ESPN.com – MLB – Recap – Braves at Cubs – 07/12/2003
Hey, eight games in a row is still pretty good… Horacio Ramirez had nothing, this coming off of a strong stretch. He left with two out in the fourth having given up all seven runs, six of them in the inning (actually, the last was an inherited runner Gryboski couldn’t strand). He wasn’t really pitching well before the fourth, he was just managing to get out of jams.
The Braves rallied for two in the eighth, but the rally stalled. Their only other run came on a Furcal solo homer in the third. DeRosa was 0-4 with two strikeouts in the game, including a big one in the eighth, and I wonder if maybe things would have been different if Marcus Giles hadn’t been kicked in the head by a Cub yesterday.
Bright part of the game was good work from the pen — Bong, Boom-Boom, and Hodges. The latter two each pitched a perfect inning with two strikeouts. Maybe Hodges will get to pitch more now, but I doubt it. Still, we need twelve pitchers in case a game goes 15 innings!
The Phillies won again to pull to 7 1/2 back, but then they’re playing the Mets. The Marlins have a chance to pass the Expos if they can win a meeting of the two tonight.
I don’t think much of carrying 12 pitchers either. Maybe Earl Weaver’s idea that 9 is too many is a little outdated. But I sure don’t see any reason not to use the 5th starter as a long reliever in games surrounding where his starting spot is being skipped. That would shorten the ‘pen by one. Also I see no reason to have two right handed set up men AND two left handed set up men AND an extra long man. Its just too many. I’d much rather carry a bench bat that can outhit Henry Blanco and Darren Bragg and / or one that can pinch run and play defense.
BTW, what is up with Darren Holmes. His usage has been all over the place.
Phillies lost to the Mets today; the Braves would have a good shot to get the gap back to 8.5 games, except that tonight’s starter is Shane F. Reynolds.