ESPN – Braves vs. Brewers – Box Score – May 29, 2008

See, that’s how you get yourself a really distored Pythagorean record — you lose two one-run games then you win by seven. At first, it looked like more of the same. With the bases loaded and one out in the first, Norton (playing left because Kotsay is still out, hitting fifth because it was McCann’s day off and the other options were even worse) grounded into a double play. They finally got a run, after eighteen innings, in the third, on an infield single back of first base by Teixeira (a great play would have gotten him, but as it was he and the pitcher ran into each other). But Norton grounded out and that was the end of that threat. The truly horrible Abe Miller lined into a double play (Francoeur helped) with two on and nobody out in the fourth.

Jorge Campillo, meanwhile, was doing what the Braves’ starters have all series and holding the Brewers down. Finally, in the fifth, the Braves burst through for some real offense. KJ singled with one out, then stole second, which of course turned on the “Walk Chipper” signal. Finally, Teixeira made them pay with a three-run homer to make it 4-0. With two out, Francoeur doubled and Blanco was intentionally walked. They then walked Corky (who is hitting .077) to load the bases, and Campillo came through with a single to make it 6-0. He made one mistake, leading off the bottom of the inning, allowing a solo homer to Branyan, but that was it. Campillo struck out six and didn’t walk any in five innings, leaving with 73 pitches thrown and 49 strikes. I don’t know if it was blisters again or overcautiousness.

Bobby now has an eight-man bullpen, and yet won’t use at least three members of it. Instead, the same guys who pitched earlier in the series came out with a five-run lead. Bennett got lucky in the sixth when the Brewers made a baserunning mistake and got caught in a rundown between home and third to end the inning. Boyer got two men in the seventh, but walked two, and Bobby came back with Acosta, who was well rested, and who faced four men in all and struck them all out. (He also batted with the bases loaded and two out in the eighth inning, when a 6-1 lead is not that safe, but whatever.)

Johnson came through with a bases-loaded two-out single in the ninth to make it 8-1. Coming back off the DL, Soriano struck out the first man he faced, but walked the second, and his velocity (according to Gameday) seems to be down. I remain unconvinced he’s truly healthy, but the Brewers didn’t do anything to him.

Chipper was 2-4 with two walks and is hitting .420. His on-base percentage is about .500. The Braves had twelve hits and eleven walks, and everybody reached base at least twice except Norton, who was 1-4 before leaving for defense. On to Cincinnati.