– MLB – Recap – Braves at Expos – 07/25/2003

Argh. This should never happen. The Braves led 8-2 with one out in the eighth, and lost. Sure, they did something similar to the Mets last week, but that sort of thing happens to the Mets. Sharing the blame for this atrocity:

— Rafael Furcal, for misplaying a ground ball that should have been an easy out in the ninth into a baserunner who scored the tying run;

— Kevin Gryboski and Ray King, for being themselves in the eighth inning, combining to let five runs score and the Expos back in it;

— Bobby, for his insane faith in the aforementioned King and (especially) Gryboski;

— Jung Bong, who looked like he’d forgotten the object of the game in the 11th;

— The Personal Catcher, in the game because Javy was pinch-run for, for his complete inability to pick up a ball off the turf, allowing the winning run to score on a wild pitch.

Smoltz blew the save, but he’s got a lot of goodwill stored up, plus he really shouldn’t have been in that situation. Ricky Calloway, the Expos’ fourth outfielder — and quickly becoming a Braves-killer — doubled off the centerfield wall. Andruw almost had it.

Lost in the disaster was a great outing from Horacio Ramirez. Ramirez looked lost in the third, walking three, but got out of it with only one run allowed when Andruw threw out Vlad Guerrero at home to end the inning. (Guerrero really can’t run right now.) After that, Ramirez was superb, but had thrown 108 pitches when Bobby pulled him in the eighth to let the Rally Twins pitch.

In addition to his terrible fielding, Furcal was 1-6 and right now really needs to take a day off to reevaluate what he’s doing. Giles had four hits; Chipper, Vinny, and Javy all homered and all had three hits.

The Braves lost a chance to pick up a game on the Phillies, who also blew a lead. (But not six runs!) The Braves play a night game tomorrow, and unfortunately Shane Reynolds is the starter against Zach Day, who shut the Braves out in the second game of the season but hasn’t pitched since May.