For the third straight day the Pirates and Braves played a one-run game, but this time the Pirates came out ahead. The Braves offense scuffled most of the day. The black hole(s) at the bottom of the lineup went 0-for-10, and the Pirates caught everything Chipper Jones hit their way. The bottom three in the lineup, Greg Norton, Jeff Francoeur, and Kelly Johnson, are really dragging this team down. I never realized how much we were going to really miss Casey Kotchman, or Martin Prado for that matter.
Francoeur is now hitting .160 this month, Johnson is hitting just .152, and Norton is 0-for-June. These guys have to pick it up. In the case of Johnson I think he'll eventually turn it around, though I'm starting to doubt he will ever turn the corner and be a premier offensive player. In the case of Norton, perhaps it's time to cut him loose, and as for Francoeur, I really don't think the Braves can wait any longer for him to become even a decent offensive player. Francoeur's approach to the plate right now seems to be "try not to fail," and he's not even living up to that.
Jair Jurrjens pitched another good game, though he wasn't very efficient. Still, it was a quality start in which he only gave up two runs -- the Braves should have won this one, especially since the Pittsburgh starter, Charlie Morton, had to leave the game after the first inning with an injury (or two).
The AJC blamed the loss on a lapse at second base by Yunel Escobar, but he may have been shielded by the umpire and/or runner on that play, so I wouldn't put it all on his shoulders. The offense only scored one run through eight innings. Garret Anderson made it interesting with a solo homerun in the ninth with two outs to make it a one-run game, but then the black hole of Greg Norton came up and flied out.
Wednesday night was also the first use of replay at Turner Field, and the first use of replay in any Braves game. Check it out here.
|Final - 6.10.2009||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||R||H||E|
|WP: Jeff Karstens (3 - 4)
SV: Matt Capps (14)
LP: Jair Jurrjens (5 - 4)