A managerial mistake cost the Braves a win today, as Jair Jurrjens was strong on the mound but was left in too long. The Reds pounded him for four runs in the seventh and evened the series with a 5-2 win.
The Braves jumped out to a two-run lead in the first when Omar Infante doubled to lead off the game and scored on an error. After loading the bases, Eric Hinske walked to bring in the other run. Alex Gonzalez followed with a double play to end the inning.
The Reds tried to put some runs across early themselves, as Orlando Cabrera doubled and Joey Votto singled, but Cabrera was gunned down at home by Jason Heyward. After that, Jurrjens pitched great for the next five innings, making one mistake in the form of a solo homer by Scott Rolen. It was the only hit he allowed until the seventh.
With the score still 2-1 Braves, Jurrjens was sent to face the middle of the order the third time through in the seventh while nearing 100 pitches. After striking out Votto to begin the inning, Rolen doubled and Jonny Gomes singled to put two on. Jay Bruce bounced a single through the hole to bring home the tying run. After striking out Drew Stubbs for the second out, Jurrjens served up a hard hit double to Ryan Hanigan that scored both. Melky Cabrera felt it necessary to add some comedy to the play by throwing the ball into right center from left center, causing a two base error and scoring Hanigan. Jurrjens was STILL left in and gave up a single to Laynce Nix before finally being pulled.
The Braves brought the tying run to the plate in the ninth but Heyward struck out to end the game.
As I said, Jurrjens pitched six solid innings, allowing the lone run on Rolen’s homer and giving up two other hits while walking none and striking out four. It’s tough to take somebody out after that but he was facing the middle of the order the third time through and is not Cliff Lee. Bobby left Jurrjens in way too long and it cost them the game. Perhaps once Kyle Farnsworth is brought in, he will be less inclined to leave the starter in the third time through. I don’t attribute any of this to Jurrjens and I came away thinking the same about his performance as I did prior to the seventh inning. He is looking great right now.
Infante and Brian McCann had six of the Braves’ seven hits, each with three. Despite seven hits and nine at bats with runners in scoring position, the Braves didn’t have an RBI hit in the game. Hinske picked up the lone RBI on a walk-in. I can understand Gonzalez and Troy Glaus not being able to contribute much; one looks like he’s about to vomit and the other looks like he needs a walking cane. This team needs a shot in the arm and hopefully today’s trade will do that. At the very least it means no more Melky antics in center field.