ESPN.com – MLB – Recap – Reds at Braves – 05/28/2003
Now, that was fun. The Braves’ first three hitters (Furcal, DeRosa, Sheffield) of the game all homered — only the second time in major league history a team has done that — and Javy homered later in the first to knock out Reds starter Jeff Austin. By the end of the game, the Braves had put up fifteen and gotten an easy win after the last two games’ nailbiters.
Furcal homered in the second as well, giving him eight homers on the season. That’s as many as Chipper. Rafael is now, unbelievably, tied for the NL lead in total bases and slugging .565. Where did that come from? The next person who says he should hit the ball on the ground and use his speed gets slapped. He wound up 3-4 with a walk and scored four runs.
This time, the only Braves starter not to get a hit was Andruw, who’s stuck on 999. Even Matt Franco, who came off the bench after the Braves went up 11-0, went 3-3.
Russ Ortiz had a good night — hey, the pressure was off — going six and allowing two runs on just three hits. Jung Bong got a three-inning save, allowing the rest of the pen a night off. He allowed one run on one hit.
The Braves are now 3 1/2 up on Montreal with the Marlins trying to sweep a doubleheader from the Expos, leading 2-0 after five as I write. The Phillies are now 7 1/2 back. Tomorrow is a travel day before the Braves visit the Mets for three.
How about Matt (no relation to Julio, honest) Franco coming off the bench and coming a triple short of hitting for the cycle? I dunno if anyone’s ever managed that feat, but that would have been something.
Of course, due to other commitments, I didn’t get to see this game (boo!) but my brother the Reds fan did call me in the 8th inning to preclude my calling him and gloating when I got home and saw the score. So that was a definite bonus.
The last time there were 3 homers to start off a game — Wynne, Gwynn and Kruk for the Padres in April ’87 — I heard the news when I was sitting in a hotel room in Atlanta after seeing the Braves lose to the Cincinnati Reds.
To tell you how long ago that was, Zane Smith was the starting pitcher for Atlanta and Ken Oberkfell, Ken Griffey and Dion James were all in the lineup.
Barry Larkin was a rookie with Cincinnati, and Dave Parker was the Reds’ right fielder. Dale Murphy tripled during the game, after Eric Davis pulled a home run back over the fence and dropped the ball on the way down.
Or at least that’s how I remember it without consulting Retrosheet. I was 13 years old at the time.
Nothing particularly insightful, I know. I just figured I’d share.