– MLB – Recap – Mets at Braves – 08/28/2003

The Braves apparently didn’t want to miss the flight to Pittsburgh; they played the first eight innings like they had a plane to catch, anyway. Al Leiter usually walks about five men a game; Andruw drew the Braves’ only walk in this one. They generally made Leiter look like an ace again, and Mike Hampton’s win streak is history.

Hampton certainly pitched well enough to win. He allowed some baserunners but got out of it as he usually does by getting lots of ground balls. He made one mistake, a homer by Jose Reyes in the fifth, that scored the only run off him. Despite the loss, he lowered his ERA to 3.97. I’m not sure, but I think that this is the first time all year that the Braves have had a starter other than Ortiz with an ERA below four.

The Braves’ only run came in the ninth when the Mets decided to play defense like little leaguers, committing two egregious errors. The one run would have been enough to tie, but Trey Hodges had allowed another Reyes homer, this time a two-run shot, in the top of the inning. (On the other hand, if it had been a one-run game the Braves would have played the inning differently.) For the game, the Braves only got four baserunners on their own power. They play a game like this every so often, where they hit a lot of fly ball outs and get very few hits.

As noted, three with the ever-exciting Brewers Pirates (I am so stupid) — assuming there are any left — are next. The Phillies, as noted below, lost, and so did the Marlins, so there’s a three-way tie for second place and a four or five team tie (depending on how you look at it) for the wildcard lead. The magic number is 15.