The Braves did all of their damage in the seventh inning, scoring six runs and batting around. Up to that point the bats were flat as Florida starter Nate Robertson limited the Braves to just one run on two hits, and one of those hits was a Brian McCann bunt to the left side of the infield when the Marlins had the over-shift on. But in the sixth inning the Braves victimized the Florida bullpen. It took the Fish three relievers to make it through the inning. The Braves used their patience and a little luck. They got three walks that inning -- all of which scored -- and five singles. The first single came off the bat of Yunel Escobar, and was a ball that the opposing shortstop had a hard time getting out of his glove.
Escobar came up to bat a second time in that inning and came through with his second hit. Yunel had collected just two hits in his previous eight games (spanning 28 at-bats), and he serves up two hits in one inning tonight. Troy Glaus also broke an 0-for-14 slump in the seventh inning with a key two-run single.
As good as the Marlins starting pitcher threw on the night, Braves starter Tommy Hanson struggled, and for a moment in the first inning it looked like he might have a repeat of that disaster in the first inning. Again with two outs Hanson gave up an opposite field line drive solo homerun to Hanley Ramirez, then allowed three straight walks. He looked completely spooked after that homerun. His pitches were all over the place, but he finally pulled it together and struck out the final man in the inning.
Hanson settled down some, but ran into a few more rough spots. He did manage to go six innings, which is another testament to the way he battles through games. He ended up only giving up four hits in his six innings of work, though he did issue five walks. Hanson might be overthrowing in those tight situations. He seems to be more effective when he backs off his fastball just a bit.
Overall it was a good night for the Braves. Thank goodness for the seventh inning rally, otherwise it would have been another rough night. Escobar made it on base three times, and Melky Cabrera and Brian McCann also contributed two hits apiece. Chipper Jones, though, continues to struggle, going 0-for-4 with two strikeouts and a walk. He looked quite fooled on those two strikeouts, and rather unsettled all night at the plate. He needs to get it going. I'll once again call for him to be moved down a bit in the lineup. Maybe not bottom third, but fifth or sixth.
Braves go for the series win tomorrow night with Tim Hudson on the mound.
|Final - 5.26.2010||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||R||H||E|
|WP: Tommy Hanson (4 - 3)
LP: Burke Badenhop (0 - 5)