ESPN.com – MLB – Recap – Braves at Phillies – 06/18/2003
This time, it was the Braves who made the opposing pitcher throw a lot of pitches, and the pitcher was Kevin Millwood. Kevin’s been scuffling a bit lately anyway, and didn’t need to see the Braves right now. After retiring Furcal and Giles, he loaded the bases on Sheffield and Chipper singles and an Andruw walk, then Robert Fick singled on a 3-2 pitch, scoring two. The Braves saw 36 pitches in the first, and more often than not the pitcher who does that isn’t long for the game. Millwood went five, throwing 105 pitches and giving up four runs.
Fick also singled home Sheffield in the third, then scored on Vinny’s single. Sheffield capped the Braves’ scoring with a two-run homer in the sixth. All the Braves’ runs came with two out as well as all involving Fick and/or Sheffield.
Russ Ortiz threw only six innings, 97 pitches (52 strikes) then left the game with a comfortable lead. He walked three and only had three strikeouts, and that’s not a good ratio… The Phillies got their only run in the eighth, and could have had more if not for a baserunning blunder. Trey Hodges would have done okay on grass, but not that plastic garbage in Philadelphia. The Phillies hit three straight singles off him to start the inning, but the second, which scooted by Marcus Giles, would have been a cinch double play on grass. (Or if the stupid umpire hadn’t been in the way. Why does the second base umpire stand in front of the infielders anyway?) And Furcal would have made the play on the third on grass as well, though I don’t know that he could have thrown anyone out.
After Ray King got Jim Thome, Bobby brought in Gryboski. Why? I think Gryboski has inherited Lockhart’s pictures. Anyway, he allowed a single to Pat Burrell, which would have loaded the bases, but Bobby Abreu ran through a stop sign at third and was out by fifteen feet on Chipper’s throw. Game essentially over, though Bobby left Gryboski out there to make it interesting.
The series ends with a day game today as the Braves try to make it 5-4 on the trip. Then they finally return home, with the homecoming gift a visit from the Orioles.
Seems like on the replay the 3B coach was waving Abreu home; however, he was late in starting to wave him home, And Abreu slowed down, maybe assuming he wasn’t being waved, until the last moment when the 3B coach started up.
The Braves had a dubious moment when Fick was thrown out at the plate. It would seem to me like you should always slide when trying to score on a grounder on the infield. But then, shouldn’t the next batter up be standing there telling the baserunner whether to stand up or come in sliding?
A day game after a night game is usually where you would give your starting catcher a day off. His body should be tired from the night before and you don’t want anybody getting injured. I see that Javy is in the game today however, since the personal catcher is scheduled to go tomorrow. And of course Maddux just has to have his personal catcher.
I am starting to worry about Marcus Giles. His average while still fine has dropped over 20 points in the last couple of weeks. More and more games are 1 hit or no hits. He seems to be offering at more first pitches, not working as deep into counts and not getting as many hits. I hope he can get it back on track soon.
Well, that sucked.