Double Plays cost Braves in finale

Sports - February 04, 2008

Never mind how well Randy Wells pitched or how silly Carlos Marmol made Jason Heyward look in the ninth. The Braves lost the finale of a three game set to the Chicago Cubs because they couldn’t advance baserunners.

Yea Tommy Hanson pitched great in his season debut but the Braves still loss. It’s not a knock against Hanson but if the Braves don’t figure it out on the base paths we’re going to see this scenario again and again this year.

The Braves had a combination of 12 hits and walks off the Cubs staff, still none were able to come around to score. Officially there were three double plays turned by the Cubs.

Do you know how many runners the Cubs had total? 7 None of that really mattered as the Cubs scored both runs on solo home runs by Tyler Colvin and Marlon Byrd.

The fact is the Braves were awful moving runners around last night. The evidence may be even sicker then the comments already made.

First Inning. Martin Prado got a single as the second hitter in the first. He never moved off first base.

Second Inning. Troy Glaus lead off single in the second. Flyout by Escobar then Heyward grounds into a force out taking Glaus off the bases. Nate McLouth then singeled by Heyward was unable to score from first. Then the pitcher hit.

Third Inning. Martin Prado doubles as the second batter then Chipper walks, McCann reaches on error to load bases. Glaus grounds into double play

We got a reprieve in the fourth as everyone grounded out.

Fifth Inning. Melky Cabrera walks with one out. Prado then grounds into a double play.

Sixth Inning. Omar Infante who came into the game for an injured Chipper Jones leads off with a single. McCann lines out in front of a Glaus single. Yunel Escobar figures he hasn’t done one yet so he grounds into a double play to end the inning.

No base runners in the seventh. I guess they were gearing up for the final let down.

Eighth Inning. Prado singles again with one out. McCann walks with two outs. Glaus grounds out.

Ninth Inning. Escobar leads off with a single. Carlos Marmol makes Jason Heyward look silly with a breaking ball and then walks Nate McLouth. Pinch hitter Eric Hinske flies out and Melky Cabrera sits at home plate with the bat on his shoulders to end the game.

Obviously there’s not much that can be done with the lineup right now. Nate McLouth is still dealing with a hamstring issue so the two biggest speed assets to the Braves (Heyward and McLouth) are stuck back to back in the lineup. With Chipper Jones already dealing with his first injury of the year the Braves also lose quite a bit of power in the downgrade to Omar Infante at third.

It’s also true the Braves won’t be facing Randy Wells every night so maybe they can avoid the 13:2 ground/flyball ratio sometimes.

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