Oh, there’s the anger.
Tim Hudson was brilliant, but it wasn’t enough; like the last time he was brilliant, against the Marlins a few weeks ago, he was submarined by a sub-standard Bob Wickman performance, as Wickman blew a 2-0 lead in the ninth, getting only one out. I’m not so sure how much was Wickman’s fault, how much was Yunel Escobar’s, and how much was whatever idiot decided Escobar wasn’t supposed to guard the line in the ninth.
Hudson was great, as I said, going 7 1/3 and allowing just two hits and one walk. He just struck out two but was constantly getting late movement down in the strikezone, getting ground balls. 62 of his 84 pitches were strikes. He left with some apparently minor soreness in the eighth — he didn’t go to the clubhouse or anything — and Soriano did his thing.
Most of the time, I don’t mind using Soriano to pitch the eighth and Wickman to pitch the ninth; Soriano is the better pitcher, but it doesn’t matter a whole lot. Against the Twins, it mattered, because Soriano got a bunch of weak hitters and Wickman the Twins’ good hitters. Anyway, Bob allowed a single past Escobar leading off the inning, then got a groundout with the runner going to second. But Escobar was still playing off the line, and a ball got past him for a triple. The next man reached when Saltalamacchia — playing first base — couldn’t properly handle a groundout. The next ball was grounded to Escobar and wasn’t a double play candidate, so he came home with it, but threw it over McCann’s head to allow the run to score. The single to end it was merely a formality at that point.
The Braves’ two runs both came off of Johan Santana, so I guess they have that going for them. McCann hit a long homer in the fifth, and Diaz doubled home Chipper in the sixth. But the insurance runs didn’t happen; with two on in the eighth, Diaz hit a 3-1 pitch hard but the pitcher speared it. Chipper, DHing again, was 1-2 with two walks; Santana basically wouldn’t pitch to him. The Braves again outhit their opponents in a loss, 8-6.
I really hate the Metrodome.