That was a weird one. Kevin Millwood rebounded with a good start, but the Braves couldn’t score after Furcal’s leadoff homer and and trailed 2-1 after six. But Javy “Rhymes with 6-4-3” Lopez came through with an RBI single to tie, and the game went to extra innings. In the tenth, Henry Blanco, of all people, hits a solo homer. Smoltz blows away the first two, lets the next two reach, but gets Tyler “Drafted Ahead of Frank Thomas, and No, I’m Not Letting Go of That One” Houston to finish off the win. The Braves crawled back to within a game of .500.
Gary Sheffield is now 0-10 since returning to the lineup; I have ot assume he’s still hurting. Bobby did make a move today, benching Vinny Castilla to get Mark DeRosa into the lineup at third base; he’s played five positions already this year. DeRosa responded by going 2-4 and scoring the tying run. Let’s see if Bobby lets him hold onto the job; I wouldn’t count on it. Sooner or later, Castilla has to either hit or sit.
Every fifth day, the Braves win. Unfortunately, Tom Glavine can’t pitch more often than that. After Greg Maddux gave up four runs in one inning yesterday (but other than that pitched well), Glavine went eight, gave up one run (an 8th-inning solo homer) and generally continued to pitch better than he ever has before.
Javy Lopez got back into the lineup last night, but hit eighth, behind Wes Helms. He’s hitting only .194, and if he doesn’t start playing better the Braves might as well give the job to Henry Blanco. Meanwhile, Gary Sheffield still isn’t right. The offense right now is pretty much Furcal, Giles (who has homered in each of the last two) and the Joneses.
The Braves have a day game in Milwaukee, Millwood versus Rusch, today, then go to St. Louis for three over the weekend.