I swear, every team should keep one or two minor league veterans around to make a spot start against the Braves. Yet again, a pitcher making his major league debut, 28-year-old Jason Simontacchi in this instance, beat the Braves 3-2. Albie Lopez pitched for the Braves, and he was all right, but if he gets starts when Jason Marquis gets back (Jason has a rehab start in Richmond tonight) and Damian Moss is in the pen, Damian could kill Bobby and it would be justifiable homicide.
Marcus Giles his his fifth homer of the season, his third of the week, in the loss. He missed last night’s game after burning himself while ironing. He’s passed Chipper as the Braves’ second-best hitter after Chipper… Meanwhile, Rasputin lives; Lockhart ended the seventh with one of his patented weak groundouts with the tying run on second. The only time he doesn’t hit the ball weakly is when he doesn’t hit it at all. He’s 1-20 as a pinch hitter, his designated role, and hitting .125/.152/.188 overall. There is no justification for that man being in the major leagues.
At one stage in today’s game the Braves had four players in the lineup below the Mendoza line — and none of them was the pitcher, because Lopez is right at .200 this year. Sheffield had a late hit to get to .207, and Castilla one to get to an even .200, but Julio Franco and Javy Lopez (who also had hits, oddly enough) are still below it… Franco got the start in place of Wes Helms, who is the worst .283 hitter you’ll ever see. He does have two homers this year, but he’s yet to walk in 55 plate appearances. He has been hit by a pitch.