Atlanta 4 Philadelphia 0

ESPN.com – MLB – MLB RECAP

So much for momentum, and for pitching matchups. Mike Hampton pitched eight shutout innings, and Charles Thomas, of all people, homered twice, and the Braves are back to two games out.

The game was scoreless until the fifth, when Thomas hit a Citizens’ Bank Special homer with one out. Furcal later in the inning hit his third homer of the series to make it 2-0. In the seventh, Thomas hit a two-run homer off of a lefty to finish the scoring on the day. He finished with three of the Braves’ seven hits… On the flip side, the seemingly coming-around Andruw was 0-4, all strikeouts. Yuck.

Hampton allowed five hits, all singles, walked two, and struck out five, getting his second win in a row. Smoltz finished it off in the non-save situation.

Russ Ortiz will start tomorrow, according to the Fox announcers, though ESPN still has Byrd listed. It makes a lot of sense, because if Ortiz doesn’t pitch tomorrow he’d wind up with eight days between starts. The game will be on TBS.

6 thoughts on “Atlanta 4 Philadelphia 0”

  1. This is the way Hampton is supposed to pitch. It was nice to see a game where the guys we have not expected much from provide the spark. I still feel we need on offensive upgrade somewhere in the lineup.

  2. Which of the following players doesn’t belong, according to popular perception, in this sampling of NL rightie boppers? (Not a ranking mind you, just a sampling). The category is HR frequency vs lefties in 2004: Albert Pujols hits 1 every 12.4 ABs; Mike Lowell likewise 12.4; M. Cabrera every 29; Adrian Beltre 11.7; and Rafael Furcal 13.5.

    Keep this in mind the next time one of the TBS fab four is brow-beating our leadoff man for not bunting and slapping the ball weakly on the ground more often.

  3. One thing I am exciyed about is how well Thomas and Green have done so far. The Braves have a lot more like those 2 in the system. It’s encouraging to see that some of the future talent will be home grown and less expensive than if they had to stock their team with free agents like the Red Sox and Yankees.

  4. According to Bobby Cox on the radio Friday night Ortiz will start today (Sunday) to avoid 8 days between starts. He also mentioned an extra day or two off can’t hurt Byrd given his surgery. Byrd will, still, be available for a long relief appearance if necessary.

  5. I disagree about Furcal. So what if he hits some home runs; he is much more valuable when he hits line drives and gets on base. That’s his job as a leadoff man. So he hits fifteen home runs–who cares if he has a .330 OBP. The announcers are right. In general, his homeruns come when he is just swinging to put the ball in play. It’s when he swings for the fences that he gets in trouble. How often has he come up with a man in scoring position and come out of his shoes trying to hit a home run.

  6. You’re talking like hitting home runs is incompatible with a high on-base percentage. Obviously, it’s not so, and (under current conditions, anyway) all the OBP leaders are also power hitters. Moreover, the announcers want Furcal to bunt and slap at the ball, not work the count to get walks. What you end up with that way might be a batting average 30 points higher but the OBP probably wouldn’t go up much if any and the slugging percentage would plunge.

    It would be nice if Furcal put up a .400 OBP. But that’s not likely to happen unless he hits .330. He’s putting runs on the board anyway, and there aren’t any ideal leadoff hitters these days.

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