ESPN.com – MLB – Recap – Tigers at Braves – 06/20/2002
Wow. You don’t see a lot of 3-2 games with that much action. Well, I suppose there wasn’t that much, but it was compressed action, with most everything coming in two half-innings. The Tigers got two runs in the sixth off of Chris Hammond thanks to the worst defense you’ll ever see; Chipper committed a throwing error, and later Lockhart (new nickname suggestion: Kalista Lockhart) committed two errors on the same play.
The Braves were shut out for eight innings by Adam Bernero, who looked more like Greg Maddux last night than Maddux did. But after Julio Franco doubled leading off the ninth, Bernero was pulled for an old National Leaguer, Juan Acevedo, and the Braves pounded him. Sheffield walked, Chipper singled home Franco, moving Sheffield to third, and Andruw hit a chopper that should have tied the game but Gary froze and was picked off third. Chipper stole third, but it looked like the throw beat him; apparently, the tag missed. Wes Helms, of all people, brought Chipper home with a fly out; Andruw went to second when the centerfielder tripped over the rightfielder.
Then, the Tigers intentionally walked Lockhart, and I started rolling on the floor laughing. Vinny Castilla (still out of the lineup) pinch-hit and fought off a few before getting hit by a pitch. And Javy finished it by lining a ball over George Lombard’s head. It was the first game all year the Braves won after trailing going into the ninth.
Greg Maddux went five good innings; he threw a few more pitches than you might expect but allowed only two hits, no walks. But he pulled up lame in the fifth and had to leave after the inning. It was the the calf muscle that he pulled in his last start; he might skip a turn. Kerry Ligtenberg wound up getting the win; Albie Lopez didn’t pitch because he only pitches in blowouts, but the Braves really need twelve pitchers and that’s final.
The Braves now host the White Sox for three. The Sox score some runs but their starting pitching (other than Mark Buehrle, whom the Braves will miss) is pretty weak. It might be what the offense needs, though getting Lockhart out of there would help too.
Marcus Giles’ baby girl died a couple of days ago. There really isn’t anything to be said about that, only that I’m deeply sorry for his and his wife’s loss.