I think that the most frustrating games are those when you rally from way down only to lose. It happened that way last night. Greg Maddux had nothing — I really am worried about him now — and the Braves trailed 7-2 after four and as late as the sixth.
But behind the red-hot Vinny Castilla — who hit two more homers, including one to tie it — the Braves rallied to make it 7-7 in the eighth, only to give up two runs in the bottom of the inning. They got one back in the ninth, but not the second.
Trey Hodges helped get the Braves back into it with two sensational innings, no hits, no runs, no walks, four strikeouts and 20 strikes in 27 pitches. Andruw and Furcal each hit solo homers. Marcus Giles had to leave the game after fouling a pitch off his leg. Hopefully he’ll be okay, but with his luck he’ll miss two games, DeRosa will go 3-8, and Bobby will start splitting time again.
Ex-Brave of the series: Kent Mercker, who pitched a third of an inning last night. He seems to be the Reds’ LOOGY, having pitched in 23 games but for only 15 2/3 innings. He has a 1.72 ERA but his peripherals aren’t nearly that good.
Hampton pitches tonight. I guess he’s the ace of the staff, him or Ortiz.