This is more like it. The Braves won 6-4, Kevin Millwood doubled home two runs and got his fifteenth win, and John Smoltz got his 49th save. I’m a little worried about Mike Remlinger, who gave up two runs in an inning of work and may not be quite right yet, but any time you get a sweep on the road, even against a struggling Montreal team, it’s good.
Millwood was cruising through 5 2/3, simply dominating the Expos’ hitters, when he suddenly ran out of gas. He hasn’t been doing that lately, and it’s something to keep an eye on. But it’s only one game. If it happens again, Bobby should probably think about maybe giving him some long rest or skipping a turn, just to make sure he’s fresh for postseason.
Rafael Furcal returned to the lineup, and Mark DeRosa played second base. Unfortunately, Vinny Castilla played third again. He had a hit to drive in a run, but he also managed to leave three runners on base. Every Braves starter had a hit, with Julio Franco (3-4 with a walk) and Darren Bragg (2-4 with a walk) the only players with multiple hits.
The Braves now host the Pirates. They have nine games in a row at home. It’s possible they could clinch by the end of the homestand, but only if the Phillies cool down. It’s most likely that they will clinch the division in Florida, where they play a four-game series in two weeks; if not then, then it would probably be when they host the Phillies in the series after that.