Braves Journal, The House That Mac Built

I don’t want them forget Ruth; I just want them to remember me. -Hank Aaron

30 Jul

Atlanta 6, Houston 3

ESPN.com – MLB – Recap – Astros at Braves – 07/29/2003

Vinny Castilla is stealing my jokes! After the incredibly torrid Marcus Giles went 5-5 last night (all singles), Vinny interrupted an interview to say, “He’s not playing tomorrow.” Marcus has nine hits in a row, an Atlanta record, one short of the league record, and has raised his batting average 29 points in the last five games.

Ironically, it was Vinny who had the day off last night, with DeRosa playing third. It was a mixed bag. Mark had two hits, one a double, but also committed two errors on plays Vinny probably makes routinely. Every Brave starter had a hit, and Sheffield and Russ Ortiz both homered. Ortiz hit a rocket off of Roy Oswalt leading off the third; Oswalt immediately left the game with an injury. Without him, the Astros’ rotation is in even more dire straits than the Braves’ bullpen. The Braves had 18 hits, and you’d expect more runs than six from that, but they hit into four double plays.

Ortiz was solid, not spectacular. He had some control difficulties and walked four (three strikeouts) but allowed only five hits in 6 1/3. If the bullpen were well rested — or any good — he probably would have been pulled after six, because he was laboring, but stayed on and would up giving up an inherited run. Gryboski, of course. Ray King managed to get out of the inning. Darren Holmes, who is definitely the setup man now, pitched a sharp eighth, and Smoltz nailed it down for save 39. The bullpen threw 19 pitches, 16 for strikes, in 2 2/3 innings. Nice patience, Astros.

Phillies and Marlins won; the Braves lead stays at a season high 11 1/2 over the former, who are one up on the latter for the wildcard. If the Braves played .500 the rest of the way, they would finish 98-64, and the Phillies would have to go 40-17 to tie… The Braves, with their recent flurry, have scored 610 runs on the season, which not only is the best in the NL, it’s better than anybody but the Red Sox and Blue Jays in the AL.

12 Responses to “Atlanta 6, Houston 3”

  1. 1
    Creg Says:

    From the AJC game story:

    “Since sustaining a concussion July 11, Giles is hitting .510 (25-for-49) and says he cannot remember a period when he has swung better.”

    Fill in your own punchline here…

  2. 2
    Craig Calcaterra Says:

    Ain’t that a kick in the head?

  3. 3
    MS Says:

    Does anyone notice the resemblance between Russ Ortiz and Barry Bonds when they hit? It is kinda comical. Watch closely next time…they have the same swing and all. And in interviews and stuff you can tell he is a Bondaholic cos he praises him 20 times a second. He must sit in front of a mirror, rewinding movies of Bonds trying to exact the same mechanics

  4. 4
    Creg Says:

    Bonds is not a bad person to emulate, but you’re right about Ortiz. The Braves have had good-hitting pitchers in recent years — Glavine, Smoltz, Millwood, Avery — but I’ve noticed that Ortiz (and Hampton, to a lesser extent) actually looks like a hitter in his stance, his swing and the way he runs.

  5. 5
    Ted Arrowsmith Says:

    Maybe, as Mac noted yesterday, Giles can have a better season than this one; but, last time I checked, zero is the fewest outs you can make.

  6. 6
    bunyon Says:

    sorry about the blank message.

    2003 OBP SLG OPS
    Ortiz 300 468 768 (49PA)
    Hampton 270 382 652 (37PA)

    Bragg 278 255 533 (114 PA)
    Blanco 257 288 545 (111 PA)

    Okay, so the sample sizes are off and low for all, but doesn’t this look pretty bad?

  7. 7
    Creg Says:

    I see where Kevin Appier was released by Anaheim. He’s worth bringing in for a look-see … he can’t be any worse than Reynolds and he wouldn’t cost the Braves a thing.

  8. 8
    Colin Says:

    I don’t know about anybody else, but i’ve switched to rooting more against the marlins than against the Phills. Idon’t know why, i have a nasty 1997 wild card vibe with them

  9. 9
    Rob J. Says:

    I don’t blame you, Colin, I have that same feeling. Then again, the Phillies could try a 1993 replay.

  10. 10
    Creg Says:

    God help the Braves if they have to face Vicente Padilla twice in a short series…

  11. 11
    Matt Davis Says:

    You never have to play a wild-card winner from your own division in the short series.

  12. 12
    Colin Says:

    Yeah, but a seven game series is pretty darned short to be facing him twice also.

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