Atlanta 11, Los Angeles 4 – MLB – Recap – Braves at Dodgers – 05/12/2003

John Smoltz must be wondering if the Braves hitters don’t want him to pile up saves. The game was 4-4 entering the ninth when the Braves scored seven runs, four off of Eric Gagne of all people, capped by Javy Lopez’s three-run homer — the third game in a row in which he’s had a late homer to put the game away. This time, Smoltz sat down rather than pitch with a seven-run lead.

Jung Bong pitched 2 2/3 for the win. It was a pseudo-vulture win; Bong came in with a runner on second and a tie game; he promptly gave up a single to tie the game. But he didn’t allow another hit and was the Braves’ most successful pitcher on the night, so we can forgive him. Shane Reynolds started and was adequate, putting up a bunch of threes — three hits, three walks, three runs. He left with a lead but Hodges and Bong combined to allow the tying run.

Gary Sheffield had a perfect night — 2-2 with a ninth-inning double and three walks. The Braves had nine walks in all, seven from the first four hitters. See what patience can do for you? Gary is now hitting a Bondsian, or at least Sosan, .350/.450/.642.

7 thoughts on “Atlanta 11, Los Angeles 4”

  1. Some random observations after watching this game in person last night:

    Reynolds doesn’t throw hard enough to break wet paper. He seriously seemed to be throwing about as hard as Dodger coach Glenn Hoffman was throwing in BP before the game. I can’t believe he can get major league hitters out like that, but it seems he can. I’ll be interested to compare what I saw last night with Maddux on Wednesday.

    Ray King has no idea where any of his pitches will go at any time. He was wild warming up in the bullpen.

    Then again neither team had any idea where Marvin Hudson’s tiny, round, moving strike zone would be at any given time, leading to a 15 walk, 3 hour 15 minute game. If you want to hurt attendence, keep serving up this kind of game.

    Hodges looked great out there. Andruw’s lazy play in center cost him a run, but the idea that we have him rotting in the bullpen so Reynolds can keep making starts is just silly. He’s ready.

    Bong is far too talented to be a LOOGY of course, but he is really death to lefties. He made Green, McGriff, and Cora look silly last night.

    Finally, Sheffield is just unbelieveably locked in right now. I got to seem him a lot when he was a Dodger, but this seems to be a new level. The ball he hit off of Gagne last night looked and sounded like a cruise missle. I’m suprised it didn’t go through the wall.

    Ortiz and Ishii tonight and you have got to like the Braves chances. Ishii is a head case and the Braves mash lefties. I’ll be there early. Sorry for the long post.

  2. Hey, post as long as you want.

    Ishii’s on my ABPA team, so I want him to lose 1-0. But I want him to lose…

    I managed to stay up to see the whole game (no chance of that tonight) and what the HECK was Bong throwing? It looked like a slider, but at fastball speed. There’s something wrong when two of the best pitchers on the staff are the fifth and sixth men in the bullpen.

  3. Not that I’m disappointed, but does anyone know why Grabowski wasn’t available last night?

  4. I know it’s too early to be fretting about this, but is it basically assumed that Sheff won’t be with the club next year? Is there any combination of astral alignments that would enable the Braves to resign him and his firestick?

    I’m assuming we’ll let Javy, Vinny, and Maddux go. Can somebody else do the math? :)

  5. Snellville — Don’t know about Johnny Grabowski, but he really hasn’t been the same since he died back in ’46. Oh…you mean Gryboski. Don’t know about him either…

    Mac, what’s the over-under on the number of pitches Ortiz and Ishii throw tonight: 256?

  6. Sounds about right to me. But Tracy might pull Ishii a little early if he has a lead. Despite what happened last night, the Dodgers have a good pen.

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