Martin Prado is really hot. The Prado today went 2-3 with two walks, drove in one run and could have been credited with another except for a rare spasm of common sense by the official scorer, and also scored a run. All in a day’s work at this stage. Really, you’re just surprised now when he doesn’t get on base.
The Cubs, as a big-money team managed by a former Yankee, count as an honorary AL East team, I guess, so Kenshin Kawakami shut them down. He didn’t allow a hit until the fourth, and allowed just one run on a solo homer by his former teammate in Japan, Kosuke Fukudome; Fukudome made up for it later, though. Kawakami struck out just two and walked the same, but allowed only four hits, and the Braves turned three double plays, two for him and one for Moylan in the seventh. The Braves’ defense generally sparkled, with Escobar making a run-saving play in the eighth to preserve
a tie the lead.
The Cubs’ defense did not sparkle. In the third, the Braves took the lead when Prado singled in McLouth; with two out, they probably didn’t have a play, but they definitely didn’t have one when the ball went under the left fielder’s glove. Kotchman hit a homer in the sixth to make it 2-0. At 2-1 in the ninth, with several scoring chances blown, McLouth singled with one out, then scored when Prado singled and the ball went under Fukudome’s glove in center. Prado went all the way to third; in Atlanta, that’s a triple, but the Cubs’ official scorer, as I mentioned, apparently has some common sense and realizes that you don’t have to actually deflect the ball to commit an error. Prado then scored on a wild pitch to make it 4-1. Soriano easily nailed down the easy save, striking out two and getting a flyout.
Francoeur sucks, and I have dubbed what he did today — a groundout, a strikeout, a popout, and a flyout — making outs for the cycle. He tasks me.