I bet Cubs fans would really be kicking themselves if, you know, they weren’t all already dead inside. At our worst, the Braves would be hard-pressed to strand that many baserunners without getting at least one run.
It all started in the first, when Jair Jurrjens loaded the bases with one out on a walk, a single, and a walk. Considering his recent struggles, you just had to think “Here we go again,” but the Cubs hit into a double play. Jurrjens went on to pitch what I have to say, with all due respect and no exaggeration, the worst 6 1/3 innings of shutout baseball I can ever remember seeing. Eight hits, including a double, and five walks, with only one strikeout. The Cubs left fifteen men on base. They actually got two hits (in fourteen AB) with runners in scoring position but are so slow they still couldn’t score. You can’t do that on demand, it’s really something special.
Not that the Braves were any great shakes with runners on. Two of their three runs came via solo homers, by Freddie Freeman in the second and Dan Uggla in the sixth. Jose Constanza (who later left the game after turning his ankle) scored the other on a Martin Prado groundout in the sixth. It’s almost like Prado didn’t need to bunt yesterday, but that would be silly.
Jurrjens finally left the game after the weakest hit he gave up all night, a bizarre play where Carlos Pena bunted a pop fly against the stupid shift. It went about 80 feet in the air, bounced past third base, and then rolled into foul territory — good thing, too, or it might have been a double. Arodys Vizcaino came in and got the last two outs. Eric O’Flaherty pitched the eighth, giving up a hit but ending it with a strikeout. Jonny Venters closed, in order to get Craig Kimbrel a day off. He walked the first two to bring the tying run to the plate, then in typical Venters fashion got out of it with two strikeouts and a ground ball that Alex Gonzalez made a nice play on to end the game.