Atlanta 8 Baltimore 1

ESPN.com – MLB – Recap – Orioles at Braves

Another complete game for Smoltz, another home run for Andruw, and a series sweep for the Braves. Things are cooking right now.

The Braves took an early lead largely thanks to Furcal, who singled, stole second, and came around to score on Andruw’s single in the first, then tripled home two runs with two out in the third. They were his only two hits of the day. I may be imagining it, but it looks to me that Furcal’s shoulder problem only becomes a problem late in the game, that in his first two or three AB he usually swings well.

Smoltz took a perfect game into the fifth, then allowed a solo homer to Palmeiro for the Orioles’ only run. Andruw got it back in the sixth with another monster blast, home run number 24. The Braves broke it open against Steve Reed in the eighth. Marcus doubled (his 22nd of the year) leading off, then stole third. Andruw struck out, but after LaRoche was intentionally walked the floodgates opened; Betemit singled home Marcus, Langerhans singled to load the bases, McCann singled home LaRoche and Betemit, and Smoltz doubled in Langerhans, though McCann was thrown out at the plate. John gave up a couple of hits in the ninth but pitched around it. He threw 118 pitches, 79 strikes, and really should have been lifted before pitching the ninth, but Bobby defers to him, of course. He struck out seven, allowed five hits, and didn’t walk any.

McCann seems to have settled in as John’s personal catcher and had three hits, raising his average to .348. Langerhans, Betemit, Andruw, and Furcal all had two-hit days, and the only Brave not to get a hit was Kelly Johnson, breaking his streak.

The Braves play a four-game series at Florida now, a tough assignment. Horacio will be able to go against Moehler starting off tomorrow on Turner South. The Natspos are losing, as are the Phillies, so it could be a productive day.

19 thoughts on “Atlanta 8 Baltimore 1”

  1. Smoltz looks stellar out there. He’s only walked 5 batters in his last 5 starts. His command is near-perfect right now.

  2. Great job smoltzie and braves.
    the only Brave not to get a hit was Kelly Johnson, breaking his streak.–>oh,poor baby ??.
    Such trifles occasionally ruffle my temper.

    Go braves~~~~~

  3. Such trifles occasionally ruffle my temper.

    Funny, I was about to say the same thing…

  4. For a blast from the past, check out this thread – hard to believe it’s only three weeks old!

    http://www.bravesbeat.com/bravesjournal/archives/2005/06/california_8_at.html

    I like this quote from Marc: “Being hot for a couple of weeks doesn’t compensate for hitting .120 for a month. And don’t give me his HR numbers–those are meaningless today and, in reality, his numbers aren’t likely to be .270, 30, 100; more likely to be .260, 27, 85.”,

    27 homers, 85 RBI does sound like Andruw… BEFORE THE ALL STAR BREAK!

    Sorry about that, I got a little excited. It sure is nicer to be a Braves fan when we win a few games, isn’t it? :)

  5. Incredible. He wasn’t this good before the three arm surgeries.

    Remember this series, because it is the beginning of the end for the rest of the division. They may even be in 1st place after this week if not for the fact the Nationals play the Pirates…again.

  6. I was wondering how long it was going to take you to bring up that thread again, Kyle. I though it would be yesterday… been a little distracted lately? ;)

    Seriously, I don’t think anybody saw this coming. Even his detractors knew he would get hot again, but not even his biggest supporters could have realistically predicted his last two weeks. It’s been incredible. I really did think he was destined for somewhere else in the offseason, but the emergence of cheap options in the outfield, at short and catcher probably make that unnecessary. And the way he’s been going lately makes it looks just plain ridiculous no matter what.

    But .260/27/85 did look pretty realistic just three weeks ago based on how he was going then and his 2004 numbers.

  7. Anybody else on the bandwagon for Andruw as player of the week…maybe even player of the month for June?

  8. I think he’ll probably win player of the month. The only other candidate I see is Derrek Lee, who has probably been a little better but not quite as showy.

  9. I’m not trying to toot my own horn (well, sure I am, but only just a little bit :). And I have been distracted – my wife is in the hospital, so I’ve been there almost all of the time I haven’t been at work over the past four days. And sure, I certainly would not have predicted anything close to this level of performance for Andruw. I can’t believe he’s still only hitting .275.

    But the point remains: he’s not as good as he looks now. He’s not as bad as he looked then. And we should project .270/.350/.500 with 35 bombs until he shows us a reason not to expect that.

    I’m glad that McCann and Smoltz are getting along well, but I am not sure that I’m confident Brian’s hitting can develop if he’s not playing every day. He’ll play more up here than Marte would if Chipper was healthy but not as much as he would in AA. Someone with more baseball playing experience than me is probably who should answer that question.

    The decision to not give up on Betemit is looking pretty good in retrospect, as is the Green/Sosa trade. It’s too bad Kolb is terrible or Schuerholtz would have had a hell of an offseason :)

  10. Not that this means anything, but I’ve heard several times that if you can’t develop somebody while they’re on the bench, you can’t develop them, period. Case in point: Willy Mo Pena.

  11. Stats generally prove the rule, otherwise they would be useless. I wish Andruw had this hot streak during playoffs, by the way what is the Big A’s stats during the playoffs?

  12. Kyle,

    I hope your wife is doing OK and I wish you and her the best. I hope she gets well soon. I’ve spent too much time in the hospital worrying about other people. I know it’s not fun. If you need someone to pick up the slack gloating about Andruw, I’d be happy to step in. ;-)

    JC

  13. I can’t help but think this is Andruw’s Sammy Sosa-style coming out party. Remember old Sammy? Struck out on bad pitches away all the time? Lots of promise and lots of decent seasons, but no one ever thought he’d be a superstar? Then he goes and hits like 20 home runs in a month back in 1998 and spends the next few years turning into a hall of famer.

    A man can dream, can’t he?

  14. I hate it when my words come back to haunt me! Actually, I think Andruw is hitting because I dissed him–if I get on his bandwagon, he will probably stop hitting.

  15. I think having McCann up at the big club is good for him at this point. When not starting, he can catch the other pitchers to learn their stuff (side sessions, bullpen, that kind of thing), and he can learn from the coaches. His bat seems to be solid, so even though he isn’t in the lineup every day, he’s contributing. I bet he stays up the rest of the season, unless he slumps badly. Smoltz seems to do well throwing to him.

  16. JC – thanks for your concern. Our first child was born at 10:45am last night, Fiona May, weighing 3 lbs 10 oz and measuring 14″ long. She was born at 32 weeks and so will be hanging out in the nICU for the next month or so, but she’s doing great so far. Mom had to have another round of surgery after the Caesarean but is recovering well in the ICU. Dad just got up after not going to sleep until 8am :)

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