Remember this one. Andruw hit a walkoff homer — on a pitch about letter-high and well outside, he still pulled it well to left — after the Braves had blown a 7-1 lead with John Smoltz pitching.
The Braves jumped out 2-0 in the first when Chipper launched a homer into the bullpen. The Natspos got one back in the second, but in the third the game was seemingly blown open. With two runs already in, Francoeur hit a 3-2 pitch a very long way to make it 7-1. With Smoltz going, automatic.
Except that John wasn’t right tonight, perhaps with the same sickness that’s struck both teams in this series. He allowed two in the fourth and was bailed out by horrible baserunning (another of this series’ themes) in the fifth. So Bobby went to the pen.
For some reason, that was Blaine Boyer to start with. Why bring in Boyer then, to pitch just one inning? He was very good, getting four outs after Marcus botched a grounder. But that was it for him and Bobby brought in Jim Brower.
Okay, the bullpen got used fairly hard in the first three games of the series. But Brower sucks. He knows he sucks, and Bobby must know he sucks, and everybody knows he sucks. Aliens know he sucks. He sucked four runs worth tonight. After walking a run in, he finally left for Macay McBride, who surprisingly wasn’t sharp since it’s not like he hasn’t pitched in ten days. McBride walked in another run. Then Kolb came in and predictably allowed a two-run single to Vinny, of all people, to tie the game. At this point, I start throwing things. After loading the bases again Kolb finally got out of it with a classic Grybo — two inherited runs scored, a save blown, and no skin off his ERA.
Kyle Davies saved the Braves. He was supposed to start Saturday, but instead came out of the bullpen. He got the first two in the eighth, then loaded the bases on two singles and a walk. Then he clamped down and go the next seven men.
The Braves had a chance to win it in the ninth, but Chipper hit into a double play with runners first and second. Andruw, 0-4 to that point, ended it. Never in doubt.
The Phillies beat the Mets, staying 4 back in the division. The Marlins lost to fall to 5 1/2 back, Mets are 6 1/2 out, the Natspos seven. Those guys all play each other (Mets at Marlins, Phillies at Natspos) while the Braves host the Reds for three, Milton versus Hudson in the opener.