The Braves got six runs in the first and hung on from there for the win. It’s Coors Field, six runs isn’t nearly enough. The wind was blowing in, which more or less took the home run out of play, but left everything else that makes Coors so special — inhumanly fast grounders, bloop singles that land in front of the outfielders because they’re playing where in some parks is Row 8 of the bleachers, doubles into the gaping gaps. All the Braves’ runs came with two out.
The Braves had 14 hits, six of them doubles. Most of the hits came from three players. Marcus was 4-6 with two doubles, scoring twice and driving one in. Andruw and Estrada were both 3-4 with a double, a walk, and a run scored, but Estrada had two RBI and Andruw but one, which will cheer up the Andruw-bashers. (Andruwometer: .288.) Langerhans started for Jordan and went 1-5 with two RBI, while Mondesi was 1-4. What’s interesting is that Langerhans hit in front of Mondesi. Now, if Langerhans is the better hitter (as Bobby seemed to indicate by the batting order) and (as he showed last night) almost certainly a better fielder, why isn’t he starting full-time, or at least against righties?
John Thomson, who has had enough of Coors Field in his life already, almost battled it to a draw. But the fifth inning did him in, as he allowed three runs and left with two out and two runners on base. Jorge Sosa came on and got the next batter and the first two of the sixth and was given the win. I don’t know. On “most effective pitcher” I would have given it to Bernero, who pitched the seventh and needed just six pitches to retire the side, especially impressive considering one out was a strikeout. Foster faced one batter and got him, Reitsma pitched the eighth and allowed one hit. Kolb had a runner reach on an error and threw another wild pitch (the entire team has ten wild pitches, Kolb has five of them) but kept them off the board.
The Marlins beat the Astros, as Clemens can’t pitch every day… John Smoltz is starting today. His back is still tender, and he might be limited to five innings or whatever. With Bernero and Sosa having pitched the last two days, I’m not sure they’ll be available. Gryboski hasn’t pitched, but he’s limited at the best of times, and Bobby seems to want to use Foster as a LOOGY. So Roman Colon better get his fly ball tendencies under control. Byung-Hyun Kim will start for the Rockies.