You see, the nature of modern baseball is that you’re supposed to figure that if you can get a two-run lead to the back of your bullpen you can hold on. It was close there for a minute, but Wickman got it done and the Braves have won three in a row.
McCann was the star, as he so often is. In the first, he scored Chipper with a two-out single, then threw out Hanley Ramirez trying to steal second after a leadoff walk. In the third, he doubled Andruw home from first, again with two out. He couldn’t get Chipper home from third with one out in the fifth, but Francoeur picked him up, and then he singled home Renteria in the seventh. Renteria capped the scoring by singling home Marcus (who did not start but pinch-hit) in the eighth.
Chuck James went six, allowing two runs. He had some walk problems, allowing three in the early innings, but settled down, and equalled his hits allowed with his strikeouts at five. He did allow a homer, but this time shut down Commando Cody Ross.
Paronto pitched the seventh, allowing one run, and I was happy that was all. He got the first two men but walked Uggla, and once he went 3-2 on Cabrera I was just hoping he could hold it to a double. He did, making it 4-3 at the time, but Renteria got the run back after Paronto got out of it with no further damage.
Baez breezed through the eighth. Wickman got the first two in the ninth, but then a bloop single and an infield single got Cabrera to the plate. This time, he grounded out.
Francoeur drew a walk! What’s more, it was on a 3-2 count — I believe his first two-strike walk this year. I’m as shocked as anyone. The Braves could easily have scored a lot more runs and would have in a normal park — Chipper hit two more balls off that stupid wall (again, the point of the Green Monster is that left field in Fenway is very short; you don’t need a wall like that in a normal park) and had another one caught against it, while LaRoche had what was almost a three-run homer caught at the wall in center. I’d guess that in Turner Field the score would have been something like 10-3.