7/4/2001: Happy Independence Day!
The Braves lost the last game of the Mets series (typically, John Burkett pitched well and got no run support) while the Phillies were finishing off a rare five-game sweep of the Marlins. As I said in my week in review, nobody told the Phillies that they were supposed to go away and that Florida was the hot team. So the Phillies headed into this week’s big showdown two games up.
It’s one game now. The Phillies grabbed an early 2-0 lead off of Tom Glavine last night, the Braves cut it to 2-1 on a Chipper homer, and then the rains came. After they finished, Jason Marquis relieved but couldn’t throw strikes, and it was 5-1. The Braves got another run, then exploded — three in the sixth, eight in the seventh, and another Chipper homer in the eighth made it 14-5. Matt Whiteside came on to make it look more like a football score, 14-7. The eight runs in the seventh were the most scored in one inning by the Braves this season. Chipper scored five runs, tying a team record he already held part of.
Burkett was named to the All-Star team by Groucho Valentine. Greg Maddux was not even though he leads the league in ERA, has nine wins, and was named the NL pitcher of the month for June. Groucho took his own pitcher Rick Reed instead. A comparison:
PITCHER ERA W L SO BB IP R ER
Maddux 2.38 9 5 103 18 121 38 32
Reed 3.10 7 4 88 15 119 42 41
Yeah, that makes sense. The ERA difference exaggerates the difference between the pitchers — Maddux hasn’t been that much better than Reed. But he’s been better, and choosing Reed instead can only be called bias. As it is, the 37-48 Mets have as many representatives as the 46-36 Braves (Piazza and Chipper were both voted in by the fans), and one more than the 42-41 Marlins. Yet Groucho said that he was going by what happened in the first half only. Right. I hate him.