Say it together, everybody: TAKE THE OUT, STUPID!
Leading 1-0 in the third after an ACHE homer in the second, Ross led off with a double. Hanson was up, and so he bunted. The D-Backs’ pitcher tried to throw out Ross at third, a very difficult play even with a catcher running. He threw it away, Ross scored, and Hanson went to second. The Braves scored five more runs in the inning. Chipper drove in Hanson with a sac fly, LaRoche walked with the bases loaded, and Church hit a bases-clearing double. (See, you can score from first on a two-out double even if you’re painfully slow.) Arguably, none of the last five runs would have scored if he’d just taken the out; because Hanson didn’t get a sacrifice, none of the runs were “earned”. They still count, and meant that the game was all but over after three innings.
Hanson cruised through four innings, then got in trouble in the fifth, allowing a solo homer and (after an out) three straight singles to cut it to 7-2. But the Braves answered right back, with LaRoche hitting a two-run homer. Hanson wound up going six, striking out seven without a walk. It’s another strong start for the rookie.
Bobby decided to use all his lefthanders out of the pen, after consistently letting righthanders pitch to Ryan Howard. Whatever. Logan gave up a two-run homer in the seventh. O’Flaherty gave up a hit an a walk in the eighth, and Gonzalez, whose arm is still attached for now, gave up a hit, a walk, and a HBP but no runs. His control was way off; no doubt he hasn’t pitched enough to stay sharp.
The Braves had only six hits, against ten for the D-Backs. After this last series, I’m not going to complain… McLouth was put on the DL, but the Braves decided to stick with the Anderson-Church-Diaz alignment instead of calling up Heyward, and instead activated Reid Gorecki. I’ll try to write him up sometime soon. Gorecki didn’t bat, but did play the last three innings in left field. I think that gives him an encyclopedia entry, but I’m sure at some point he’ll get to actually swing a bat.