Once again, I’d really like to thank Frank Robinson, who apparently slipped into a coma during the seventh inning and allowed Livan Hernandez, already well past the 100-pitch mark, to give up five runs, helping to turn a 2-1 game into an 8-1 rout. Livan finished up throwing 143 pitches in the game, and his arm will surely soon fly off at the shoulder. Good.
Speaking of pitchers and body parts, Hampton left after getting one batter in the fifth, having apparently hurt himself trying to run out a bunt in the previous inning. Great. Cruz relieved and got the win, even though he gave up a solo homer to the next batter. Colon, Alfonseca, and Smith finished it.
The Braves’ first two runs came on solo homers, one by Andruw in the second, the next by Furcal — at the park on time today — in the third. But they couldn’t get a hit with runners on base until the seventh, when they broke it open with six runs, five charged to Hernandez. Furcal singled to lead off, then Bobby had Marcus bunt again. (Sheesh.) Drew walked, then Chipper singled Furcal home. Estrada doubled home Drew, then LaRoche — who had previously grounded into a double play with one out and the bases loaded — finally knocked Hernandez out with a double. Andruw was hit by a pitch and Thomas (the only Braves position player without a hit, though he did walk twice) walked. Julio capped the scoring with a two-run double. Andruw was 2-3, Chipper 2-4 with a walk.
The Marlins lost to fall to 8 1/2 back; the magic number is 15. The Phillies have crawled back into the wildcard race with a five-game winning streak (you’re welcome!) and are 10 1/2 back in the division.
Jose Capellan makes his debut tomorrow against Tony Armas, supposedly. Armas misses like half his starts. Day game on TBS.