Braves Defense Falters, Fall to Astros 10-4


In what is becoming an alarming trend, the Braves defense came apart yet again enabling the Houston Astros to score six times in the seventh inning and propelled the Astros to a 10-4 win. As a team the Braves have committed 15 errors in their last 10 games. That is hardly championship level defense.

"“We’re having trouble on the road with one inning, where things just fall apart,” third baseman Chipper Jones said.  “Whether it’s an errant pickoff throw or whatnot, we’re just making mistakes that allow the game to get out of hand. I thought we played great baseball up to that point, but then the roof kind of fell in on us. Not a heck of a lot you can do, just try and limit your mistakes on the road.”"

In the otherwise dismal performance, Mike Minor had a solid debut pitching 6 innings and allowing 4 runs (3 earned). Minor struck out 5 and only walked 1 and looked poised throughout despite the Astros blooping in a couple of run scoring hits against him. If the Braves can shore up the defense around him and Minor can give this kind of performance then he will be fine going forward.

Offensively Jason Heyward snapped his homer less streak with a third inning blast. Brian McCann homered in the fourth to temporarily give the Braves the lead back at 4-3. In fact the Braves offense looked to be showing signs of waking up. Despite only having three at bats with runners in scoring position they did drive the ball sporting two double in addition to the mentioned home runs.

Kyle Farnsworth and Peter Moylan had equally rough outings in the seventh of which it was Farnsworth’s errant pick off attempt that seemed to jump start the inning for the Astros. Combined Farnsworth and Moylan pitched a third of an inning and allowed 6 earned runs while walking two.

The loss drops the Braves lead in the East to a game and a half over the idle Phillies. No matter how good the Braves offense was in this one, their defense wasn’t going to let them overcome it. If 15 errors in 10 games wasn’t too many, many of those have led directly to runs that have cost the Braves game. This past Friday night comes to mind where the Braves committed two errors in the ninth that allowed the Giants to tie the game and eventually win in extra innings. Alex Gonzalez in particular has been scuffling defensively since being acquired from the Toronto Blue Jays.

The Braves will look to bounce back tonight against the Astros with Jair Jurrjens on the mound. He will be opposed by the newly acquired and former Philly J.A. Happ. The Philadelphia Phillies open a series tonight against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Check out That Ball’s Outta Here and Lasorda’s Lair for coverage of that series.