ESPN.com – MLB – Recap – Rockies at Braves – 05/08/2003
I guess the Braves wanted the Rockies to feel at home; is that a Colorado score or what? The game was 6-0 and 7-1, but after Shane Reynolds left the game holding a 7-2 lead, Kevin Gryboski, Ray King, and Roberto Hernandez managed to combine to give up four runs in the eighth. Bobby brought in Smoltz to retire the last batter of the inning. And then, the Braves put up five runs off of Todd “Macho Man” Jones to give Smoltz a really easy save chance.
Rob Fick hit a grand slam in the first as five of the first six Brave hitters of the game scored. For the game, the 1-4 hitters combined to score nine runs. They might have really scored some runs if they’d gotten any help from the bottom of the order; Castilla and Lopez were both 0-4 while the rest of the starters were 12-20 with three homers.
Reynolds pitched well enough, a quality start; 6 1/3 IP, six hits, a walk, four strikeouts. And Smoltz was perfect and struck out two. In between… Ugh. Everything I’ve been ranting about eventually happening to Gryboski happened. In an inning and a third of work, he walked three, throwing 27 pitches only 11 of which were strikes. The Braves managed to give up four runs in the eighth with only one hit.
The second game is underway, and the Braves lead 1-0 after one on an Andruw single. Andruw now leads the NL in RBI by three.
I know all I ever do is bitch about bullpen usage, but why does Trey Hodges exist if not to pitch the ninth with a six-run lead? Granted, Smoltz breezed threw with a minimum of effort, but there was a risk that he could have been made unavailable for a high-leverage situation (Or that cheap three-run save…) in the nightcap had the Rockies made him work.
“Breezed threw”? Egads.
And then Bobby exacerbates the situation by using Smoltz again with a three-run lead in the ninth in game two. You have seven relievers and you use three of them twice in a double header?