The thing about Shane Reynolds is that at the best of times he walks a fine line, and asking him to do more than the minimum is usually going to lead to disaster. He has nothing, no fastball and no great breaking pitch, and lacks Maddux’s control or Hampton’s sinker. If he gets anyone out, it’s purely by deception, but even the Mets will figure him out by the third time through the order. Reynolds gave up three in the first on a Piazza homer, but settled down from there. But in the top of the sixth he reached the top of the Mets’ order for the third time. He didn’t get out of the inning, allowing three runs. The Braves were down by one entering the inning, and by one at the end. Sending Reynolds out there probably cost the game. Bobby has to realize that he can’t expect more than two trips through the order from Reynolds. Actually, I think he does realize this but has already shifted into “setup for postseason” mode.
Gary Sheffield had a big day, with three hits, including a double and a homer. Unfortunately, when he came up in the bottom of the ninth with two out, he tapped out to the pitcher on a 3-2 pitch. Hey, nobody’s perfect. Marcus Giles scored in front of Sheffield’s homer after doubling, a double giving him the Atlanta single-season record. The Braves always seemed just off, missing a couple of homers to dead center. Mike Hessman had his first major league hit, a homer to pull the game to within one in the ninth.
The Phillies and Marlins lost again, and the Braves’ magic number is now 18. What does Larry Bowa have to do to get fired, anyway? Anyway, both Philly and Florida are 14 back, Montreal 16 back. There are now seven teams within 2 1/2 games for the wildcard… ESPN lists Maddux as going tonight against Aaron Heilman, but they also list him as going against Leiter tomorrow. It’s the former, with Horacio Ramirez being skipped. Not a bad idea, I think the kid could use the rest.