This one’s on Bobby. I wouldn’t say that the Braves would have won if he managed better, but he managed in a way that reduced the chances of winning. It wasn’t murder, but it was probably manslaughter. Manuel didn’t manage any better, but his dumb moves (mostly bunts) worked out is all.
In the seventh inning, after getting two-hit for the first six by Johan Santana, the Braves loaded the bases with one out. trailing 2-0, with singles by Diaz, Church, and (pinch-hitting) ACHE. And then Bobby lost it and had Conrad, his only remaining pinch-hitting threat, run for ACHE. It made no sense whatsoever. There was no stolen base threat. If Anderson is hurt, you could have used Hernandez, or even Jurrjens. Instead, he lost Conrad, who wound up getting stranded and no run scoring in the inning when McLouth struck out and Prado grounded out to first.
Chipper led off the eighth with a homer to cut it to 2-1, and McCann followed with a single. Okay, running for McCann there makes a certain about of sense, though of course Conrad is also your only reasonable stolen base threat off the bench and instead Diory comes in, and he is no good at anything. Then Bobby has Yunel try to bunt, and you know that bugs me, but the pitcher is super wild and goes 2-0. 2-0 is a reasonable hit-and-run count, I guess, but putting it on here, with a pitcher who can’t throw a strike when you’re trying to give him an out, is foolish in the extreme. Sure enough, the pitch was way inside — the only way Yunel could have hit it was with his shoulder — so he took the pitch, and Hernandez was thrown out. Sure enough, Yunel walks. With two out, Kotchman singled, and Church walked. However, Bobby uses Ross, his only remotely useful remaining bench player, who has to come into the game anyway, to pinch-run for Kotchman, who had hurt his knee on a foul ball, and sends up Greg Norton to hit. Norton, who has about as much reason to be in the big leagues as I would have editing the New Yorker, goes 3-1, then misses two meatballs over the middle to strike out. And then Acosta comes in and gives up three runs, the capper being a pathetic single up the middle by Jeffy. Perhaps the worst thing about all this will be that the Francoeuriots will go crazy about him going 2-5 when his hits were the aforementioned pathetic single and an even more pathetic chopper off the plate.
Simply put, a terrible job of managing. As I mentioned in the game thread, a relatively simple computer program could have done better.
Kenshin Kawakami was hung with the loss, though he actually pitched quite well; he did issue a bases-loaded walk in the Mets’ two-run sixth inning, but most of the rest of the inning was in no way his fault. Francoeur still sucks.