– MLB – Box Score – Nationals at Braves

I don’t know if it’s the defense or the pitching.  They’re hard to separate.  Tonight, it was mostly the defense on the right side of the infield that broke down in a catastrophic sixth inning, the latest in the hit show, “How Can We Lose This One?”

Hudson was strong through five; the Braves led 2-0 despite giving away baserunners and hitting in bad luck.  LaRotious defense put a runner on second on an error.  A ball got dumped over second base to make it first and third.  Hudson got a popout, but then a clean double tied the game.

A soft single turned into another screwup; Andruw threw home and either missed LaRoche or LaRoche was in the wrong spot, and the runner advanced to second.  Then the Braves brought the infield in with Hernandez at bat, a ball was hit to Marcus’ right; he made a great play to stop it but for some reason threw home rather than to first, he threw it away, two runners scored and Hernandez went to second.  A double later, it’s 5-2, runners second and third, and McBride had to get out of the inning.

Now, Hudson didn’t pitch well, but it’s hard to pitch well when you have to get five or six outs.

Francoeur hit a two-run homer to cut it to 5-4, but the Braves left two on in the eighth and three in the ninth, fittingly with LaRoche making the final out.  You realize we’re just two games ahead of these jokers now?  The Braves left ten men on base and lost two others on double plays.

McCann is about to start a rehab assignment.  Hopefully there will be a season to come back to.