andruw joined Francoeur with two.