That’s a pretty nice way to go into the break. Of course, when you’ve won nine of ten, I’m not sure you want to take the next three days off. (Well, a quarter of the team won’t.) Vinny had three more hits and two more RBI. For the four-game series, he was 11-15 with ten. Go figure.
Shane Reynolds started, and was really pretty good, allowing only one, unearned, run. He had some hittability issues early on, but got out of trouble with double plays. Just from my observation, it looked like he had a lot of movement on his pitches, though he still can’t throw a fastball through wet paper. Throwing lots of breaking pitches, he managed six innings, four strikeouts, two walks. Needed a lot of pitches to do it, but it was a fairly impressive effort. I won’t count on a repeat any more than I will Vinny hitting .733. Trey Hodges had two strikeouts in an inning of work, Ray King struck out the only two batters he faced, and Boom-Boom Bobby managed to get Smoltz working in the pen, but got Sosa to GIDP.
Javy had three hits, Chipper two and two runs scored. Big at-bat that will get absolutely no credit: Andruw in the sixth. After Chipper led off the inning with a walk, the pitching coach came out to settle down Carlos Zambrano. Andruw went to 2-2, fouled off a couple of pitches, and got a walk. Two pitches later, Fick doubled home both Joneses to get a five-run inning going. But Andruw looks like a chump for being the only starter to not get a hit.
The Phillies lost to fall to 8 1/2 back. The Expos are 12 1/2 out, the Marlins 13. One of those two teams will likely fall completely out of the playoff hunt by the end of the month. With the Braves looking to add pitching, and Javier Vazquez and Brad Penny both rumored, it’s worth keeping an eye on. The Mets are 21 back (ha!) and will come to Atlanta for four when real games resume.