Braves 5, Reds 4

Cincinnati Reds vs. Atlanta Braves – Box Score – May 19, 2010 – ESPN.

The legend continues.

Kenshin Kawakami is never going to win another game. It’s obvious. Tonight, he went six shutout innings and left with a four-run lead, and got a no-decision because the team’s top two relievers couldn’t hold it. It’s not that he was great. He struck out five and walked only one, and he kept the ball in the park, which is what you want. However, he was giving up an awful lot of line drives right at the outfielders. Bobby pulled him after six even though he’d thrown just 79 pitches (53 strikes), apparently because he was suffering from blisters all night.

The Braves had grabbed the lead in the first when the guys who are supposed to carry the team did. Heyward doubled, Chipper doubled in turn, then McCann hit a two-run homer. Chipper singled in Heyward (after a triple) in the fifth. But the Braves didn’t get much from the guys outside the 2-4 spots (seven hits from those guys, just four, two by McLouth, from everyone else) and so the Reds hung around.

Moylan cruised through the seventh, striking out two. But Saito, after getting the first guy, allowed three straight hits, the last a double, to cut the lead to 4-2, and O’Flaherty let an inherited run score to cut it to one. Wagner then started the ninth by giving up a homer to a rookie pinch-hitter, and after allowing a single and a walk labored to just keep it tied.

McLouth and Melky went meekly (alliteration!) leading off the ninth. But Prado singled, bringing up Heyward. Jason worked the count to 3-2, then hit a ball hard down the right field line, all the way to the wall. I’m not quite sure why the right fielder was so far away from the line against a lefty power hitter, but on a 3-2 count Prado was running, so there was no chance of a play, Braves win, and are finally back to .500.

32 thoughts on “Braves 5, Reds 4”

  1. I’m in love with Jason Heyward. I mean Bethany. Wait, what, I’m confused.

  2. I don’t know how you guys are like that with him. I would only sleep with him, no further.

  3. A win is win, I’ll take it. Tough cookies for KK, but he did his job. Great job by the guys who are supposed to hit. Not a good night for a bullpen implosion, but like I said, a win is a win.

  4. Ububba, you must have gotten to see some really unhappy Yankee fans — always a pleasure!

    What impresses me about Heyward is his approach at the plate. Back in April, he struck out a bunch of times on breaking balls in the dirt; now, he doesn’t do that nearly as much. He has enough bat control and knowledge of the strike zone to be able to extend an at-bat until he sees a pitch he wants to swing at, and he hits the ball hard damn near every time. He is getting better before our eyes, and he already has plate discipline and power to rival the best hitters in baseball. He’s otherworldly.

  5. @10 If he is as talented as we know he is, it’s just a matter of Jason seeing more major league level pitching, and this is reflected by his significant decrease in strikeouts in recent weeks. Unlike Frenchy, Jason is actually talented.

  6. I love Medlen.

    “[Francoeur] doesn’t really have an approach,” Medlen said. “He just goes up there hacking. Pablo Sandoval, too, in San Francisco — he swings at everything. I struggle with those kind of guys. I hung a curveball to him and he got his bat to it.”

  7. Great game and I was stoked to be sitting down the right field line tonight where Heyward did his damage. That kid is unreal the way he works counts and gets a pitch he can handle, not to mention doing it repeatedly in high pressure situations.

    Being at the game, I had no idea KK had blister issues. He looked like he settled in during the 5th and 6th, where he retired most batters with weak grounders and strikeouts. It was hard to tell he was laboring, and I was puzzled as to why he came out after 79 pitches. Now I understand. What I don’t understand is Cox’ bullpen management, and the use of Saito again tonight in a 4-0 game. Saito’s ineffectiveness, when he could have used a day off, led further to using Wagner, who also looked to need some rest as well. Cox should have started the 8th with Kimbrel, who is unproven, but again it was a 4-0 game, and brought in Saito IF Kimbrel needed bailing out.

    I was also a little surprised Wagner threw a 2-2 slider to Hisley. I guess had he buried in on his feet instead of hanging it, it wouldn’t have mattered. But being a cold rookie coming off the pine, I would have challenged him with the heat in that situation instead of speeding up his bat.

    Maybe i’m nitpicking, but I’ve never been a fan of Cox, especially his handling of relief pitching.

    Also mention great game for Chipper. It was good to see him drive 2 balls left handed and he looked like his old self tonight.

  8. I think Cox wanted to get KK the win, so he used his best relievers despite the score. Didn’t work, but a win is a win.

  9. AAR,
    It was a full-on beatdown, but crazily enough, the Yanks got it to 10-6 with 2 on base in the 9th. Just a walk & a blast away. Of course, there were only about 900 people left to see it.

    The Rays were kind of amazing tonight. Their speed completely unhinged Burnett. They stole 5 bases, I think. And later, they even scored from 2nd base on a deep fly out to center. (It was on a tremendous diving catch on the warning track in CF by Gardner.)

    But once again, I’m thankful for the MLB iPhone app, so I was able to see the Heyward magic. He did it again. Amazing.

  10. Good god, the Rays are eighteen games over .500. Can you imagine playing in the AL East?

    The Yankees are TEN GAMES over .500…and FOUR IN BACK….

    Just amazing.

  11. After 40 games, the Yanks are on pace to go 101-61.

    But Tampa’s on your basic 117-win pace.

    And come to think of it, I’m thrilled that my team is at .500 right now.

  12. So, Fox is screwing lots of people sat night and Braves will not be televised at all?
    That is preposterous this day and age.

  13. we can gripe that heyward should be batting 3rd, but thank god he was batting 2nd last night.

  14. Maybe it’s just me, but I have this crazy idea that Jason Heyward is better than Jeff Francouer. That can’t be can it?

  15. If Jason hits the ball in the Delta commercial it goes to Warsaw. Infielders, especially the corners live in fear.

  16. Good signs, 2 RBI a piece for Chipper and McCann. McLouth above the Mendoza line and trending up.

    Bad sign: Escobar .198

    Ominous Sign, it is hard for a 40 yr old and a 38 yr reliever to pitch 3 consecutive nights.

    Jason Heyward is my man crush, and I don’t care who knows it.

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