Ho-hum, another win. 4-3 this time, the Braves (falling back into an old pattern) scoring four early runs and then holding on for dear life. Jason Marquis started, and was “effectively wild” again. He didn’t give up a hit until a fifth-inning solo homer, and allowed only one other before being pulled with one out in the sixth, striking out four and walking two. Like Damian Moss, he’s throwing a lot of pitches to be effective, 94 in this instance with only 53 strikes.
Bobby seems to have a tighter leash on Jason than he does on the other starters. That’s only natural, given his youth and his early season arm problems. I’m generally in favor of managers having a quick hook, but it really looked like Bobby jumped the gun today. He pulled Jason after he got an out (albeit a long fly ball) with only one runner on and the tying run still only on deck. Kevin Gryboski, who replaced Jason, didn’t have anything and got only one out while allowing three baserunners; Chris Hammond had to bail him out.
John Smoltz, meanwhile, saved the game; he’s perfect in his last 22 opportunities. Well, not perfect; today he allowed a hit and a walk, but he hasn’t blown a save. He has 36 so far this year, and the team record is only 39. I added the Smoltzometer over on the left to reflect this. He’s already eighth in franchise history for career saves, which only shows how nobody but Gene Garber and Mark Wohlers could ever last more than a couple of years in the role.
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