Ah, the vagaries of run support. Sometimes you’re great, and you give up one run, and you lose. Sometimes you’re not so great, and you give up four, and you win. If “you” are Javier Vazquez, and the Braves’ good hitting after the exorcism of right field continues.
The Braves jumped out early again, with a weird play where Kotchman hit into a first-and-third DP but Diaz (at first) avoided getting tagged and couldn’t be forced at second in time, getting into a rundown more than long enough for Yunel to score from third. (It’s hard to describe, but it happened to the Braves earlier this year, I believe.) Then in the third, Martin Prado struck again, hitting a long three-run homer to seemingly bust it open at 4-0.
But in the bottom of the inning, Vazquez had some control difficulties and a rather silly double caused by the fakey projections in foul territory in this park, which I could easily grow to hate almost as much as Coors Field. Anyway, it was 4-2. The Braves had a real shot to break it open in the fourth, when they loaded the bases on a walk to Kotchman, a “double” off the knee of the second baseman by McLouth, and a walk to Prado, but Chipper struck out and McCann’s fly ball died at the warning track. (Brian wound up 0-6 with three warning track fly balls. I didn’t really think he hit them that hard; maybe the ball was just carrying well.) And then the Brewers got a two-run homer from Braun in the bottom of the fifth to tie it.
But these are the new-look, post-exorcism Braves, and they got right back off the mat, with Chipper hitting a two-out solo homer in the sixth to take the lead. And then McLouth, who had been hitting in such poor luck (other than his “double” in the fourth) took luck out of the equation with a two-run homer in the eighth, after which ACHE drove in Chipper. In the ninth, it was Prado again with a flare single.
Vazquez did strike out nine, but four of the seven hits he allowed were for extra bases. Bobby used Moylan to pitch the eighth; given that with a five-run lead (and not even the excuse that it was close in the half-inning before) he used Soriano (who struck out one to end it) to pitch the ninth, I have to assume Gonzalez was unavailable. I just hope that Soriano isn’t unavailable sometime because he keeps working blowouts… The Braves had seventeen hits and six walks. Really, they should have scored more. Everybody but McCann had a hit (even Vazquez, who doubled to get the three-run third started) led by Chipper with three.