Atlanta Braves vs. Washington Nationals – Box Score – July 04, 2009 – ESPN

Great, a bullpen meltdown. Hadn’t had one of those in a while. Gonzalez came out to start the eighth, leading 3-1, and allowed a single and two walks while getting only one out — or being given it on a bunt. Moylan came in with the bases loaded, and he got the grounder to get out of it, but it found a hole up the middle and scored two runs. O’Flaherty allowed two singles, the second on another grounder that looked at first even more like a double play ball, and it was 5-3. The Braves got two on with one out in the ninth, but McCann lined out pinch-hitting and Conrad grounded out to end it.

Tommy Hanson, however, just keeps getting better. In seven innings he allowed one run on a mammoth homer by Dunn; he’s hardly the first that’s happened to. He allowed just two other hits, struck out five, and walked just one, and 74 of his 105 pitches were strikes. His ERA is 2.25. But I guess he just forgot how to win since his last start.

The Braves took the lead in the third on a single by McLouth to drive in Conrad, and got RBI singles from Chipper and ACHE in the sixth. But they hit into four double plays, which just killed them and kept them from big innings — even in the sixth, Yunel hit into a double play to more or less kill the rally.

The worst part is that the Braves didn’t start Francoeur, who sucks, and now they’re going to go back to starting him because they were winning despite his presence. Trust me, that’s how their minds work. One of ACHE and Diaz, who were a collective 4-7 with a walk and an RBI, will be on the bench tomorrow. ACHE is now hitting .290; it’s not a particularly productive .290, because he doesn’t walk or hit many homers, but it’s a lot better than Francoeur’s .250 with even fewer walks and homers. (Jeffy’s secondary average is .152, which sucks.) Diaz is hitting .315 with walks and some power.

UPDATE: Jeez, I forgot — thanks to Stu for covering for me the last couple of days. Weird timing on my Internet outage, and he stepped up in a hurry.