– MLB – Box Score – Brewers at Braves

Can Dan Kolb throw a pitch so bad that Jeff Francoeur won’t swing at it? Anyway, stop me if you’ve heard this one before…

Miserable Braves Loss Type 4.2(b), “Starting Pitcher Is No Good And Doesn’t Even Pitch Five, Team Can’t Get Hit To Come All The Way Back.”

Kevin Barry was the best the Braves could do, which I guess is okay since he’s about tenth on the depth chart, but he managed to make me miss Cormier, allowing five runs in the first four innings. Actually, it was a near-duplicate of Cormier’s starts.

Still, the Vulture did a pretty good job (he allowed a solo homer but retired everyone else). Ray continued to have nothing, and Paronto had to bail him out in the seventh with a run in. The Braves had two runs at that point, mostly the doing of Pete Orr, in for Aybar who has a hand injury (and I’m guessing will be DLed when Chipper comes back) who scored after doubling in the fourth and tripled in Langerhans in the sixth (but was stranded when Marcus popped up).

7-2 through seven. The Braves finally chased Sheets in the eighth with a double by LaRoche and singles by Thorman and Diaz. Orr’s bunt single loaded the bases and brought the tying run to the plate. Ned Yost continued his cowardly refusal to use Kolb, instead bringing in Jose Capellan just to rub it in. Capellan allowed two flyouts to right (scoring one run) and then Francisco Cordero came in.

Cordero may not have thrown a strike in the inning and a third he pitched. He walked Andruw to load them up and then McCann to score a run. Then Francoeur ejected Barry from the doghouse with, possibly, the worst at-bat anyone has ever had. As time goes on, it becomes more and more likely that Jeff Francoeur is just plain stupid. Quotes from the game thread:

“That was the WORST Frenchy at bat I have seen all year and that’s saying a LOT.” — Alex R.

“I thought I was exaggerating, but that really could have been 6 1/2 feet off the plate. Like, really.” — Rob Cope

“[I]t’s not surprising, but it’s definitely frustrating. Doesn’t seem like there’s any thought at all going into those at bats by him.” — Jonathan

Here is what happened. After a four-pitch walk to Andruw, and a bases-loaded walk to McCann, Cordero clearly was struggling. Do you think that maybe, just maybe, you might want to take a pitch or two? Not if you’re Francoeur. The first pitch was around the ankles; Francoeur popped it up out of play. The next two pitches were sliders in the lefthanded batters box. He swung and missed both.

Danys Baez — or, I suspect, Dan Kolb in a Baez mask — allowed a run in the ninth to make it 8-5. LaRoche singled to lead off the ninth, and Diaz singled with one out, but Orr (needing the homer for the cycle) struck out, and Marcus swung at a 3-2 pitch that was identical to the awful pitches Francoeur struck out on.