The Braves opened up a double-digit lead by beating the Expos 8-5 in a weird day game to open a series. Kevin Millwood got eight runs to play with and overcame a battle with the gopher ball, giving up two homers to Vlad Guerrero and one to Brian Schneider. The Braves answered with three-run shots by Andruw Jones and Gary Sheffield. Sheffield drove home another run and Andruw drew a walk. While Chipper is still in a slump, if Andruw gets hot again the Braves can ride that out.
Millwood really didn’t pitch that badly, other than the home runs, which is kind of like saying that Richard Nixon’s presidency went okay except for Watergate and Vietnam. Anyway, Millwood gave up four runs, his most since June 3. He’s had several games this year in which he pitched better and got a no-decision, and a couple in which he got losses. But hey, that happens, and he’ll take the win I’m sure… The Braves wound up using three relievers again, which is pretty much standard this year. John Smoltz got an easy save opportunity, holding a three run lead for one inning. And he struck out the side. Ho-hum.
The Expos traded for Cliff Floyd after the game. That’s good for them, but they’re ten and a half games back now and have gone backwards since their last trade. They need to win two of three in the remainder of this series or it’s probably over for them, in the division anyway. Forever?