Double-play on Monday or no, Kevin Gryboski really isn’t any good. As he showed yesterday, allowing a tenth-inning run to lose the game. I don’t understand why, after allowing a hit and a walk, he wasn’t yanked for Smoltz, or failing that some other reliever. Yes, the Braves had already used four other relievers, but you have an eight-man bullpen! The rest of the pen was excellent yesterday, allowing three walks but no hits in four innings.
I didn’t actually see the game, because I’m not an alien who can receive signals from Turner South with my antennae and no cable systems carry the network. But it seems to me that the home plate umpire was probably squeezing the plate. Not that Jason Marquis or Randy Wolf has great control, but the Braves walked ten men (six by Marquis) and the Phillies six. But it was a hitter, Gary Sheffield, who was ejected for arguing balls and strikes. With the Braves’ short bench, they can’t afford ejections, especially of their best players. At the end of the game, Henry Blanco was the only player left on the bench, though Russ Ortiz could probably pinch-hit if needed.
Chipper had a hit, but struck out three times, once a dagger blow in the ninth with one out and Robert Fick at third base. Vinny, once again, was the Braves’ best hitter with two hits and a walk.
The Braves’ record is now 0-5 when not hitting a home run, 3-0 when they do. If they’d hit a homer yesterday they surely would have won… Greg Maddux pitches tonight on three days’ rest. The Braves desperately need a good start from him. The Thursday game is still listed as Byrd vs. Millwood, but I think it’s less that 50/50 that matchup happens. Just imagine, if the Braves had known what they were doing this offseason, it might have been the same matchup… but with Millwood on our side.
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