Atlanta 3, Montreal 2 – MLB – Recap – Braves at Expos – 04/16/2003

I’m starting to like Puerto Rico. The Horacio Ramirez of spring training showed up for seven innings, shutting the Expos out on four hits, before tiring in the eighth, giving up a two-run homer. It was still an impressive start, a six-hitter with five strikeouts, no walks, and a 1:2 ball/strike ratio. If he keeps pitching like that, he’s going to be the Rookie of the Year. I’ll settle for close to that level; I’m not greedy. John Smoltz continues to astound, pitching a perfect ninth for the save.

Offensively the stars were Sheffield and Andruw. Gary homered for the second game in a row, a solo shot breaking a scoreless tie in the fourth. Andruw went 3-4 with a double, driving in the other two runs, both times in the person of Rafael Furcal. Furcal stole a base and is 4-4 for the season.

Due to Robert Fick’s continued absence, Julio Franco played first base, even with a righthander pitching. Darren Bragg played left field; Chipper did pinch-hit late in the game. For some reason, Marcus Giles came on defensively in the eighth. I assume there’s some injury reason considering the Braves’ general lack of faith in his glove.

Russ Ortiz pitches tomorrow in an afternoon game against our old buddy Livan Hernandez. Any Braves fans in Puerto Rico are hereby instructed to make sure Eric Gregg isn’t allowed in the park.

6 thoughts on “Atlanta 3, Montreal 2”

  1. Just to note, playing Julio in place of the injured Fick was probably the right move. Ohka evidently has something of reverse split; righties hit him better than lefties. Not to mention that Julio is on a massive hot streak, with the bat and the glove, it looks like a decent move.

    Now, benching Giles…

  2. Out late tonight, random thoughts:

    Why was Ramirez still pitching in the 8th inning?

    While Gryboski definitely has the photos, it’s worth remembering that while he did give up the HR yesterday, he also got the DP in the prior inning.

    Mac, you’re right, Giles will get benched if he keeps hitting those game winning HRs. Let’s just hope he doesn’t get his slugging over 500 or he might get sent to Richmond.

    If Smoltz can convince Bobby that he’s good for 2 inning saves, maybe it’s OK that he’s in the pen.

    Despite Castilla’s unwillingness to bench himself last year with the wrist injury, maybe he really is the 260 w/20 HR, 90 RBI, poor strike zone judgement and good defense player that JS thought he was signing, and not the monstrosity we saw last year.

    As far as this year’s squad, I’m sticking with my rule of not judging until we’ve got 40 games in the bank.

    Finally, why when I check “remember info”, does your blog not remember my info?

  3. I thought of you last ight Mac, as soon as I saw Giles was benched. Truth time – to what extent did you really expect that, and to what extent were you just being sarcastic. I suspect it was chunks of both. Asfor concerns about Giles’ glove, I sure haven’t see any reason to be enthused about DeRosa’s at 2B, but I haven’t sen him play there this season, just last season.

    Why was Ramirez stil l in there in the 8th? I imagine it was a combination of the struggles of the bullpen, plus Ramirez not having thrown too many pitches, plus Bobby letting him have a shot at the shutout. He did the same thing with Kevin Millwood his rookie year too.

    Finally, lest ye forget – on April 16th of 2002, Vinny had a 771 OPS. As of yesterday he’s at 762. Be careful when allowing oneself optimism about the vortex of suck.

  4. I, too, was surprised Giles was in for defensive purposes, but he’s made a few flashy plays this year and maybe that’s gotten Bobby’s attention. Why he’s not playing full-time remains a mystery, though.

    Anyone got anything inside about Chipper’s injury? I assume they’re just trying to keep him off the turf and he’ll be back in there Friday at home against Philly.

    By the way, Bragg’s misadventure with Macias’ fly ball in the eighth was Canseco-esque.

  5. David, I don’t know why it doesn’t remember info. It doesn’t remember mine either! There’s some glitch in the current version of Moveable Type, probably. What I do is click on the time stamp for the entry, which takes you to an individual archive page that includes comments.

    I would guess Ramirez was in in the ninth because he was pitching well and still well under 100 pitches. Sooner or later, they’d have to let everyone stretch their arms a little bit. It didn’t work out, but it was worth a try.

    I figured it was 50/50 Giles wouldn’t start yesterday. Not so much for the home run (though talking about it is good schtick) but because DeRosa hadn’t started for awhile and Bobby won’t give him starts at short or third. Actually, if Ohka has a reverse split, maybe he should have started in left…

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