I don’t get it. I understand why Bobby might have pulled Hampton after four innings. It was his first game back, though he’d thrown only 58 pitches and hadn’t given up a run. I understand why he tried to get another inning out of Adam Bernero, again, even though Bernero’s been ineffective used for more than an inning of late and he wound up giving up two runs, after blowing through the fifth. But I don’t understand, can’t understand, why Bobby, with a 3-2 lead, would use Roman Colon to pitch the seventh. It makes no sense whatsoever. Colon got one out, gave up two hits, and gave way to Gryboski, who in true Gryboski fashion allowed a game-tying single. Foster, pitching in his third straight game, gave up a double to Nick Johnson, Johnson’s 75th double of the series, making it 5-3. Then Jorge Sosa came in, as he should have to start the inning and, too late, pitched an inning and two thirds of scoreless baseball.
Hampton was Hampton. His control’s not great and he allows too many hits but he gets ground balls when he needs them and doesn’t allow big blows. Same old same old.
The Braves got only one run on one hit off of John Patterson, but he was coming off the DL too and Robinson lifted him after five. The Braves then got two runs off of CJ “Why Am I Back In The Majors Leagues Again?!?” Nitkowski for a 3-0 lead.
Julio drove in the last of those runs with a single off of TJ Tucker, who relieved Nitkowski. I mean “off of”, it hit him and ricocheted into left, scoring Chipper from second. Julio also hit a homer leading off the ninth. He hit for LaRoche, who has looked awful of late; I wouldn’t be surprised if Julio got the start tomorrow even with a righty going.
After the homer, the Braves got hits from Andruw and Estrada, and almost bailed out the pen, but Jordan grounded out, Pena (pinch-hitting because Betemit ran for Estrada) struck out swinging at a pitch around his eyes with runners first and third, and Furcal took strike three, which is just weird since he doesn’t take pitches.
Mondesi was DFAd to make room for Hampton. Hopefully when he’s taken off the 40-man the Braves can put another pitcher there and call him up in Colon’s place… The Marlins lost again, and the NL East is collapsing into a black hole at about .500. Smoltz versus Armas tomorrow, and John better go seven. SportsSouth night game.
Note: Alex was at the game tonight. He’ll probably drop by later to vent, but I just wanted to note that he voice-messaged me from the stadium, just before Colon blew up the game, to complain about him coming in. Not a second-guess, a first-guess.