Did the Braves dig up a Native American burial ground on their way out of Chicago? Maybe Bobby Cox inherited the Cubs' curse when Lou Piniella retired? OK, so it's probably just garden-variety ineptitude, not some sort of mystical curse. At any rate, not much has gone right since the Braves left Chicago.
Tommy Hanson gave up 4 home runs (all solo shots, but still... not very good). The Braves' offense made Chris Volstad look like Josh Johnson for the first 7 innings. And just to make things a bit more embarrassing, the Braves' defense looked worse than my nephew's little league team at times. It was pretty much a thorough domination by the Marlins. To add wetness to injury, it even rained in the 9th inning.
The game got off to a rip-roaring start as the first two batters against Hanson--Cameron Maybin and Logan Morrison--smoked home runs to put the Braves in a hole before they even batted. The Marlins added two more in the second, one more in the third, and two more in the sixth (when Dan Uggla and Gaby Sanchez went back-to-back). All the damage was against Hanson. Just to forestall the worriers, I'm sure he's fine. He's bounced back from his other bad outings in good fashion. My only cause for concern would be if his velocity goes down significantly, which it hasn't to this point (I don't have the numbers for tonight's start, though).
The Braves got their only run on a solo homer by Jason Heyward in the 8th, which at least gave the lovely fans at Turner Field something to cheer about for a few minutes. Billy Wagner pitched the 9th for Atlanta, securing a strikeout to pass
John Franco Jesse Orosco for the all-time strikeout lead among left-handed relievers, which is an arcane but still kind of cool stat.
The other bright side in all of this is that Tim Hudson shaved his beard, so we at least have a good shot at a win tomorrow. I honestly can't wait for that game to start; I'm sick of feeling like my team can't do anything right. If I wanted to feel that way, I'd have become a Mets fan.
Stat of the Game
From the fourth inning on Wednesday through the seventh inning tonight, the Braves were outscored 18-0 by the Rockies and Marlins. That's--how should I put this?--unfortunate.