While this loss wasn’t really Melky‘s fault, it feels like Melky’s fault. And isn’t that what really matters? He sucks, anyway.
The Braves could have bust it open in the first. Infante, playing for Prado, who is out for probably a week with a cracked pinky, led off the game with a double, then scored on an infield single by Heyward and a throwing error. The Braves then loaded the bases with one out with a single by McCann and a fielder’s choice where the Reds tried to tag out Heyward at third but failed. Hinske drew a walk to make it 2-0, but Gonzalez, who really shouldn’t be playing yet but had to with the Prado injury, grounded into a double play to end it.
Jair Jurrjens was terrific for six innings. The Reds managed only one run, a solo homer by Scott Rolen in the fourth. But the Braves couldn’t get anything going, getting runners on in the third, the fifth, the sixth, and the seventh, but not doing anything with them. With one out in the seventh, Rolen doubled, then Jonny Gomes hit a little flare to make it first and third. A terrible little single past first tied the game. Jurrjens struck out the next man, but then gave up a two-strike double on which Melky cemented his Braves Journal Whipping Boy status. First, he took about seven minutes to get to the ball, which a real centerfielder would have cut off and possibly held to scoring one run (Andruw would have caught it). Then, after finally picking up the ball, he did his best impression of a poorly-coordinated six-year-old and threw it at, roughly, the area somewhere behind the second baseman. Having blown pretty much any chance at the game, Melky tempted the Lockhart Line by laughing at his utter ineptitude. Ankiel can’t get here fast enough. I hesitate to point out that if Blanco were here he would have been playing center.
Jurrjens finished with 6 2/3 IP, six strikeouts, no walks, and five “earned” runs even though nobody but Rolen hit the ball hard off him all day. The Braves might still have gotten him off the hook, but again they got a runner on in the eighth (McCann, who was 3-3 with a walk on the day) and stranded him, and then got the tying run to the plate in the ninth, but Heyward struck out. The important thing to remember is that Melky sucks.