You know, the Braves’ bullpen is getting a lot of wins. I’m starting to think they’re in a plot with the hitters, who keep scoring only late in the game. Tonight, Jason Marquis gave up only one run through six innings, but his control was way off (55 strikes, 47 balls) and he gave way in the seventh with the score tied. Mike Remlinger — who really should be on the All-Star team, and who needs five closers? — got out of a bases-loaded jam by striking out Sammy Sosa. So, with Marquis safely out of the way, the Braves felt free to score a run in the seventh and three (thanks largely to some awful defense) in the eighth. Tim Spooneybarger made it interesting by walking two in the ninth, then Smoltz came on and walked Sosa. But he got a strikeout and a DP to get out of it and pick up save number 29.
Javy Lopez drove in the game winner with a double, his second game winning RBI in the last two nights. He’s coming up big while the outfielders who are supposed to carry the offense are struggling and Vinny is being Vinny. In all seriousness, right now the Braves’ top weapons are Furcal, Lopez, and Lockhart, plus Bragg off the bench.
If it still matters, the Expos beat the Phillies and the Marlins beat the Mets. The Mets are now in fourth, 12 1/2 out, and probably about ready to start trading off players.