Despite Bobby, bizarrely, going back to Reitsma in the ninth inning, the Braves held on for a win which is slightly cheapened by the lineup they faced and their inability to build on their lead.
Horacio was terrific. He gave up a cheap run in the first — an infield single by Pierre, a stolen base (Brayan Pena got the start), a bunt, and a groundout. This is how the Cubs score what runs they do. After that, he shut them down. He went seven, allowed seven hits, didn’t walk anyone, struck out two, and threw 87 pitches, 58 for strikes. He got almost twice as many ground balls as fly balls and induced two double plays. Again, it was the Cubs, but definitely an outing by the Good Horacio, who is eerily similar to the Good Hampton.
Horacio also scored the winning run. With two out in the second, Pena coaxed a walk after falling behind 1-2. Horacio singled, and then Marcus doubled, bringing him all the way from first base, hamstring injury and all. The Braves had some other chances to score a run in the next two innings but blew them. The Braves had seven hits by seven different players. Pena and Andruw had doubles.
Ray pitched the eighth and after a leadoff single retired the next three (thanks in part to one of Baker’s mindless bunts), so of course Reitsma came out to start the ninth. He got the first out (because the wind was blowing in so a hard hit ball died in the outfield) and then the second (because Ramirez swung at ball four on a 3-1 pitch and grounded to Chipper) before being nearly decapitated on a line drive single. Bobby brought in Remlinger, who allowed another single then finally got the out to finish it.
Smoltz against somebody tomorrow afternoon as the Braves go for the sweep… McCann went on the DL to make room for Horacio. Pena played pretty well today, we’ll see if he gets more than a once-a-week stint.