They tried to blow it. They led 8-3 after the top of the third, and had (obviously) chased the opposing starter. And yet, they very easily could have lost, due to bad defense, an off night by Derek Lowe, and (always) Hibernation Mode. After Chipper drove in two with a bases-loaded two-out single in the third, the Braves got four walks and no hits, and struck out eight times, only three of them by Jordan “Wind Machine” Schafer. Most of the time when they did get the bat on the ball, they just grounded out to second. Here, the Braves finally win a game, and I start out complaining. Blame it on a team that is perfectly capable of losing a game when they score eight runs.
They got a run in the first on a groundout by cleanup hitter extraordinaire Garret Anderson. Lowe, however, gave up a three-run homer in the bottom of the inning to Jorge Cantu, who played the part of Commando Cody Ross tonight. The Braves struck back with four in the bottom of the inning, with the big plays being yet another screwup fielding a sac bunt and not getting the sure out at first and a single up the middle by C.H.E.G. Anderson. In the third, the Braves loaded the bases and the Marlins went to fugitive pitcher Dan Meyer to relieve the faceless guy they had start the game. Meyer gave up hits to Infante (scoring one) and Chipper (scoring two); after that, as indicated above, the Braves did not get another hit.
Cantu doubled in a run in the bottom of the inning to make it 8-4, another in the fifth to make it 8-5, and then came home on another double to make it 8-6. So much for Lowe. Carlyle started the sixth, and gave up two hits to begin it, but got out of it. Moylan needed only seven pitches to get through the seventh, Soriano gave up a leadoff single in the eighth but struck out two in the process of getting out of that, and Gonzalez had no problems in the ninth, striking out the last two batters of the game.
So, a win at last. The problems still remain; the Braves don’t keep applying pressure once they get a lead, they don’t have any significant power (not only no homers, but only one extra-base hit, a double by Chipper), nobody respects the cleanup hitters (Chipper was walked intentionally once, and semi-intentionally before Anderson’s single), Schafer is striking out nearly every time he comes to the plate, and Moylan, Soriano, and Gonzalez are all pitching a whole lot, including in almost every win, rare as those are.