Houston Astros vs. Atlanta Braves – Box Score – May 03, 2009 – ESPN

I really am starting to hate this team.

After a leadoff double in the first, the Astros pushed the run across, but Joseph Reyes settled down, shutting them down for the next four innings. The Braves tied it in the fourth on a single by Ross to drive in Diaz, then took the lead on a bases-loaded balk and a sac fly in the fifth. (By the way, the concept of a bases-loaded balk is ridiculous. The entire concept of the balk is to protect baserunners from trickery by the pitcher, and there is obviously no attempt to steal with the bases loaded. It was a “good call” in the strict legalistic sense, but that only shows that the modern balk rule is absurd.)

But in the sixth inning, with one out, Chipper couldn’t make the play on a bunt attempt, turning it to a single, and Joseph’s evil twin Jo-Jo showed up. Jo-Jo is alternately wild and hittable. He gets behind in the count and then either walks the guy or throws a meatball over the plate. By the time he got out of there, the bases were loaded and the game was tied. Jeff Bennett got out of it with only one run scoring, but the Astros had the lead.

Diaz tripled leading off the bottom of the inning; Ross and Schafer tried to strand him by striking out, but Norton came through (right-handed!) with a single to tie it. But the Braves’ lack of a lefthanded reliever of any quality burned them in the seventh. Bobby used Moylan to face a run of lefties, and he was (like Jo-Jo) alternately wild and hittable, allowing two runs to get the loss. The Braves cut it to 6-5 on a Diaz single in the bottom of the inning, but Schafer struck out with the bases loaded and two out to end that thread. Soriano gave up a run in the eighth, and Francoeur (after swinging at ball four earlier in the count) struck out to end another threat (two on, two out) in the bottom of the inning. They went 1-2-3 in the ninth.

The Braves had eleven hits and six walks, but could score less than a third of those baserunners. Eleven men were left on base, and Escobar grounded into a double play. (Watch out, Sid Gordon!) They struck out ten times.