Braves 6, Expos 3

It sure looks like Horacio Ramirez is going to be the fourth starter to start the season. Byrd may be able to go Monday, but there’s little chance of him being ready to start the season, and Ramirez has apparently wrapped up the fifth starter competition. He had five innings of one-hit ball last night before tiring in the sixth… On the other hand, he has only four strikeouts all spring. That’s not a good sign. I would not be surprised if he starts off well but winds up in Richmond by mid-May. If he doesn’t get the strikeouts up, he has little or no chance of long-term success.

UPDATE: I’m an idiot, as I’ve said. I read the story as it read, but it was badly edited; in fact, he had four strikeouts last night, not four for spring. He actually leads the team in strikeouts. I’m still concerned about his long-term chances; so many lefthanded pitchers start out hot and cool off once everyone’s had a chance to see them. But the strikeouts aren’t a problem.

Good signs from the offense, though. Andruw is hitting .471 this spring and had two doubles, Sheffield had a three-run homer, and Fick was 3-3 with a two-run shot. Furcal played for the first time since the 14th. Even Vinny had a hit. A single, of course.