The games of this series have all followed pretty much the same script. The Astros jump out to a first-inning lead on a series of hits (Ensberg usually driving in the run). This time, they got two runs. Then the Braves come back to tie. McCann drove in a run with a bloop single, Sosa one with a 3-2 hit. It’s 2-2. Then it pretty much comes down to who can get to the bullpen first. This time, it was the Astros.
Sosa was pretty good, going six and allowing three runs. He made one real mistake, a solo homer to Lamb in the fourth that made him the losing pitcher on the day because the Braves couldn’t get any more runs. Other than that, he was in Sosa Mode, getting out of jams and getting the big boys out.
But just like the first game, when Hudson wasn’t great but kept the Braves in it before the bullpen collapsed because Reitsma couldn’t get anybody out, Reitsma came in and couldn’t get anybody out. Foster couldn’t either. Devine couldn’t either. Finally Brower — whom I have confidence in right now if nobody else does — came in, but three runs were in and the bases loaded with nobody out. He did as well as could be expected, but it was 7-2. Of course, the Braves then got their third run of the game in the next inning.
The Braves got pretty much nothing from the front of the order; Furcal, Giles, and Chipper were a collective 1-14. Marcus had the one hit but struck out three times. Andruw was 3-4 and has been huge throughout this series. It would be nice if he had some runners on base in front of him.
Brandon Backe will pitch for the Astros tomorrow at noon CT. I don’t know who will pitch for the Braves. It’s possible Bobby doesn’t know. It might be Thomson (on long rest) or Hudson (on short rest)… The bullpen sucks.