Shane Reynolds beats Randy Johnson… and the only surprise is that it’s not a surprise. Johnson’s ERA is now up in Reynolds country (5.08, still lower than Reynolds but getting there) and the Braves’ offense is far better than the DBacks’. And the Braves pound lefties and have handled Johnson well in the past.
The Braves got seven in five innings off Johnson, then hit their way out of the save situation with three in the eighth. Vinny hit a three-run homer (his 20th) in the second to take a 4-2 lead, and the Braves pushed it from there. Giles and Andruw hit homers in the fifth (their 15th and 30th, respectively). Lots of nice round numbers. Vinny drove in a later run, had three hits and two runs scored. Furcal had two hits, and everybody else had exactly one.
Reynolds allowed a bunch of runners, but was generally able to pitch around them after allowing two in the first. But seven hits, four walks, and one homer in 5 2/3 is not exactly quality pitching even if you manage to get away with giving up only three runs. He was probably really lucky. I could tell you for sure if the game had been on TV.
Mercker is apparently going to be used as a regular reliever and not a specialist, throwing 1 1/3 inning in relief allowing one hit. Trey Hodges didn’t do as well, allowing three hits and a run in the eighth, while Will Cunnane pitched a perfect ninth.
Another tree-in-the-forest game tomorrow night, then day games the next two days… The Phillies and Marlins won, if you’re still keeping track. I shouldn’t say this, but… The Braves’ magic number is 30.