A disappointing end to a productive road trip, but not a surprising one. Wandy Rodriguez dominated the Braves the last time he faced them, and the Braves only won because they were able to keep it close for Brian McCann, the best catcher in baseball, to put on some late-game heroics. The Astros blew this one open in the sixth, and McCann was 0-3.
The Braves’ best shot came in the first when Jordan Schafer doubled and Dan Uggla walked, but McCann and Chipper Jones couldn’t get them in, and after Freddie Freeman walked to load the bases Joe Mather was at the plate, so there wasn’t going to be much chance of scoring. Derek Lowe looked pretty good for two innings, but in the third allowed a two-run homer to Hunter Pence to make it 2-0. It would turn out to be all the Astros would need, but not all they could get.
Lowe complete broke down in the sixth, single-double-groundout-single, and it was 3-0 with two men on. Fredi brought in Scott Linebrink, and you all know I have little use for Linestink but (a) he had actually been pitching pretty well, (b) Jonny Venters, and possibly Eric O’Flaherty, weren’t available, and (c) the game looked like pretty much a lost cause anyway. About five seconds after Linebrink entered, the score was 7-0. George Sherrill allowed a run in the seventh to make it 8-0. Schafer hit a homer with two out in the ninth to make the score somewhat more acceptable.