You gotta love it when you sweep a first place team, as the Braves did the Cardinals. Damian Moss went eight (a season high),giving up only one hit, but was about to take the loss after giving up an unearned run in the third. But the Braves rallied with single runs in the eighth and ninth, ending with Gary Sheffield’s walk-off homer. Just another day at the office for Moss, who threw seven no-hit innings against the Cards earlier this year. He got a no-decision then, too. John Smoltz pitched the ninth and got the win this time.
The unearned run came courtesy of a Wes Helms error at third base. That’s bad news, because it encourages Bobby to put Vinny (who has been injured) back in there… The Braves won the game despite playing with essentially a 22-man roster. In addition to Vinny, Andruw was out to rest his shoulder, and Albie Lopez is still unavailable. Of course, a team with Albie on the roster is playing with 24 men anyway. As it was, Jason Marquis scored the tying run as a pinch-runner, (what, Andruw’s shoulder meant he couldn’t pinch-run?) and Mark DeRosa was the only healthy Brave position player not to play.
If it still matters, the Braves now lead the Mets, who have fallen to .500, by seventeen and a half games; the Marlins and Expos are eighteen back. The Braves’ magic number (I’ve been waiting to do this!) is 35. If the Braves were to go 25-26 in their remaining games, the Mets would have to go 43-9 just to tie… On to Arizona.