The Braves needed Cristian Guzman to make a two-out, two-run error in the bottom of the ninth to win the game or even to score, but I’ll take it. So will the Braves. After loading the bases with nobody out, Jordan and LaRoche predictably struck out and then Mondesi grounded to short. But on a wet track Guzman threw the ball away and Giles and Chipper scored.
John Smoltz still can’t get a win even though over the last three games he’s given up a total of five runs in 21 1/3 inning and struck out 28. John, if you want to take some hostages, I understand, and I’m here to help. I’ll hold the video cameras while you put a slider to their heads. Smoltz today gave up five hits, one run, no walks, and got five strikeouts in seven innings. So chalk up a no-decision! Reitsma threw a perfect eighth to get the win; Kolb, finally throwing strikes (though he was still high in the zone from what I can tell) a perfect ninth with a strikeout to get a save.
Andruw, in the midst of a slump of Biblical proportions, didn’t get the start. He came in for defense in the ninth and made a sliding catch on the wet grass. (One thing about that field is that it doesn’t have any modern innovations and doesn’t dry like every other park in the majors.) The Braves were held to four singles and three walks. Marcus was 2-4, with Furcal and Estrada getting the other hits. The Braves’ 4-8 hitters end the game hitting .217, .211, .222, .218, and .200. Meanwhile, Kelly Johnson is hitting .340/.431/.600, James Jurries is hitting .316/.372/.763, and Brayan Pena is hitting .367/.441/.400. I’m just pointing it out.
The Braves finally return to Atlanta; maybe they left their swings there. I hope so. It’s a short homestand, three games with the Phillies with Hampton and Myers starting it off. Thanks to Dan; I should be in the house for the forseeable future.