Oh, well. The Smoltzometer could have run to zero, and the Braves could have beat Curt Schilling, but Smoltz couldn’t hold a two-run lead in the ninth and the game went to extra innings. The Braves won anyway, 4-3, as Andruw Jones (who I guess didn’t need a cortisone shot after all) hit a home run in the 13th and the rest of the bullpen was strong. Kerry Ligtenberg pitched two innings for the win; Darren Holmes and the invisible Albie Lopez were the only relievers who didn’t pitch.
Vinny Castilla is still out. Wes Helms had his first bad game at the plate as his replacement, and it was a doozy — 0-6 with three strikeouts. Matt Franco had two hits and three RBI, and Rafael Furcal had four hits… Kevin Millwood started and was pretty good. He gave up only one run, but was lucky to do that well. He allowed ten baserunners (six hits, four walks) but most of the hits were singles.
Normally after a game like that, where the bullpen has to throw seven innings, you’ll try to stretch out the next game’s starting pitcher. But Greg Maddux is starting today, and the Braves have been extra-cautious with him all year. (Also, the Diamondbacks hit him — his career ERA against them is 5.32.) And the big three of Hammond, Remlinger, and Smoltz all threw only one inning, so should be available. We’ll see.