I’ve never been one of those people who panicks whenever Greg Maddux loses a couple of games in a row or gives up four runs in six innings. The standards for Maddux have always been impossibly high; any time he gave up even two runs, you’d hear “What’s wrong with Maddux?”
Well, there’s something clearly wrong. Maddux says it’s his location, and it’s pretty clear that that’s a large portion of it. Greg threw 104 pitches — in only 5 2/3 innings — last night, and 43 of them were balls. And at times his control was even more off. He seems to be getting good movement — he had seven strikeouts — but at the same time he’s been wild in the strike zone. He gave up two homers, both to Pat Burrell. I figure eventually Greg will figure out what’s wrong, but I hope it doesn’t happen too late.
Offensively, the Braves are now 0-6 when not hitting a home run, 3-0 when they do. And for the second game in a row, they failed to draw a walk. So even with ten hits, three of them doubles, the Braves could muster only two runs. I can not emphasize this strongly enough: YOU CAN NOT WIN BASEBALL GAMES IF ALL YOU DO IS HIT SINGLES.
Six of the hits were by Fick and Sheffield, three apiece… Marcus Giles made an error Tuesday, so sure as anything there was Mark DeRosa in the lineup at second base last night. And on the very first pitch from Maddux, Mark made an error leading to a run.
Trey Hodges will start tonight’s game against Hector Mercado. I’m pretty certain Kevin Millwood is unhappy, but Bowa made the right call for once.