The story at first was Jose Capellan’s debut, in which he went five innings and seemed in line for a win. The story in the end is that the bullpen gave up six runs, including three off of Smoltz in the ninth, and the game went twelve innings before Andruw doubled home Thomas to end it.
Capellan needed 111 pitches to go those five innings, with 65 of them strikes. He struck out four, three of them Brad Wilkerson, and walked three, allowing two runs on four hits. My first impression is that his fastball is everything it’s supposed to be; he was throwing it in the high nineties with movement all game. However, his breaking pitch wasn’t really very good, and often high, and his changeup wasn’t much in evidence at all. I understood that he was working on his curveball, but what he was throwing looked more like a slider to me. I wonder if he might should throw a forkball, or maybe mix in a two-seam fastball with his four-seamer; pretty much everything I saw was up.
Gryboski gave up a run in the sixth, and then with a 7-3 lead Bobby tried to get Tom Martin a full inning of work. That never works. A two-run homer later, Bobby used Alfonseca to get one out on one pitch, which might have been questionable. Leading 8-5, Reitsma actually got a 1-2-3 inning, but Smoltz went Reitsma in his place, allowing three runs on three hits and two walks. He was lucky to not give up more. The Expos had a runner thrown out trying to steal first with nobody out, and a drive over Drew’s head with two runners on was only a single because the runners held up. Colon pitched the tenth and Cruz the last two innings to get the win, his second in the last two days.
Lots of good days for the hitters. Eddie Perez had the best, going 4-4 with a walk, homer, and double, scoring two and driving in two. Andruw was 2-5 with a walk, a homer, and the game-winning hit. Furcal was 3-5 with a walk, homered leading off the game, and scored three times. Chipper, like Andruw, was 2-5 with a walk and a solo homer.
The Braves used every reliever but Smith today and have a double-header beginning at 5:10 ET tomorrow at New York. They may need to call up another pitcher from the minors for insurance. Both games are on Turner South and I can tell you right now there’s no way I’ll be up for the end of the second game. Stupid Mets… The Marlins won to stay 8 1/2 back, the Phillies also to stay 10 1/2 back.