Like last night, the Giants grabbed a late lead, 2-1 in the sixth on this occasion. This time, the Braves rallied, and the pen didn’t let the Giants pull away. Chipper’s solo homer tied it, and Javy’s two-run homer gave them the lead. The Braves added two more in the eighth and broke the Giants’ six-game winning streak.
Horacio Ramirez got a no-decision, but again pitched well enough to win. He made one major mistake, allowing a two-run homer from Andres Galarraga in the sixth. (The Giants are another team with a surfeit of ex-Braves on the roster. In addition to the Big Cat platooning at first, they have Marquis Grissom playing center, and Jason Schmidt and Damian Moss in the rotation. Both of the pitchers have been excellent this year; Schmidt goes tomorrow.) Ramirez may be a rookie, but he’s already learned one thing about life in the majors:
SAN FRANCISCO 1ST -Top of the 1st inning… -B Bonds intentionally walked.
SAN FRANCISCO 3RD
-Top of the 3rd inning…
-B Bonds walked, R Aurilia to second.
SAN FRANCISCO 7TH
-Top of the 7th inning…
-B Bonds intentionally walked.
After the latter walk, Horacio only faced one more hitter — another walk — and Kevin Gryboski got the last out with the bases loaded. Gryboski got the win when the Braves rallied in the bottom of the inning.
Speaking of intentional walks, I hope that those of you who think that Bobby is the only manager to do dumb things caught the eighth inning. With the Braves leading 4-2, Furcal was on second with two out and Chipper — already 2-3 with two RBI and a homer — at the plate to face a righthander, Andruw on deck. If you’re going to issue an intentional walk, this would seem to be the time. But they pitched to Chipper. The count went 3-0, and surely they’d walk him now. But Alou let the pitcher pitch, and Chipper doubled to left-center. Then Andruw singled him home to make it 6-2.
Of course, earlier in the inning, TBS flashed a graphic about how Marcus Giles leads the majors in sac bunts. A lead he padded with another one soon after…
I’ve complained about Smoltz pitching with three-run leads. Tonight he pitched with a four-run lead. And yet, I approve. He started warming up with the Braves up two, and I figure in he’s gotten warmed up he should pitch.