There is no chance Marcus will be in the lineup tomorrow. He was 4-5 again, including two homers, one of them a grand slam, and drove in six runs in all. If you’ll recall, the last time he hit a slam, he was sent to Richmond after the game.
Jason Marquis, meanwhile, showed he definitely belongs in the Braves bullpen with his one-third of an inning in which he allowed a hit and walked two to set up a save situation for Smoltz. Smoltz got it, but not until he’d allowed the tying run on base on two hits. (To be fair, one of them was a great pitch that the batter threw his bat at and got a flare on.)
Mike Hampton was okay, going six innings before being thrown out of the game running the bases for no readily apparent reason. He allowed five runs, but at least two weren’t his fault. Two definitely were, blasts by Guerrero, one of them over 500 feet. And Darren Holmes pitched two strong innings of relief. I don’t know if he can go in back-to-back games, but he’s certainly the Braves’ best middle reliever now.
Rafael Furcal had three hits, scored two and drove in three. Bragg, playing for Andruw (who has a pulled muscle in his side) had two more hits and a walk. And Javy had two hits and a walk as well, one of his hits a long homer, his 29th. He’s got a reasonable shot at the season homer record for catchers.
The Braves now head home to play Houston for three. If the Expos can score eight and a half runs a game in their park, what will the Astros do
in the Juice Box? The trade deadline is Wednesday, but almost anybody with a big contract will clear waivers after that.