The Braves took a 3 – 0 lead after 4 innings, but were undone largely by a 4 run 7th.

Drew Smyly didn’t allow a hit until the 5th, but after a leadoff check-swing single by Brandon Lowe, Mike Zunino doubled. A wild pitch and a sacrifice fly led to Tampa Bay’s first 2 runs. Wander Franco tied the game in the 6th with a solo homer to center, and Smyly’s promising start ended after 5 2/3.

The Braves took the lead back in the bottom of the inning, when Joc Pederson drove in Stephen Vogt, and I’d like to get used to saying that. Pederson went 2 – 4, and Vogt 3 – 4.

In the 7th, A.J. Minter came on to face 3 left handers, and 3 left handers later it was 5 – 4. Luke Jackson relieved and fared similarly. A double by Francisco Mejia and a homer by Yandy Diaz made it 7 – 4. Josh Tomlin and Shane Greene threw a scoreless 8th and 9th though.

Ozzie Albies‘ 2 out double in the 1st scored Freddie Freeman with the Braves first run. The Braves added 2 more in the 4th when Guillermo Heredia drove in Orlando Arcia with a double, and Vogt scored on a force out. Vogt drove in Freeman in the 7th to conclude the scoring.

Albies, Heredia, and Austin Riley joined Pederson in the 2 hit club.

When I was young and dumb, (problems I have since rectified one of) I thought it would be a good idea to manage two youth baseball teams at the same time. One of them went 9 -3; the other 1 – 11, and I could never figure out how I could be so smart on Monday and Thursday and so dumb on Tuesday and Friday.

There’s been a lot of well deserved frustration with the bullpen lately, and some of it has been taken out on Brian Snitker. I really don’t know what people expect him to do with what he has to work with.

I’d like to propose a contest to give us all a chance to show off our managing skills. From the Braves current roster, just pick the 7th, 8th, and 9th inning guys you would use to protect a lead of 3 runs or less and post it in the comments. We’ll track all the candidates in the coming games until we have a winner.

The rules are simple: when one of your guys allows a run, you suck, and you’re fired. Whoever’s picks go the longest without allowing a run is the winner, and gets fired last.

Caution: You’ve got 2021 sample sizes ranging from only 37 2/3 (Will Smith) down to 9 innings pitched (Jesse Chavez,) if that’s what you’re going to use to base your decision.

I’ll go first:
7th: Chavez
8th: Jackson
9th Smith
Duplicates are allowed. There will be no tie-breaker. Let the first-guessing begin.

San Diego comes to town Monday. The Braves are expected to activate Kyle Muller to face Yu Darvish.