You know, the Braves are getting some genuinely outstanding pitching right now. Three runs allowed in Coors Field is really good, and Greg Maddux didn’t make any bad pitches that I saw. Two of the Rockies runs came on a typical cheap Coors homer, and the other was about as unearned as any you’ll ever see; Maddux had to get six outs (two errors, one on a sure double play) in the fourth. Maddux went six, allowing just three hits and two walks, striking out four. It was the sixth good start in a row for the Braves… and they’ve lost four of them.
Marcus Giles returned to the lineup and was 1-5, but that one was a double to tie the Atlanta record. Chipper had a big night, three hits and five RBI, including a two-run upper deck homer in the sixth. Darren Bragg came on after the first when Sheffield was ejected to hit two doubles of his own. Everybody had a hit but Andruw, who popped up five times. I don’t know how you manage that, but in Coors you do want to hit it in the air. Everyone came in healthy, but Rafael Furcal had to leave after getting hit by a pitch. And Javy didn’t play because Maddux was pitching. I thought Javy didn’t catch Maddux because he needed the rest?
And John Smoltz pitched the ninth. Even in Coors Field, you can usually rely upon a six run lead. So he pitches with six run leads, but not in extra-inning tie games against Barry Bonds? Is that how that works.
I really hate Coors Field, by the way. It’s just not baseball. Mike Hampton probably isn’t too fond of it either, but he’ll pitch tomorrow. I expect that the boos will be audible in Boulder.