Atlanta Braves vs. Houston Astros – Box Score – August 09, 2010 – ESPN.

A pathetic act of baseball vandalism. Mike Minor pitched pretty well, but the defense was atrocious, and his luck wasn’t much better. He, at least, got a no-decision. The team wasn’t that lucky. If this game was a player, it would be Jeff Francoeur.

Minor breezed through the first three innings, and had a 2-0 lead entering the fourth after Gonzalez doubled in Ankiel with two out in the first (Minor should have scored Gonzalez with a single in his first major league PA, but was thrown out by the right fielder when the first baseman stood on top of the plate) and a homer, his first in forever, by Heyward.

The fourth was one of those innings that shows why BABIP is important and why strikeouts are the best kind of out. The Astros had three hits, four of them doubles, to score three runs, and none of the balls was hit really hard; the first two RBI came on a pop fly behind first base that a non-paraplegic first baseman (that is, not Troy Glaus) might have had, and a flare to center that went, maybe, 80 feet. It was sad.

Chipper and McCann put the Braves back in front in the sixth, Chipper doubling to lead off and Brian following with a long homer that did not move the leadoff man to third base with one out. That’s just not sound fundamental baseball. After that, virtually nothing went right.

In the bottom of the inning, the leadoff man reached on Minor’s only walk, then stole second (a good throw would have had him) and went to third on a weak grounder. Bobby brought the infield in, which I hate, but it worked, the ball being a soft grounder right to AAG, who booted it. Run scores.

Minor was out of the game in the seventh for a pinch-hitter; Chipper’s broken-bat fly ball with two out and two on was a little too hard to fall. And in the bottom of the inning, the Astros scored six runs after Bobby made the mistake — AGAIN — of bringing in Kyle Farnsworth. Farnsworth shouldn’t even be allowed in the state of Texas. By the time he was out of the game, a run was in, only one out had been recorded, Farnsworth had been charged with a throwing error on a routine soft throw that wasn’t even really a pickoff play that Glaus completely botched, and the bases were still loaded.

Peter Moylan didn’t retire anyone either. By the time he was out of the game, five runs had scored, three of them charged to Farnsworth, and the Astros had cleared the bases on a single to left field when McCann caught Hinske‘s sad attempt at a play at the plate and threw it into the left field corner. The only thing that inning was good for was to burn calories for Hinske. The game went on for a few innings after that but there was no real reason for it.