Gave the Braves just what was anticipated and hoped for — about 200 innings of above-average pitching. (Comparing to Maddux… Thomson 14-8, 3.72, 198 1/3 IP. Maddux 16-11, 4.02, 212 2/3. Pretty equal, considering the parks.) His ERA was a career low, but then he’s spent most of his career in Coors Field with a season in Arlington. Struck out 133, walked 52 — which is how it’s supposed to work, Mike and Horacio — allowed a little more than one hit an inning. A little homer-prone, but not Travis Smith or anything.
Thomson was a steal, in retrospect, as the Braves took advantage of a momentary downturn in the market. After an offseason when ordinary pitchers demanded, and got, three-year contracts worth $7 million a season, getting a solid starter for two years and less than $5 million is a big break. I’m guessing that with another season like the last he’ll get his pay, but probably not from the Braves.
Had thirteen hits to lead Braves’ pitchers; his .197 was second on the staff to Byrd but in more than twice the ABs. Also tied for the team lead in sac bunts with ten. Hampton was a better hitter because he hit two homers and drew three walks.