So, Chipper’s back. Didn’t matter. Charlie Morton fell victim to what so commonly happens to young pitchers who taste immediate success — diminishing returns. He’s pitched somewhat worse in each successive outing, and today was lifted before retiring a man in the third, having given up five runs.
I hate to agree with Chip Caray, but he made what I think is a valid point — Morton might have pitched better if the Braves hadn’t blown early scoring opportunities. They went 0-5 with runners at second base in the first two innings, and after that were really in no danger of taking a lead.
They had one real rally, coming in the seventh when the unlikely happened and Francoeur and Lillibridge (who will hopefully gone tomorrow with Escobar or Infante ready to play) singled. Norton hit a pinch double to score both. Blanco grounded out (the morons in the booth actually applauded, down three runs in the seventh). KJ and Chipper worked walks to load the bases. Teixeira hit a double play ball, but Utley botched it and only got the hitter; McCann grounded out to end the inning and effectively the game. Any chance of a comeback was dashed when Boyer gave up three runs in the ninth, Bobby sitting on his hands and letting him pitch to the lefthanded Victorino with Ring warmed up.
Chipper was 1-3 with two walks. Blanco continued his good work with two hits and a walk. Kotsay was activated from the DL (Brandon Jones was sent to AAA, because Francoeur is a star even though he sucks) but didn’t look too good, going 0-4. Infante was able to pinch-hit.