Nothing much to say, really. The Giants got some big hits, the Braves didn’t, and the season’s over. Barry Bonds singled and scored, and later homered, and maybe the vultures will finally leave him alone. Well, for a few days. Kevin Millwood pitched well, but it was in vain.
While the blame will rest on the Braves’ offense, let the record show that they averaged over five runs a game in the series (and outscored the Giants), and collected seven hits and five walks in the deciding game. When you have fourteen baserunners (two others reached on errors) you’ll usually get more than one run. And while Gary Sheffield will get a lot of blame, in particular for striking out in the ninth inning, he again had three walks and at least got on base.
It just didn’t happen. While the media will no doubt see this as some sort of mortal failure, the simple fact is that somebody has to lose every game, and that in baseball every single play results in someone failing to accomplish his goal. That is the nature of the game.
Chipper Jones’ hard grounder with two out and the bases loaded went right to the shortstop, who was shifted over near second. Rafael Furcal’s line drive with the tying run on second and two out hung up in the air where Lofton could get to it. If the Braves had been luckier, maybe those balls find holes and they win. They didn’t, but that doesn’t mean that Chipper and Rafael “failed”. They hit the ball hard, which is all you can hope for. It just so happens that the balls didn’t find holes.
Good luck to the Giants, now beat those damned Cardinals. As for me, I’ll have some sort of postmortem on the Braves’ season soon, then on to the offseason. I’ll keep track of the Braves’ transactions, say what I think of them, and maybe I’ll have some other things to tell you about.