Last Night’s Game: The Braves made several base running boo-boos last night. Michael Bourn led off the game with a walk and then was caught stealing. In the 3rd, Bourn knocked in Constanza with a single but was caught in a rundown on the play and tagged out for the final out of the inning. Now I realize “protecting the runner” is standard operating procedure in the major leagues, but I don’t like it; I think it is done way too much and is usually completely unnecessary. In the 4th, McCann got a hit and then got picked off first. The biggest blunder came in the 10th. After Uggla led off with a single, Freeman followed with a single down the right field line. Uggla advanced to third but Freeman appeared indecisive about whether or not to advance to second. The right fielder threw behind him and he was tagged out at first. It appeared that he may have been safe but the replay showed that Freeman’s hand was blocked from reaching the bag by the first baseman’s foot. After a slow start out of the box, he should have just stayed at first. It completely changed the inning-we would have had 1st and 3rd with no outs. Instead the Giants were able to intentionally walk Chipper and then Alex Gonzalez hit into an inning ending double play(oof).
Martin Prado’s game winning RBI last night was his 46th RBI of the year.
Giants: The Giants are really hurting right now. Buster Posey and Freddy Sanchez are out for the year. Andres Torres, Sergio Romo, and Carlos Beltran are on the 15 day DL. Jeff Keppinger, Nate Schierholtz, Aaron Rowand and Pablo Sandoval are all banged up. Plus Jonathan Sanchez sprained his ankle in last night’s game. I know they still have great pitching, but you also have to score some runs to win games. I don’t think this is the year for the Giants.
Around the League: There are some scorching hot teams right now. The D-Backs have won 7 in a row and are 3 1/2 games up on the Giants. We start a series with them on Friday in Atlanta. The Cubs have won 12 of 15 (of course they are still 15 games under .500 and 18 games behind the Brewers!). Speaking of the Brewers, they have won 5 in a row and now lead their division by 7 games over an under achieving Cardinal team. Milwaukee has won 18 of their last 20–that’s crazy! And finally, in the AL, the White Sox have won 9 of 11. They are 1 game over .500 and only 3 1/2 games behind division leader Detroit. You would think that the D-Backs and Brewers will have to cool down eventually. Right?
Phillies: I know everyone says they are the best in baseball now and I guess it’s true. But Cole Hamels will skip at least one turn in their rotation due to shoulder inflammation. I have to wonder if it’s possible that they might pay in October for allowing their starting pitching to pitch so many innings and throw so many complete games. Their starters could head in to the playoffs tired and their bullpen may not be prepared to face some real pressure situations. Last night, Roy Halliday headed into the ninth with a 2-1 lead on the D-Backs. He gave up consecutive singles to start the inning but Charlie Manual left him in. He then gave up a 1 out, 2 run double to Overbay. Halliday stayed in the game and got his 7th complete game but also picked up his 5th loss.
Standings: The Braves are 7 1/2 games behind the Phillies in the NL East. We are the wild card leader over the Giants by 6 games and over the Cardinals by 7 games.
Tonight’s Game: Giants RH Matt Cain vs RH Jair Jurrjens at 7:10 on Peachtree TV. Go Braves!