Oh, well. Mike Hampton’s debut could have been worse. He pitched five innings, gave up six hits, walked four, only struck out one and threw two wild pitches. All the runs were his. Still, he pitched well enough to give the Braves a chance except that they had no offense. Vicente Padilla threw a complete-game shutout for the Phillies.
The Braves managed only four hits — one apiece by Furcal, Matt Franco, Sheffield, and Chipper. Franco hit second, with Giles banished to the eighth spot in the order. Sheffield now has a 16-game hitting streak. Javy Lopez pulled his hamstring running out a grounder and was replaced by Henry Blanco, which didn’t help. If Javy is going to be unavailable for any length of time, the Braves need to send down a pitcher and call up the red-hot Johnny Estrada. And play him rather than sit him while Blanco does his Steve Torrealba impression at the plate.
The pitcher sent down for Hampton was Jason Marquis, which isn’t really a surprise. Jason wasn’t happy as a reliever, obviously, and the Braves need to get him some work as a starter. Right now, if they need an emergency starter it would be Trey Hodges or Jung Bong. Both pitched today, and effectively enough. Bong threw two shutout innings, though he did allow three hits, and Hodges pitched a one-hit ninth.
Shane Reynolds gets his second start tomorrow. If Jason Marquis is going to come back — at least before roster expansion — Reynolds is who he’d likely replace.