Final: Braves 8, Red Sox 2

Bottom 9, 10:00 Ortiz strikes out swinging. Even Jason Bay couldn’t save them in the ninth. 8-2, Braves, final.

Middle 9, 9:52 Saito struggled mildly. A pair of base hits and a sac fly makes the score 8-2, Braves. Atlanta closer Mike Gonzalez is in. It’s going to take something Herculean.

End of 8, 9:41 Saito will try to keep the Sox in it for the heart of the order in the ninth. Tonight’s attendance? There are 37,703 in da club tonight. I warned you.

Bottom 8, 9:39 Rafael Soriano knows nothing of this momentum you speak of. Two quick strikeouts to Green and Pedroia and a flyout to Drew. He’s been essentially unhittable this year. His BAA is now down to .175.


Middle 8, 9:30 After that fight, those two Daniel Bard, you’ll-never-go-near-the-plate-again-Yunel-Escobar brushback pitches and the inning ending double play, this crowd is still really into this five-run game. Maybe it carries over to Nick Green and the top of the order.

Top 8, 9:28 That’s a “Yankees suck” chant you hear, probably spawning of a fight in the crowd we can’t see either. Now that guy is getting kicked out and that’s the “Hey-Hey-Hey Goodbye” you’re hearing. Liveblogs are so informative!

9:17 Kawakami is done and his final line is pretty: 6 IP, 2 ER, 2 H, 1 HR, 3 BB, 5 SO. For those of you scoring at home, two things:
1 – Masterson’s run is unearned, as his first Chipper Jones’ single was changed to an error on Kevin Youkilis. And,
2 – What are you doing? They have the whole Internet for that kind of thing now.

9:12: Daniel Bard has just entered for the Red Sox.

While we have some time, here’s some answers from the comments: 1 – No, Daisuke can’t be sent down without his permission. But there’s no such ban on bullpen assignments, despite whatever stir that would cause. 2 – Your approval of “up in this joint” just gave me implicit consent to start spouting bad 90s rap. (Redman, what up!) Bad move.


Top 6, 9:05 A pair of singles taints an otherwise solid effort from Masterson. Bard is up and looks ready. 7-2, Braves.

Bottom 5, 9:00 Momentum confirmed. Jason Bay crushes a fastball over the Monster seats. Two runs are in and the Sox are back in it. 6-2, Sox.

Bay, by the way, has Kawakami’s number. He has the Sox’s only two hits against Kawakami tonight and has yet to make an out.

Top 5, 8:50 A perfectly-executed double play by Kevin Youkilis means we might just get some momentum up in this joint. Masterson gets out of the inning in order.

Middle 5, 8:45 Still nothing of substance for the Sox who continue to be one-hit by Kawakami.

8:44 Masterson gets a groundout, two flyouts — one on a pretty sliding catch near the tumultuous left field wall out of play by Jason Bay — and he’s out of the inning on only one more run from the sac fly. 6-0, Braves and here’s Daisuke’s final line:

4 2/3, 8 H, 6 ER, 4 BB, 2 SO, 67 pitches, 39 strikes. His ERA is now 8.23 for the season.

Top 4, 8:30 Here’s another bad sequence: Jacoby Ellsbury did a full-on sprawl to try to seal up a very hard-hit Brian McCann double to the triangle, but couldn’t snag it. Masterson gets up in the bullpen and John Farrell comes out to give Masterson some time. Two pitches later, McCann scores on a Garrett Anderson double.

Masterson is probably not warm, but they put him in anyway. Matsuzaka leaves to boos.

End of 4, 8:28 Nope. Nothing. Kenshin Kawakami has taken over this game entirely.


Bottom 4, 8:25 Jason Bay will once again try to get something going — this time a one-out rally — with a walk. This is a David Ortiz righty-lefty at-bat that could yield some sort of charge.

8:18 Daisuke is out of the fourth. His pitch count is still relatively low for a four-walk outing at 62.

8:17 Oh, and Yunel Escobar likes him, too. His second single of the day drives in McLouth from second. 4-0, Braves, and no one is warming in the Red Sox bullpen.

8:15 Sox fans may not love Daisuke Matsuzaka right now — the boos have returned at Fenway — but Nate McLouth does. He’s 2-for-3 with two RBI after the double to deep right that just score Kelly Johnson. 3-0, Braves.

8:09, Top 4: JD Drew saves a would-be Casey Kotchman double that was driven hard to the right field warning track.

8:06, Bottom 3: Dustin Pedroia reaches first base on one of the ugliest, beached whale-like slides you’ll ever see. This is why he’s the MVP. But it won’t matter as Drew flies out behind him. Kawakami is in a good rhythm.

Top 3: Daisuke looks like he has formally and officially settled down until further notice. This is really bad for talk radio, Daisuke. Don’t you know anything about ratings?

7:48, Bottom 2: Jason Bay reached third on a passed ball after his leadoff double, but won’t make it to the plate.

7:38, Middle 2: Daisuke gets out of the inning unscathed on a punchout, fly out and groundout. Not sure how this is translating on TV, but almost every ball — foul or fair — that is making contact seems to be hit very hard. Regardless, on paper, he’s settling down.

7:35, Top 2: Daisuke walks Jeff Francoeur, but this time on six pitches. It’s his first non-four-pitch walk of the evening.

7:31, End of 1: Daisuke’s first somehow looks even worse when Kawakami strikes out the side after a very strong at-bat from Youkilis.

7:25, Middle 1: About 40 percent of the press box tonight is Japanese press here to cover Daisuke vs. Kenshin Kawakami for the first time. Kawakami has struggled since his major league debut at the beginning of the year with a 3-6 record and no decisions in his last three starts. But he’s struck out Pedroia and Drew to start the night.

7:21 A well-hit ball falls into Youkilis’ lap and he doubles off Anderson at first. The Red Sox get out of the Inning of Horrors only surrendering two runs and Masterson is seated for the time being.

7:20 Justin Masterson started warming before Matsuzaka struck out Matt Diaz on a ball in the dirt. There has to be something mechanically very wrong with him.

7:18 After almost hitting Garret Anderson, he walks him on four pitches. Can we still call this “nibbling?” Daisuke just threw a strike to Matt Diaz and got the loudest mock applause ever recorded.

7:16 A four pitch walk to McCann. Forget the cycle, he’s trying to become the first decathlete of consecutive bad things a pitcher can pull off.

7:15 Next pitch: a double to Chipper Jones scores Escobar. Let’s call this first inning bad for now. 2-0, Braves.

7:13 Two pitches later, a roped base hit from Yunel Escobar. Let’s call this first inning inauspicious for now.

7:12, Top 1: First pitch of the game: a deep jack to right off of Daisuke. Everyone commence screaming… now! 1-0, Braves.

6:50 It’s actually — no joke! — a great day for a baseball game right now. The sun is out, the dirt is drying out from the quick dry, and it would take a Pedro Cerrano-esque voodoo to see some rain anytime soon.

The Globe takes no responsibility for any weather jinxes that might follow the above statement.

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