Maybe Gary Sheffield really does play better when he’s unhappy. He doubled home two runs in the third, later scored, and then had a solo homer. He’s hitting .347/.440/.653 for the season. Every Brave regular reached base in some fashion; the Braves had only six hits, but drew seven walks, including three by Chipper. Johnny Estrada started behind the plate and had his first hit as a Brave.
Russ Ortiz had a good outing, giving up two runs in 6 1/3. You can’t expect him to go much longer than that, because he throws so many pitches, but he only walked one versus seven strikeouts. Gryboski (how does he do it?) got a double play to get out of the seventh. Hernandez gave up an unearned run when Andruw let a single go through his legs; I’m still not sure how that happened. And Smoltz pitched an inning and a third for the save, striking out three. Pretty good day for the pitchers.
Have you ever noticed how low an angle Rafael Furcal throws from? Most shortstops’ throws to first go up in the air a little and are on their way down when they get to first base. I swear, Rafael’s look like they’re on a straight line… Greg Maddux goes tonight against Matt Morris. It’s on ESPN if you don’t get Sportssouth.