Chicago 3, Atlanta 1

ESPN.com – MLB – Recap – Braves at Cubs – 10/03/2003

Hey, look on the bright side! With Mark Prior’s complete game victory, at least the story isn’t “Maddux fails again”! Greg took the loss, but deserved better. He allowed two runs on four hits in the first, but none of them were hit hard and one was a bunt that Robert Fick fell down on for one of the most obvious errors you’ll ever see but was called a hit anyway. If not for Fick, Greg and the Braves probably would have gotten out of the inning unscathed. Maddux was great; Prior was greater, and luckier.

Prior gave up only two hits, a single by Giles in the second and a pinch-hit double by DeRosa in the eighth. DeRosa later scored on Marcus’ sac fly, as they continue to be the only Braves doing anything in the series. Fick, who didn’t quite singlehandedly lose the game, but is playing like he has money on the Cubs, is hitless. Sheffield, Chipper, and Andruw have one hit apiece, though all at least drew walks tonight. The Braves committed four errors, not counting Fick’s butchery.

After the Braves got within a run, Gryboski allowed a run-scoring double in the eighth that pretty much ended it and took all the wind out of the Braves’ sails. Prior threw 133 pitches. I feel very strongly that in a seven game series doing this would come back to haunt the Cubs. But it’s not a seven game series.

Clement goes for the Cubs tomorrow against probably Russ Ortiz. I think that the Braves almost have to open up the bullpen and let anyone pitch. If Ortiz gets in trouble in the third, anyone, even Hampton, has to be on call.

18 thoughts on “Chicago 3, Atlanta 1”

  1. First thought on the game: hats off to Mark Prior for pitching a wail of a ballgame. Yes, I can moap about our hitters not doing their job, but Prior was fantastic.

    2) I’m beginning to expect the unexpected when our gloves are in the field (or are they really even there?)

    3) Now, for tomorrow: I would like to see Ramirez start because he’s well rested, has earned a start in this situation, and Ortiz is a fly-ball pitcher on 3-days-rest. yes, it would be good to save his left hand for relief of Russ, but that’s a pesamistic, conservative move conceding that Ortiz can’t do the job. Bobby’s gotta losen up and have some faith in the young guys sooner or later. After all, how old is that lone man in the lineup right now that’s actually getting hits?

  2. Gryboski threw 133 pitches? I knew he threw a lot to Ramirez but damn.

    I like Russ tommorrow, he comes through. I have a weird reverence for him seeing as how I was sitting in left feild for last years NLDS game 5. But yr points are good ones. If the wind is blowing out, I don’t know.

  3. I don’t like pitching Ramirez at ALL tomorrow. Although Hampton did well, the Cubs eat up left handed pitching. Ortiz is the one you want out there.

  4. You don’t pitch a rookie who was shaky down the stretch when you’re facing elimination. Ortiz has all winter to rest. Give him the ball.

  5. We really need to open one up — win 12-5 or something and get the bats alive before it’s back to Wood.

  6. I think we should go with Horacio because most pitchers struggle on 3 days rest and having to win the next two games with pitchers on 3 days rest would be daunting. Also, would anybody else consider playing Derosa at short today? I think Raffy has been terrible and is clearly trying too hard. I think Cox is worried about ruining his confidence by sitting him, but it is the postseason.

  7. As hard as I have been on Russ this season, he is the one I think should take the hill. Ramirez had a great year and was strong down the stretch, but this game is win or go home, and I’d rather have someone who has been there before pitching.

    Plus, I’d rather have a righty going against the Cubs mostly right-handed hitters.

  8. Ick… The prounoun has been replaced. I edit these on the fly, and sometimes I move the sentences around. In this case, it came back to bite me…

    I would use Ortiz. I’m more concerned about the lefty/righty matchups than the merits of the two pitchers right now.

  9. Do you put DeRosa in left? I’d be tempted to, but our defense has been bad enough…

  10. You could play Fick in right and use DeRosa or a Franco at first. But then Fick will probably head a baseball into the stands or run over one of the relievers warming up or something.

  11. The situation is grim…hope for the best guys, prepare for the worse…

    Maddux was just…cursed last night. I guess Robert Fick seeks to become the newest Atlanta goat. Maybe it’s the fact that this is his first playoff series, but if we lose, and that’s not set in stone, he’ll be remembered for errors in Games 1 and 3.

  12. This series is a great example (as if we needed any) that the five game series is horrible, and does nothing to represent either team’s abilities that were just proven over 162 games. The Cubs have the decided advantage over the Braves in this short series, what with Prior and Wood, despite the Braves having the obviously superior team (in my prejudiced opinion.)

    Let’s get rid of the five game series. Make it seven. Also, let’s get rid of the stupid notion that the team with the best record (the Braves this year) can’t face the wild card simply because they’re from the same division. What virtue does that serve?

  13. Sheffield is out for today’s game. Another Prior casualty

    Well, sheffield’s been hitting like Darren Bragg anyway, so there’s not going to be a hell of a lof difference today, is there.

    Someone on the Braves’ Usenet group suggested starting Derosa at SS instead of Furcal today. Hell, if I thought he could defend well out there, I’d play him in RF with Sheff unable to play today.

  14. What’s more frustrating is that no matter what the Braves do to improve their team, there is no way they win in the post season. Only Maddux, Chipper, Javy, and Smoltz have been with the Braves throughout almost all of the post seasons. Maddux has pitched well, Smoltz pitched well in half of his innings, Javy’s gotten his singles, and Chipper… has sucked in this post season. So, they can’t say the Braves as a whole are chokers because 3/4 of the players that have been there through all of it have done their job. The excuses about how a five game series are weak. Look at the Yankees, look at the Indians in the middle-to-late 90’s. They had great records in the regular season, and continued them throughout the postseason.

    Aside from all that, Ortiz is totally capable of pitching a great game when the Braves or he needed it. Matt Clement is not even close to Prior or Wood can be hit. With Sheffield out, even though he’s been horrible at the plate in the playoffs, the line-up is weaker. But they can still rock Clement…

    I hope both my teams don’t lose today. I’m glad I didn’t go to the Florida football game today…

  15. So, they can’t say the Braves as a whole are chokers because 3/4 of the players that have been there through all of it have done their job.

    This is where I feel for both Schuerholz and Bobby Cox. Year in and year out they put together a team capable of winning it all. And year in and year out, it’s the _best_ players on the team who fail in the postseason.

    This isn’t about bench composition or the 4th guy out of the bullpen. I’m talking Chipper/Sheff/Andruw this year; Sheff and Glavine last year; Andruw, chipper, Jordan and Maddux in 2001; Maddux and Glavine in 2000; etc. etc. etc.

    Consider this – last year they managed to _lose_ a division series in which the bad Javy, the terrible Vinny and the excruciating Lockhart each bested a 1000 OPS. Last year they took a weak offense and league-best pitching, and lost on pitching; this year they’ve got mediocre pitching and a league-best offense, and they’re losing on hitting.

    It’s utterly, utterly absurd.

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