Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Braves lose opener to the Padres, 4-2

I mentioned last night, that the Atlanta Braves didn't play up to our capability against the San Diego Padres and honestly haven't for the past few weeks. It seems that we're in a win one-lose one loop right now, but we've been lucky enough to be winning series, usually two games to one. But let's get to this game, it was two totally different storylines for the starting pitchers, Chris Young was great(although he did have a bump in the 5th) and Chuck James was abysmal, lasting only 3 2/3 innings and walking four batters including the pitcher twice. I don't know what it is about Chris Young that makes him so good, he doesn't have overpowering stuff, his fastball only reaches up to 92(on a good night) the only thing that I can think of is his height and the downward movement he gets on his pitches from being 6'10". But what ever it is, he had it working last night, as he struck out eight Braves and only gave up two runs(both came in the 5th) on route to his fourth win on the season.

The trouble for James started in the second inning, when Pad's first baseman, Adrian Gonzalez, took him deep and gave San Diego a 1-0 lead in which they wouldn't surrender. James then went on to have an easy third inning where he struck out two batters but then came the fourth. He started it off by walking Gonzalez(not a bad move, seeing as what he did last time), but then he gave up a single to the next batter, Josh Bard. After a Khalil Greene fly out and a Mike Cameron single, the Padres scored their second run off of a Kevin Kouzmanoff sacrifice fly to right field. He was then pulled after walking the next batter, Chris Young, for the second time. In to replace him was Oscar Villarreal, who got us out of a tight spot. Although the Padres did strike again the next inning, after a single and a walk, "The Vulture" got Bard to ground into what should've been a double play to end the inning, but of course the walking worthlessness that is Chris Woodward threw the ball away allowing Brian Giles to score on the error.

Our only scoring came in the 5th inning, when Brian McCann walked and then followed behind him was Jeff Francoeur, who was hit in the elbow by a pitch and then both runners advanced on a Chris Young balk. Scott Thorman was able to capitalize on Young's mistakes with a groundout that scored McCann and then of course, just to make me look like an ass, Woodward came up and hit an RBI triple to score Francoeur and pull us within one run. Chad "Parontosaurus" Paronto came in to relieve Oscar, a move that we would regret as he failed to get out of the inning unscathed. First he started off great, striking out Cameron and then getting Kouzmanoff to groundout. But then Chris Young came up, and Parontosaurus decided to get some revenge on him for hitting Frenchy, which I liked because we never get pay back, but it was a move that would end up costing us another run. So Parontosaurus(I love saying that!) hit Young with two outs, then Marcus Giles came up and singled to center and then advanced to second on the throw by Andruw Jones to third, then the other Giles was walked intentionally in favor for Jose Cruz Jr, who was then walked and in came their fourth run.

Nothing really happened in the following innings except for really bad offense and really good pitching by both team's bullpens. I do have to say, Andruw Jones is struggling right now at the plate, he's trying to pull the ball everytime he goes up and it's effecting his train of thought at the plate right now. I am really thinking he may need a day off soon just to try and regain his composure. But not tonight, we're going to need every bit of offense we can get as we're having a rookie start for the first time. That rookie being Anthony Lerew.

WP: Chris Young(4-2)
LP: Chuck James(3-3)
SV: Trevor Hoffman(9)

HR: SD- Adrian Gonzalez(9)

Next game is tonight at 7:35 pm ET on Sports South. We have Anthony Lerew making his first start and he will be going against another player making his first start of the year, Justin Geramano.

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