Braves Botch Series Opener As Phillies Drop A Ten Spot


Game No.29  Recap: Phillies 10,

Braves 6

Again, why exactly hasn’t Tommy Hanson been called up from AAA Gwinnett?

After tonight’s horrendous performance from Jo-Jo Reyes (0-2),  I  really don’t see there being any other excuses to keep the super prospect down in the minors.

After all, Reyes, who coming into tonight’s games had given up seven homers to the Phillies in his past three starts against them, lasted just five innings and allowed eight runs (four earned) on five hits.

Aside from surrendering home runs to Jason Werth in the third inning (a two-run blast), Chris Coste in the fourth (a solo shot) and Chase Utley in the fifth (another solo homer), Reyes endured a strange second inning that opened the flood gates.

The lefty coughed up four runs that were fueled by his own throwing error with the bases loaded and a botched grounder by Yunel Escobar. A two-run double off the bat of Jimmy Rollins capped the inning.

While Reyes was tossing up grapefruits, Cole Hamels was tamming the Atlanta bats. The southpaw didn’t allow a hit until the fourth inning, the only frame in which he experienced trouble. A Brian McCann (1-for-3) two-run single cut the deficit to four runs in the inning — the closest the Braves would ever get.

Hamels finished the night by notching his first win of the season after throwing six solid innings and allowing two runs on three hits. He walked just two and struck out seven.

The Braves were able to mount a somewhat valient fight in the ladder innings, which included an Omar Infante (1-for-5) solo homer in the eighth that traveled well over 400 feet and a Casey Kotchman (1-for-4) three-run shot in the ninth off closer Brad Lidge.

In game two of the series on Saturday, the Braves will take on the Phillies at 3:40 p.m.  Javier Vazquez is the scheduled starter for Atlanta.


– I’m going to go ahead and call from Jo-Jo’s  demotion. Just like the last two seasons, the left-hander teases us with a few above-average starts, then reverts to his former self. After using his fast ball so effectively in his first two starts of the season, tonight he relied too much on the breaking ball — a pitch he left up for Phillies hitters to feast on. Time to get Hanson up here. It’s not as if he could be as problematic as Reyes has been.

– It was a great sign to see the Braves scoring in the late innings — especially off Lidge, who will most likely not be used tomorrow after the amount of work he put in tonight. Coming into the game, Atlanta was worst in the majors at scoring (at 28 runs) after the seventh inning.

–A quick note on that controversial play in the second inning, where Hamels’ swinging bunt forced a throwing error by Reyes. Hamels was clearly out of the baseline before crossing first base. When Bobby came out to argue, the homeplate ump wouldn’t consult the first plate ump — which was ridiculous to begin with. Sure, some will claim that Reyes throw was so high it wouldn’t have mattered anyways, but the rule goes that the ball doesn’t have to hit the runner for the judgement to be enforced.

– Tonight was just the fourth time this year that McCann, Garret Anderson and Chipper Jones have all been in the lineup. Mac, playing in his first game since coming off the disabled-list with his blurry vision, looked good both behind the plate and with the bat with his new shades.

– Gotta love the 20-something year old with the camera phone running on the field during the sixth inning. He had some wheels and outran security for quite some time — pretty impressive.

NOTE: “Tomahawk Take” does not support fans running onto the field of play — though it is pretty entertaining.