– MLB – Recap – Braves at Phillies – 07/21/2002

The Braves swept the Phillies, winning today’s game 2-1 behind the officially rejuvenated Kevin Millwood and more good hitting from Gary Sheffield. Millwood went eight innings, giving up only one run, and took a no hitter into the sixth. Sheffield homered in the first, and scored after reaching on an infield single in the seventh. Javy Lopez had that RBI, and Chipper had a hit and two walks. John Smoltz was unavailable, and Tim Spooneybarger got the save.

One player who didn’t contribute was Wes Helms, who inexplicably got a start at first base. Helms was 0-3, struck out looking at a pitch with the bases loaded, one out, and the pitcher on deck in the seventh, and committed a two-base error in the bottom of the ninth that allowed the tying run to reach and get into scoring position. He’s just an atrocious player who has no business on a major league roster.

Andruw Jones is back into his strikeout phase, with three of them today. I don’t know what to think anymore. He looks like he’s coming out of it, then follows up with a day like this… Javy left the game in the ninth with an apparent shoulder injury. The Braves have won with Henry Blanco catching, but that’s just a coincidence and because Maddux is usually the pitcher. Blanco is hitting .179 and really isn’t any better than that.

Spooneybarger’s save might not save his job. Darren Holmes is expected off the disabled list and someone will have to be demoted to make room. They should demote Albie Lopez, but they don’t want to look stupid for signing him. So one of the actually effective pitchers will get sent to AAA. Really fair… The Braves will travel to Florida for three games starting tomorrow, then return home. The Mets lost, and the Braves’ lead is now thirteen and a half.