I was all ready for a tirade about how the Braves were dogging it with a big lead and a possible strike, that they were going to lose three in a row to a bad Rockies team that’s especially bad on the road. That they weren’t trying and making dumb mistakes — a runner scoring after he should have been out in a rundown, another runner scoring when Javy Lopez couldn’t handle a throw that would have gotten him. Throw in the usual inability to drive in runners, and it was just sorry baseball, and the Braves were trailing 5-2 going to the bottom of the eighth.
And then they woke up. Chipper hit a solo homer. Castilla got on board the only way he could, on an error. Javy atoned a little with a double, and Marcus Giles singled him home, getting to second on the throw with one out. [CLARIFICATION: Marcus singled home two: Castilla and also Darren Bragg, who ran for Javy. Hits-Like-A-Girl entered the game to catch in the top of the ninth. Thanks to Creg for pointing out my confused language here.] The Braves couldn’t take a lead, but they were tied going to the ninth. But then Smoltz gave up a two-out double to fall behind 6-5, and I was working on a tirade about Bobby switching out Marcus the hitting hero in favor of Lockhart the hitting zero — for no readily apparent reason — and then Sheffield homered to tie it. And then Chipper hit his second homer in as many innings. 7-6 Braves to salvage a split.
Tom Glavine pitched and was… okay. Five runs, but only three earned, eight baserunners (all on hits) in seven innings, three strikeouts. The Rockies didn’t walk at all for the second straight game; I’m going to risk my sabermetricians union card by pointing out that they were still pretty effective offensively doing that. But I doubt they can keep that up. As long as the Braves hold them to singles they’ll be okay.
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