It felt like the Braves were on the verge of doing something all night ... but they never did. Tommy Hanson pitched okay, but he got bitten by the Ryan Braun bug once again. Braun, who homered off Hanson twice in the pitcher's first Major League start, staked the Brewers to a three-run lead as he teed off for the fourth time in 13 at-bats against Hanson in the first inning.
The Braves came right back and tied the game in the top of the second on some terrific two-out hitting by Martin Prado, but in the bottom half of the inning the pesky Nyjer Morgan doubled, stole second, and then bowled over Brian McCann at home plate on an infield grounder to score what turned out to be the decisive run. Morgan followed a trend for Brewers runners crossing home plate of trying to steamroll McCann; in fact Morgan had to go back and touch home because he was so far out of the base line trying to aim for McCann.
My only hope is that the next time we play the Brewers, Eric Hinske runs through every Brian Snitker stop sign and barrels his 250 pound frame into whomever happens to be covering home plate for Milwaukee. It just seems like the Brewers are being overly aggressive and going out of their way to get shots in on the Braves catcher. I just don't like it.
The Braves had few opportunities in the middle innings as an opposing starting pitcher once again put the Atlanta offense into hibernation mode. The Braves managed to load the bases with two outs in the eighth inning, but Seabass grounded out softly to end the threat. Matt Young collected his first Major League hit in the ninth, but didn't get past second base.
Oh, and Jonny Venters pitched two innings -- why not burn out your bullpen while your offense is struggling. Peter Moylan faced some bad luck in his portion of the eighth inning, but on Twitter after the game he made no excuses, and showed that the team is more than ready to end this road trip:
Broken bat hit, oh well, perfect bunt nothing u can do. 4 pitch walk, unacceptable...... #cantwaittogethome
The Braves task of scoring runs against good pitching won't get any easier when they face Philadelphia ... let's hope the offense is up to the task, and let's hope the pitching can tame the hot Philly hitters.
On the bright side ... at least we're not the Red Sox.
|Final - 4.7.2011||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||R||H||E|
|WP: Shaun Marcum (1 - 1)
SV: John Axford (2)
LP: Tommy Hanson (0 - 2)