When the Atlanta Braves released their lineup on Monday afternoon, everyone was shocked (and outraged) to see Jason Heyward out of the lineup.
When team reporters asked Fredi Gonzalez for his motives behind the move, he claimed Matt Diaz had 12 (TWELVE!) solid at-bats against Astros starter J.A. Happ, and that he wanted to see Juan Francisco play a little more before Chipper Jones returned on Tuesday.
It was a stupid decision then, and it probably cost the Braves the game. They fell to Houston by a score of 8-3.
Despite an early 3-0 lead for Atlanta, Houston climbed back into the game because of poor defense from Francisco. The recently-acquired third baseman, who is known to be pretty erratic in the field, bobbled a routine ball with two outs and a runner on in the third inning. Not only did he lose any chance of throwing the runner out at first, but when Jordan Schafer overran second base and headed for third, Francisco made an errant throw from about 10 feet away. Schafer slid in safe and the Astros promptly came up with a 2-RBI triple and RBI-single, tying the score at 3-3.
Maybe Martin Prado, who should have been at third, doesn't make the play, but I'm betting he does. I'm also betting Heyward has a higher chance of being successful at producing runs for the Braves, something they desperately need right now.
Livan Hernandez came in to relieve Brandon Beachy in the sixth and was smacked around for two runs. Chad Durbin allowed a 2-run homer to Justin Maxwell, the second the reliever has allowed in as many appearances.
The Braves are now 0-4 on the year, and are on a nine-game losing streak dating back to 2011. They'll face the Astros once again on Tuesday night.