ESPN – Braves vs. Reds – Box Score – May 31, 2008

I don’t really believe in curses, but at some point you start to wonder. The Braves still haven’t won a one-run game on the road this year, and still haven’t won an extra-inning game this year, and these are essentially the reasons why they aren’t in first place and if they miss the playoffs they’ll be the reason for that, too.

Jair Jurrjens did not pitch well early on. He allowed two homers to make it 3-0 in the first, and when Greg Norton hit a two-run shot in the second to cut it to 3-2 allowed two more runs in the second to put the Reds back up by three. But he settled down from there, and Teixeira hit a three-run homer to tie it in the third. KJ hit a sac fly in the fourth to give the Braves a 6-5 lead, and you know what that means: Hibernation Mode!

Jurrjens got in trouble again in the fifth and couldn’t finish the inning; Ring got a GIDP to get out of a bases-loaded jam, but the Reds tied it up before that. The Braves did get a solo homer from Francoeur, and good relief pitching from Boyer and Ohman, and led 7-6 headed to the ninth.

I maintained on his first appearance that Soriano wasn’t right, and I see little reason to change my mind. He walked Dunn to lead off the inning. The Reds pinch-ran Freel for Dunn, which was important. Soriano got the next man, but then allowed a single off the wall (tiny ballpark) to make it first and third, one out. The next hitter hit a pathetic two-strike dribber which Soriano fielded. He looked at the runner, but didn’t look him back to third, which he could have with a catcher as the hitter, then threw to first to get the out. Freel broke for home; Teixeira double-clutched, and Freel beat the tag, though McCann argued it and Bobby joined in to protect his catcher and was almost instantly thrown out.

After the game went to extras, it was obvious that the Braves would lose, and the only questions were when and how. Teixeira hit what looked to be a hit to get at least one run home (with Anderson at second and Chipper at first, two out) but the ball just died and was an easy out. Jay Bruce, who isn’t even human, hit a homer to end it in the bottom of the tenth. At least the pain wasn’t dragged out. Chipper was 2-3 with three walks and is hitting .413.

This is going to have to serve as the game thread tomorrow. Presumably Stupid Comcast will have my internet up for a recap tomorrow, but no guarantees.