That’s more like it. Javy Lopez hit two homers and more surprisingly tripled, and Shane Reynolds didn’t suck. Result: A Braves win.
With the offense the Braves are putting up, all they need is adequate pitching. They got that from Reynolds, unlike the two higher-paid gentlemen the previous nights. Reynolds gave up two homers to Jose Guillen, but had no problems with anyone else until the seventh, when (after reaching the 100-pitch mark) he tired and gave up a run. The thing is that he was already getting up there and batted the inning before (when the Braves’ next three hitters reached). I’ve mentioned this before, but my belief is that whenever you try to stretch out the starter for one more inning to save the bullpen, it almost always backfires and you wind up needing to go to the pen to stop the bleeding. And that happened tonight. King, Hernandez, and Holmes finished it out without giving up any runs.
Javy now has ten homers and is hitting .279/.306/.579. I’d pretty much given up on him, but he’s starting to win me back over. With Piazza out, he’s got a good shot at an All-Star spot if he keeps this up. Marcus Giles returned and had three hits, two runs scored, and Andruw had two hits and a walk. Of course, when you score nine runs, you expect a lot of good hitting performances.
The Braves return to Atlanta to host the Mets, who are eleven games back now after taking the last two from the Phillies, who are six back. The Expos have crawled to only two back and have the second-best record in the league. Tom Glavine is scheduled to pitch Saturday, and Sunday will try to chain himself to Turner Field to force a trade back to the Braves. But I kid Tommy for his hideous mistake.