ESPN.com – MLB – Recap – Mets at Braves – 07/17/2003
Back to real games, back to beating the Mets. Back to being Greg Maddux? (Maybe it was Skip Caray’s return to the booth that brought a return to pitchers’ duels.) Maddux threw a complete game for the first time in exactly two years, allowing eight hits and one walk, at one stage retiring 13 straight batters. After giving up a game-tying homer in the seventh, it looked like he wasn’t going to get the decision, but he hung in there.
The Braves had a bunch of baserunners, but couldn’t do much with them. They hit into three double plays and stranded ten more runners. Mark DeRosa was the hero for his check-swing roller that turned into a game-winning hit with the bases loaded in the ninth, but easily could have been a goat for his two double plays. Furcal had three hits and a walk, Vinny three hits, and Andruw scored twice.
Vinny got charged with a caught stealing of home in the fourth. After tripling in Andruw to tie the game at one, he broke for home on a squeeze play but the Personal Catcher couldn’t get the bunt down. Why run a squeeze play in that situation? Probably because the Personal Catcher hits like a pitcher. Anyway, the break didn’t cool Vinny off.
The Phillies beat the free-falling Expos in extras to keep pace. The Marlins didn’t play and move into a third-place tie, 13 1/2 out. The Mets have their best chance to steal a game in this series with Jae Seo facing Hampton tonight.
That squeeze play pissed me off to no end. If Blanco can’t be trusted to do anything other than strikeout or hit a comebacker to the mound (which is what squeezing presumably eliminates), he shouldn’t be on the friggin’ roster. If Javy is up, Bobby doesn’t squeeze. If Johnny Estrada is playing, Bobby doesn’t squeeze. And no, it makes me feel no better that after he missed the bunt, he flied out to deep-enough left field.
Skip sure was frisky last night wasn’t he? I counted at least a dozen barbs directed at AOLTW suits, policies, etc.. My favorite was when he said something to the effect of “those of you who have followed Braves baseball over the years know that Greg doesn’t hold runners well . .” and then said something like “or those of you who have follwed Major League baseball . . .and Braves baseball is part of major league baseball, isn’t it?”
Obvious slam at this year’s lame rebranding. Keep it up Skip, while your political capital is still great.
Can somebody tell me why Hampton is pitching tonight and Ortiz isn’t?
Because Ortiz threw an inning on Tuesday, probably.
Looks like Marcus is back and Reynolds has been demoted to the 5th starter.
As many mistakes as the Braves made last night, we’re lucky to have pulled it out at the end. Bobby’s obsession with bunting and hit and runs are just killing me. When we had a puny little offense the last couple of years I could understand it, but now it’s just silly.
My guess on Hampton is that Bobby wants to give teams a different look from night to night. Maddux-Hampton-Ortiz-Ramirez works perfectly as a Left to Right changeup.
This is also nice to see because it implies Horacio Ramirez is the fourth starter, and more importantly, Shane Reynolds is the fifth starter!
At least, that’s my take on it. Russ throwing an inning in the AS Game probably is similar to throwing on the side between starts under the Leo plan, anyway.
I’ve said a lot of negative things about Maddux this season, but I have to give credit where credit is due. The complete game victory over Norfolk last night was certainly a step in the right direction.