This is a loss I don’t hold against the Braves. The game was delayed by almost 2 1/2 hours in the second inning last night, and the conditions were pretty woeful the whole time. The starters were long gone (John Thomson, having given up an early run, was tagged with an unfair loss) and the bullpens had to pitch most of the game for both sides, which is the sort of thing that can mess you up for a week. Yet another glorious side-effect of interleague play; the umpires won’t call a game unless the field is actually invisible under standing water.
Travis Smith was the main culprit, allowing three runs to the Tigers via his patented gopherball — a two-run shot in the third and a solo homer in the sixth. Smith would be a fine pitcher if he didn’t give up all the homers, which is a lot like saying he’d be a fine NBA center if he was a foot taller. Nitkowski, Gryboski, and Almanza pitched an inning apiece and didn’t hurt the club, though Gryboski sure gave it a try. Juan Cruz can’t even get into a game when the starting pitcher goes one inning? Why is he on the big club if he never pitches?
The bad track cost the Braves a run (which would have tied the score) when Drew slipped in the batters’ box and was doubled up by a step. Chipper hit a monster homer in the sixth for the Braves’ first run, Marrero a homer in the next inning for the second.
Day game today with Russ Ortiz going… The Phillies won, the Marlins and Mets both lost.
Trivia answer: Wilbur Cooper. Who?