See, this is what I was talking about. The Mariners are a great team, especially at home. And their ballpark is a hard place to hit homers. The Braves didn’t hit one in the entire series, and thus didn’t score many runs.
The good outcome of this is that I feel more confident in Greg Maddux than I have yet this season. He struck out eleven, allowed only five hits, and didn’t walk anyone in seven innings. You can’t actually pitch much better, but the Mariners got some infield hits and picked up a couple of early runs. Just luck, and Ichiro’s speed, really.
The Braves’ only run came in the sixth, Sheffield driving in Furcal with two out. They had a chance to tie it in the ninth, but Sheffield was stranded at second. Hey, you can’t win them all, but Maddux deserved better than the “loser” tag this story hangs on him.
Travel day tomorrow, then the beginning of a three-game series against the Phillies. The Braves have a chance to all but knock out the Phils, the smart-money pick to win the division in the preseason. (The stupid-money pick was as always the Mets.) I’ll settle for two out of three, and a winning road trip. Kevin Millwood might pitch Thursday.