By the third inning of last night’s game, the Braves trailed 4-1, Tom Glavine had had to leave the game after giving up those four runs because his blister was acting up, and normally you’d be thinking, “Well, let’s get them tomorrow.” But for the Braves right now, spotting the other team a three-run lead early is only another challenge, and they rallied to win 7-5. Matt Franco started at first base and had the big blow, a grand slam homer in the fifth. The middle relief was splendid, with four pitchers providing five shutout innings. John Smoltz had his first shaky outing in a while, giving up a solo homer and a walk, plus a batter reached on an error, but got the save.
These blisters are starting to get on my nerves, and I don’t have any idea how to stop them. At any rate, the bullpen is going to keep getting worked. Maddux can’t go a long ways right now, Moss is too wild — causing high pitch counts — to go deep into games, Millwood tires, and Marquis is a kid. I don’t think there will be many complete games this year.
The Braves have stretched their lead in the division to nine and a half over Montreal. The Marlins won to stay ten back, while the Phillies (fourteen back) beat the Mets (eleven and a half back). The season is far from over, but few teams have blown a lead this large.