Oh, well, nobody’s perfect. Wickman allowed three runs in the ninth inning after coming into a tie game. They were all scored as unearned; Marcus made an error to let the first one reach, then Renteria made one to let the other two score. And one of the two hits was an infield single. Still, pretty disheartening way for him to likely end his season.
The Braves trailed almost the entire game. Cormier allowed solo homers in the first (Berkman) and sixth (Huff). Since he almost wound up with a quality start (leaving with one out in the sixth) he probably didn’t do anything to move himself out of next year’s crowded rotation picture, though really with a healthy Hampton and the established Smoltz-James-Hudson there should be only one spot. Again, he didn’t actually pitch well; a pattern of eight hits, two walks, two homers, and one strikeout in less than six innings is more likely to yield five runs than two.
Paronto, the Vulture, McBride, and Kali (the Four Horsemen of the Bullpenoclypse) managed to keep the Astros from adding any runs over the next 2 2/3. The Braves got a run on a Marcus bunt in the sixth, and LaRoche (who had been laboring a little and isn’t really healthy) hit a homer in the eighth to tie it. The Braves got two runs in and the tying run on in the ninth, but LaRoche struck out.
End of the season, at last, tomorrow. Hopefully the Cards lose and we eliminate the Astros. I don’t ask for much, only Craig Biggio’s tears.
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