The 2005 are now 7-8 and 2 games back of the division leading Fish and Natspos. The 2004 Division Champs were 8-7 and three games behind a streaking Marlins club.
That certainly doesn’t mean that this hasn’t been frustrating. Horacio pitched well, but well hasn’t been enough. The Braves needed excellent and Ramirez left one too many pitches over the plate to be deposited in the left field stands by Jose Vidro.
The game started off well for Atlanta with Furcal singling and taking second on a steal in front of a Giles walk. But Chipper promptly bounced into a double play. That, unfortunately, was the last real threat until the 7th. The Braves had single runners reach in the 3rd, 4th, and 5th, but each time it was only to first base and each time was with two outs. In the 7th, LaLob’s Little Lad led off with a walk. But Jordan Ked and Andruw bounced into another tailor made double play.
The bullpen did well. Grrrboy came into his patented 2 men on base, but retired our old Vinny Castilla to end the threat. Bernero had a one two three eigth inning including two strike outs.
Offensively, Furcal reached four times on three singles and a walk. He also stole a base, but more than erased that by being thrown out attempting his second steal of the game. Its still early, but so far, Furcal would be better off forgetting the running game as he has been caught 3 times and been safe 4. LaRoche pitched in with three walks. But that was about all the offense. Andruw’s slumpt has now reached historic proportions: he is roughly 0 for the Bush administration and looks as lost as [insert your favorite politician here].
Game #2 of a two game series tomorrow. Smoltz goes for his fourth outing of the year hoping to get a bit of offensive support. Opposing him is the next player to look like the 2005 Cy Young winner, John Patterson, a tall 27 year old right hander who is 1-1 with a 1.29 ERA on this young season.