Atlanta 7, Florida 1 – MLB – Recap – Braves at Marlins – 04/13/2003

That’s more like it. The real Greg Maddux showed up, pitching six innings, giving up only one run (a solo homer) and two hits, no walks, and striking out three. I’m not quite sure why he was pulled after six — he had thrown only 59 pitches (40 of them strikes) but he was working on three days’ rest.

Vinny Castilla had five RBI, one on a single, one on a walk, and three on a ninth-inning homer that put the game away. Andruw Jones had a perfect day, two hits and three walks. For the first time all year the Braves won without him homering — he just misssed a homer on a late double. Julio Franco was 2-3 with two walks, and every Braves starting position player had at least one hit.

John Smoltz pitched two innings for the save. He hadn’t pitched in awhile and tomorrow is an off day, but I’d like to see Bobby use him more like that. John is the Braves’ best pitcher, and using him for only 70 innings seems a bad deal.

Tuesday, the Braves start a series in Puerto Rico versus the Expos. Typically, none of the games will be on TBS, because they are interesting games and AOL is trying to kill the Braves.

9 thoughts on “Atlanta 7, Florida 1”

  1. Mac, I totally agree with you about Smoltz. I know they want the option to use him every single day and thus want to keep him from tiring, but seriously, the guy is making so much money, and is so (relatively) worth it as clearly the best pitcher on the team, we need him out there for multiple innings at a time. He looks dominating every time out there so far this year..why not get him in in the 8th and maybe get ray king or holmes in the 7th instead of going to Jason Marquis or Gryboski right after the starting pitcher.

  2. I’m completely with you on Smoltz as well. It may make sense to use some relief aces only one inning at a time. Many are one-pitch failed starters who need optimal power to blow away hitters. Smoltz has some of the best stuff in the majors with several great pitches but is a reliever because of injury concern. It might even make sense to use him 3 innings at a time occasionally (e.g. in a tie game against the Phillies with a day off coming up or, certainly, a playoff game).

  3. What do y’all think about Fick’s “hiding” of his injury? According to the AJC, he injured his shoulder in saturday’s game, but lied to Jeff Porter to stay in the game. He promptly (in the next inning) made a horrible throw to try to start a double-play (with what he later termed a ‘dead arm’), and runs ended up scoring as a result.

    Now i’m all for hustle players, but it seems to me like that’s just dumb baseball. If you truly are a team player, and you have a “dead arm”, wouldn’t you like the team’s chances better if you sit out the rest of the game in favor of one of our other capable first basemen (including Julio F, who got 2 hits in fick’s stead yesterday)?

    I wonder what the take on that was inside the clubhouse.

  4. While we’re at it, how about pitchers who say “I’m fine coach, leave me in” when they aren’t or hitters who don’t admit that their wrist hurts too much to swing with authority, etc.

    I think these guys believe they are sacrificing for the good of the team, but their egos do not allow them to see that their deception actually harms the team as a whole.

    A certain degree of machismo and egomania go hand in hand with being a world-class athlete, though, so I don’t really know what can be done about this other than begging for honesty.

  5. I guess it really depends on who your are. Castilla supposedly played half the season last year with an injury, and Cox and the Braves’ broadcasters practically made him a martyr.

    That said, I don’t think a first baseman playing with a bum shoulder will really hurt the team that much, provided he continues to hit.

  6. True enough. Bagwell couldn’t throw at all last year, and Giambi throws like a girl even when he’s healthy :)

    Actually I would be fine with Fick hitting like one of those guys…

    (Note: I like Fick, generally. Especially since the Braves made a concurrent offer to Travis Lee.)

  7. hee hee. there we go again with the old ‘like a girl’ phrasing. I guess we miss Torrealba in a way. :)

    For the record, I like Fick a lot too. He’s the kind of player the Braves have needed for a while. I don’t want to be unfair to the pitchers this early in the season (havent even seen Hampton yet), but Fick looks to me like our best offseason pickup.

    I am curious to see the ballpark in san juan. Maybe Javy will get a few hits in his ancestral home. why the hell did TBS not pick up these games? :(

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