Javy Lopez found his Cheerios somewhere and all of the sudden catcher may not be a source of concern. Javy hit a grand slam homer as a pinch-hitter today; he’s homered in every game of the series. This one turned the game around, as grand slams often do, turning a 2-2 tie into a 6-2 lead. The Braves held on from there to win 6-4. Maybe Javy isn’t all the way back, but it’s certainly a promising sign. He got hot late last year only to get hurt headed to postseason; if he can stay both hot and healthy it will be a big boost.
John Smoltz got his
52nd 51st save. The major league record still looks unlikely, since he needs six to tie Bobby Thigpen, but the NL record shared by Randy Myers and Trevor Hoffman is only one two away, and whoever wins the save race between him and Eric Gagne (who is now four three behind him) should wind up with the NL record. [Fixed because I’m a screwup — MT] Damian Moss had a good start, giving up only two runs and four hits but only going five innings. Atypically, he only walked one batter and threw 55 strikes in 86 pitches.
The latest Bobby lineup still had Mark Derosa at shortstop and Darren Bragg in center. But Matt Franco played right field for Gary Sheffield (who had a pinch-hit single later in the game) with Julio at first, and Marcus Giles actually got the start at third. Andruw and Furcal both have the flu. I suppose if they’re going to have the flu this is the time for it. Usually when someone has “flu-like symptoms” that means they’re hungover, but that shouldn’t last two days so I guess they’re actually sick.