Sure enough, two +5 ERA pitchers go at it, and we get a pitchers’ duel. Same thing happened a few Reynolds starts ago in St. Louis. Reynolds didn’t allow a run until the eighth, threw 100 pitches exactly, struck out three with no walks, and gets a no-decision because the Braves couldn’t score. And John Smoltz is a hothouse flower who can’t pitch unless the Braves have a lead in the ninth, so Kevin Gryboski is allowed to load the bases while getting one out and then let the winning run score.
This is another of those games that the Braves should not have lost, but deserved to. Runners second and third, one out in the first, no runs score. They get a run in the third. Two walks in the fourth, the starter leaves with an injury, no runs score. Two hits in the sixth, two walks in the seventh, two (infield) hits in the ninth, no runs any of them. Bad, bad baseball. The Braves continue to be unable to score runs off opposing relievers, no matter of what quality. It’s very frustrating.
Marcus Giles missed the game after falling ill during batting practice. DeRosa was 0-5 and fell down trying to make the play on the tying hit in the eighth. Throw in that Sheffield had three hits (extending his streak; by the time Pujols had hit in 24 games in a row he’d been anointed the Greatest Hitter Ever) you can draw your own conclusions about what would have happened had Marcus played.
The Phillies and Marlins both lost, so the Braves still have the same huge lead. The wildcard race is now completely incoherent… Another middle of the night affair tonight, Ramirez and Schmidt. Oh, boy, that’s not good at all.
I don’t know what happened last night to yesterday’s entries. I’m backing up the whole thing after I publish this.