I don’t know who was playing yesterday. At first, I’m pretty sure that the Braves were on the field, because they gave up 3 unearned runs in the 3rd after Dan Uggla tossed a grounder to Martin Prado in left field and Jair Jurrjens had to be lifted after 5 barely-effective innings, giving up 9 hits and getting just 2 strikeouts.
After Jurrjens limped through the top of the fifth, it was 3-1, and it was pretty clear that we were going to lose — just read yesterday’s game thread after the Uggla error. Honestly, I’m not sure what happened after that. Kris Medlen came in and pitched three perfect innings of relief. Not much surprise there; he’s too good for the pen.
But then the bottom of the fifth happened. I’m not sure what to believe. I think it was body snatchers, or possibly pod people. Brian McCann singled and Andrelton Simmons reached on what GameDay called an infield hit but was really an infield brain fart by second baseman Darwin Barney, who looked to second before realizing that he wasn’t going to be able to get McCann, then threw late to first base. (Take the out, stupid.) Then Eric Hinske pinch hit for Jurrjens, who didn’t have much left in the tank anyway.
And then… Hinske walked.
After that, the floodgates opened. Michael Bourn hit a 3-run triple, Prado drove him home with a sac fly, and Heyward followed with a solo shot before the Cubs could get out of the inning. The Braves had batted around, so the exact same lineup came up in the sixth. And the Cubs forgot how to find the strike zone. Rafael Dolis got a groundout but walked the bases loaded, and so the Cubs brought in our old friend Jairo Asencio, The Artist Formerly Known As Luis Valdez. He walked in a run, gave up a three-run double to Chipper Jones, and walked the bases loaded again.
Then the Braves finally re-emerged in their own uniforms, as Brian McCann ended the inning and stranded three men by popping out to left after hitting a few grand slam-distance foul balls.
Despite our four famous pitching prospects entering the season, this is an offense-first ballclub with weak and unreliable pitching. The Braves are going to need a lot more blowouts. Here’s hoping the aliens steal their bodies a few more times this week.