That was pathetic. The Braves stranded 14 runners, constantly failing to get hits with runners in scoring position, runners in from third with less than two out, or runners over to third from second with no one out. I’m not a big fan of “situational hitting” as a strategy, but when you try it, you better succeed.
The bad work started in the first — with two on and two out, Drew grounded out — and ended in the ninth, when with Andruw on third and one out LaRoche popped up on the first pitch. Then there was the second, when after the Rockies had walked the last two batters (including the pitcher) on five pitches each to load the bases bases with two out, Mark DeRosa swung at the first pitch and weakly grounded out to first. (So much for the value of an Ivy League education.)
Mike Hampton was okay, though he only went five innings. The first four were pretty strong, but he was wild in the fifth and was lucky to get out allowing only two runs. Alfonseca actually had a great sixth (1-2-3, with two strikeouts). Maybe we can convince the Rockies to trade for him. Gryboski was lucky to get out of the seventh, but Reitsma wasn’t so fortunate, allowing the winning run in the eighth.
Bobby had one of his overmanaging innings in the eighth. After Estrada doubled to lead off, Jesse Garcia ran for him. By the end of the inning, the Braves’ hottest hitter (Estrada) and leadoff hitter (Furcal) were both out of the game and the bench had been completely emptied, while the Braves scored no runs… Furcal ran the Braves out of a good scoring opportunity in the fourth. With him on second and Giles on first, he tried to steal third — on Charles Johnson, mind you — with one out and Andruw Jones — who was already 2-2 and usually hits well in Denver (who doesn’t) — at the plate. Not only was Furcal thrown out, but Giles’ advancing took the bat out of Andruw’s hands on an intentional walk. If I had my way, I’d have a permanent stop sign on at Coors Field. The value of a base just isn’t very high there versus the value of an out.
Game two is supposed to start in about an hour and a half… Marcus Giles had his first hitless full game this year, going 0-4 with a HBP.