As I’ve mentioned, I really hate it when the team comes back from a big deficit only to lose. Trailing 4-0 in the eighth, the Braves got one run, then three in the ninth. And then went into offensive hibernation, apparently trying to see who could hit the highest popup. And in the twelfth, Mike Mordecai, of all people, hit a solo homer off of Trey Hodges to win the game.
The Braves really didn’t do very much at all before the eighth. The only time they came close to scoring was Vinny’s drive to the wall in the fifth with two on. The Braves wound up with seven hits, nobody with more than one, and five walks. The deeply slumping Rafael Furcal was 0-5 with a walk.
Hampton continues hittable, allowing 11, but at least isn’t walking many. It’s mostly singles, which I suppose you can get away with, unless you’re allowing as many as he is. I don’t understand him. Holmes and Hernandez pitched an inning each, and Smoltz the first two of extra play, without allowing any runs, but Boom-Boom tried his darndest. Hodges actually looked really good in his inning except for the pitch he hung to Mordecai.
Slightly off-topic: The Baseball Tonight dorks — Gammons and Reynolds, in this instance — were all over Jack McKeon for using Ugueth Urbina in the eighth and Braden Looper in the ninth. “You can’t use Urbina to set up Braden Looper!” Leaving aside that the evidence that Urbina is a better pitcher than Looper is scanty at best, if he is, McKeon made absolutely the right move. Mark Redman had allowed his first run of the game and the tying run was at the plate in the person of Chipper when Urbina came on. It was a game situation. And when Urbina got Chipper, it wasn’t anymore. Even Hernandez would hold a three-run lead most of the time.
Day game today, Brad Penny, who probably isn’t coming to Atlanta, against Russ Ortiz. The Phillies won to move back to 9 1/2 out… Current rumors are strong that if the Orioles can’t re-sign Sidney Ponson, he’s going to the Braves.