The problem with Shane Reynolds is that — well, that he stinks. He gives up a bunch of hits and he walks a lot of guys. He has a good won/lost record because the Braves have scored a lot of runs in his starts, but he hasn’t pitched well very often. Today they didn’t score a lot of runs and he gave up five hits and four walks in 4 1/3 innings. You can’t succeed giving up two baserunners an inning. It just can’t be done. He wound up being charged with four runs, but he was lucky to avoid giving up more.
Reynolds didn’t get any help from the bullpen this time, with King allowing an inherited runner to score and Hodges, Bong, and Marquis all giving up runs. Marquis, frankly, looked uncomfortable pitching on the second day in a row, and I wonder if he’ll be able to survive in the pen.
Bobby gave Furcal and Sheffield the day off. The latter was probably because Marcus Giles kicked him in the head last night, and since Furcal was pulled early I wonder if he’s also hurting. With Giles still slumping and Andruw returning to an 0-4 day, the Braves were left with pretty much Chipper, Fick, and Javy among the players doing well, in addition to Bragg being a second pitcher. Ironically, it was Vinny’s two-run homer that gave the Braves an early lead.
The Phillies come to town starting Tuesday. The Phillies swept the Red Sox and are now only 8 1/2 back, just a half game behind Montreal.