Atlanta 11, Philadelphia 4

ESPN.com – MLB – Recap – Braves at Phillies
Turns out all the Braves offense needed to get healthy was a trip to Citizens Bank Bandbox. Atlanta got eight runs in 3 1/3 innings against Phillies starter Gavin Floyd and hit five home runs overall two each by Rafael Furcal and Raul Mondesi (yes, Raul Mondesi) to win big in the first game of a seven-day road trip.

The Braves got four in the first on just one hit, which is not that easy to do. Floyd walked the bases loaded with two outs, then threw a wild pitch to score Furcal. Floyd walked Adam LaRoche to reload the bases, then hung an 0-1 slider to Brian Jordan, who slapped the ball into the left-center gap for three runs.

Adam LaRoche added a two-run homer in the third (a huge shot off the facing of the middle deck in right) to make it 6-2. The Braves got two more in the fourth on a solo homer by Mondesi and a bloop double by Chipper Jones to chase Floyd.

Horacio Ramirez was far from dominant, but pitched well enough to deserve the win. He threw exactly 100 pitches in 5 1/3 innings, allowing three runs (all earned) on six hits, striking out one and walking four.

Every Atlanta position player either scored or drove in a run (although Andruw Jones went 0-for-5 with three Ks). Furcal had a great game even without the two homers adding a single, a walk, two steals and two more runs scored to his pair of solo shots.
The Braves bullpen was not totally lights-out either, but got the job done. Jorge Sosa, Chris Reitsma and Adam Bernero combined to allow just one run over the final 3 2/3 innings.

Speaking of the bullpen, the Braves followed the advice of many a Braves Journal commenter and released Tom Martin today. They filled the roster spot with Ghost of Bullpens Past John Foster, who was putrid in a handful of outings with Atlanta in 2002. Since then, the 27-year-old lefty has pitched for Milwaukee and had arm surgery (hard to argue which of those two was worse).

The Marlins lost to the Mets Friday night, but the Nationals were off for some reason, meaning Atlanta and Washington are once again tied for first in the NL East at 6-4.

One other quick note. The win gave Bobby Cox 2,008 for his managerial career, which ties him with Leo Durocher for eighth on the all-time list. Durocher may be one of the few guys in history who had a testier relationship with umpires than Cox.

Day game tomorrow, 3:05 p.m. on TBS. John Smoltz vs. Jon Lieber on the mound.

16 thoughts on “Atlanta 11, Philadelphia 4”

  1. Good post Creg. Right on the mark. That’s a lot of pitches for only 5-1/3 innings though. It’ll make your arm go dead real fast throwing that much and not even getting a quality start out of it.

  2. That’s true bwarrend, but I think Horacio is still less than refined after coming back from his shoulder troubles, so hopefully this is something that is improving.

  3. ASG, Tuscaloosa is in the Central Time Zone. For Mac and other Alabamians, it’s 3:05.

  4. Horacio needs to harness his control again. He’s definitely thrown good stuff this year, but his pitch count has caught up to him in both outings I believe. The last start was a closer game though. I still don’t know what to make of the bullpen, inconsistent as this point. The bats are coming around still. I love to see the Braves hit in Philadelphia. That ballpark seems to love us more than the Phillies, at least recently.

  5. I like to think that the whole bullpen will improve, only because martin’s presence was bringing them down.

  6. Gant and Chip, announcers of the future? Possibly? I’m for it. Chip got on my nerves at first, but he seems to be settling in. What I like most about him is that he actually gets excited (it even seems genuine) when someone makes a great play, unlike the old fogeys who’ve been in the booth for us previously.

  7. Nate, did you read the comments under “I hate driving in Atlanta”? Funny, I actually knocked Chip for the same thing you like about him. I enjoy the drone of the “old fogies” especially on radio and I’m quite young (34). It has something to do with that whole background of summer thing.

    The excitement Chip exudes is, I agree, genuine but it leaves me wandering how he’ll respond in the huge situations. There’s nothing more anti-climatic than the announcer losing himself and deteriorating into screams when there’s a base clearing double to win during a tight august race. I want my announcers to paint the picture with their words more than their tone.

    And here’s a Saturday side-bar. Which situations get you fist pumping no matter when you see them? I go nuts on an unforced outfield assist no matter when or which base.

  8. And there I got one Thome out at home.

    I stood up, walked towards the TV, yelled YER OUT, and woke both the dogs.

    Chip called it with relative calm.

  9. Thanks for the kind words guys. Yes, ASG and Joey T, I’m in Anniston, Alabama, which means I’m on Central Time (though just barely).

  10. Why is Utley always hit well against Smoltz…man I think he can possibly be as good as Giles if he is given a full-time responsibility…

  11. Nice post Creg. Anniston is where Rick Bragg got his start. He did a talk in East Tennessee on Thursday that I went to. Definitely one of the better journalists/novelists I’ve read. And he spoke of his love for the Braves, but he compared their Septemeber heartbrakes to his experience with women.

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