ESPN – Astros vs. Braves – Box Score – July 04, 2008

I do believe that the Braves are 3-0 when Jeff Francoeur doesn’t play start. I’m just saying.

Hudson got through a first-inning mini-jam (a key, considering all the times the Braves have fallen behind early in recent games) and then they got some runs. In the second, the Booth Idiots had simultaneous orgasms when (after a walk by Teixeira and a single by McCann) KJ hit a fly out to deep right to move Teixeira to third, and Kotsay hit a soft flyout to left to score him. Whee, “productive outs!” In his first major league AB, Jason Perry did more than Francoeur has in the last six weeks, tripling over the right fielder to score McCann. It was Perry’s only hit of the night, but he hit two other balls hard and worked the count, two other things the man he was replacing hasn’t been doing.

In the third, McCann singled home Chipper with two out. The Astros got a run in the sixth after Hudson “walked” the pitcher on a 3-2 pitch right down the middle. (As usual, the umpire then made it all about him, walking out to the mound to yell at Hudson; again, it’s time that MLB fired a few of them again, just to remind them that they are not the featured attraction and that their jobs are not difficult.) KJ pulled a Prado on a double play ball (getting the batter but the runner advancing) and Berkman singled; it could have been worse, but no run should have scored.

KJ made up for his mistake with a two-run homer in the bottom of the inning. In the seventh, Chipper singled home Blanco with two out to make it 6-1. Bobby went to the pen (Hudson was at 97 pitches and not looking sharp) and Boyer, who is obviously completely washed out at this point, gave up hits to the first two before a lineout to Blanco that was almost a disaster. Bobby got him out of there at that point, and Bennett then walked Lee to load the bases. He got out of it due to incredible luck, a soft liner that KJ let drop, throwing the runner out at second and getting the runner from second into a rundown. Because it wasn’t a force, the run from third scored, but they got out of the inning. Gonzalez struck out two and got a popup in the ninth for the Atlanta Save.

Teixeira had three walks; in his last seven games, he has two three-walk and two two-walk games. I don’t know that this means anything, I just thought it was interesting. Kotsay had a hit and a fine play in center, and seems to be rounding into shape.