ESPN.com – MLB – Recap – Expos at Braves – 07/05/2003
Any Expos fans not yet in a captive breeding program for endangered species must be pretty upset tonight. It was great. Expo closer Rocky Biddle came in with a 2-1 lead in the ninth and managed to allow the Braves to score two runs on only one hit — and that was Chipper’s leadoff single. An error, a walk, a HBP, and another walk later, the Braves had won. Javy was the HBP to drive in the tying run, and Furcal had what reportedly was a great PA to get the game-winning walk.
As I’d expected, Javier Vazquez started off like gangbusters, retiring the first nine Braves in a row. In the fourth, he allowed a run and had the bases loaded with one out, but got Robert Fick to ground into a DP in what looked like the big play of the game. But after the fifth the game was stopped by rain, and Vazquez didn’t come back.
Greg Maddux did. He wound up throwing seven innings and wishing he had two pitches back — pitches hit for back-to-back solo homers in the fourth. Other than that, he was great and efficient, throwing 64 pitches, 49 strikes, and was generally far better than Russ Ortiz the night before. Didn’t get him a “win”, of course. Jung Bong got that for pitching the ninth.
The Phillies lost to the Marlins, and the Braves’ lead in the East is back to six, eight over the Expos, eleven on the Marlins. Day game tomorrow, which of course won’t be on TBS either. They’re showing “Overboard” instead. Of course, the Mets series opener will be. The Mets are sixteen games out, and more pathetic every day.
Yeah, and the Mets ones are the ones I don’t care if they’re on TBS, because i get to go.
But Mac, i have a question. Your comments on the meaninglessness of the game-decision-related pitching statistics (wins, losses, saves) are very interesting, and I admit sometimes it seems like those stats get handed out to the wrong guys, but another good chunk of the time it seems about right.
Is your contention that the statistics themselves are fundamentally flawed, or do you just think the rules saying who gets them don’t reflect the way the game is played today? If it’s the latter, could you or anyone else suggest a new set of rules that would more fairly distribute wins and losses (or saves if you care)?
By the way, did anyone see that Johnny Estrada was named to the AAA all-star game, hitting .348 with six homers and 43 RBIs. If he can do anything near that in the majors, it might not be so bad to see Javy trot this winter. Especially when Schuerholz signs Millwood again with the saved money…
I don’t know that wins and losses have to be handed out. I don’t really mind the current rules, I just think they shouldn’t be considered a big deal when looking at who’s pitching well and who isn’t.
The rules were determined a long time ago, and made some sense in a time where a pitcher nearly always stayed in the game to complete it or at least until it was decided. Now, they make less and less sense. Russ Ortiz pitched fairly poorly Friday, but he got the win because the Braves scored eight runs. Maddux pitched well, but didn’t get the win because they scored only three, two after he was out of the game.
Some of that’s his fault for insisting on the Personal Catcher, of course.