ESPN.com – MLB – Recap – Braves at Pirates – 08/30/2003
That’s more like it. The Pirates took an early lead, but the Braves scored seven in the third to take control. When the Pirates crawled back into the game late, the Braves, for once, put five more runs on the board in the ninth to make it comfortable.
Furcal and Giles energized the offense again. That hasn’t been the case much since the break, where both have been hitting at the same time. Furcal had a hit and a walk, scoring both times. Marcus had a solo homer in the fourth, two hits and a walk, three runs scored. And Gary Sheffield and Chipper Jones backed them up well — three hits, three RBI for the former, a hit, two walks, two runs for the latter. Every Brave hitter scored at least one run.
Down the lineup… Andruw didn’t do much until he capped the scoring with a two-run homer in the ninth. Javy had a two-run double that was one of the big blows in the third. DeRosa started for Vinny and had three hits. Mike Hessman hit a two-run homer in that third inning; he has three hits in his career now, two homers and a double.
Bobby tried to ride Horacio Ramirez hard, no surprise with the weakened bullpen, but Ramirez really wasn’t pitching well and allowed five runs on ten hits. He did have better control, not walking anyone. Always look on the bright side! Trey Hodges tried to let the Pirates back in the game with a run on two hits and a walk in the eighth, but Ray King bailed him out. And the Inexplicable
Jamey Jaret Wright allowed one hit but no runs in the ninth in picking up the dropped mantle of Albie Lopez and Roberto Hernandez.
The magic number is 14 over the Expos and Phillies… It would be nice to get some momentum, but unfortunately Shane Reynolds pitches tomorrow.
From ESPN’s game summary: “The Braves will likely use Hessman’s roster spot to recall C Johnny Estrada from Richmond. Players must be on a major league roster by Sunday to be eligible for postseason play, when the Braves usually carry three catchers.”
Yikes. 12 Pitchers & 3 Catchers doesn’t leave much of a bench. If my math is right it means 1 of the Franco Brothers or DeRosa’s off the roster, unless they leave Bragg off, and I can’t imagine anybody wanting to see Chipper, Gary or DeRosa playing center should something happen to Andruw.
Julio’s okay, because he’s on the DL — he’ll take the last pitcher’s spot. And they can use a loophole to get Hessman, or anyone else, onto the postseason roster by using Roberto Hernandez, naming him to the roster, then putting him on the DL. But by sending Hessman down they can call up Estrada now and not worry about any shenanigans. If Bobby will actually use him he’s a weapon off the bench.
Hey Mac isn’t it Jared Wright.
Oops. Actually, it’s Jaret. I did always get them mixed up. One day I’ll write a recap without any errors.
I’m enjoying the recent jump in Giles’ walk rate; 14 walks in 102 ABs in August (through the 30th) as opposed to 36/370 for the rest of the year. Not surprisingly, he’s also sporting a SLG near .600 for the month. How can anyone batting in front of Sheffield ever walk?
The constant mis-reporting of the Giles story has been astounding. This is exactly the kind of overall performance you would expect from his minor league numbers if you just let the guy play, but it is invariably attributed to some great “improvement” since last year. BS.
I was at this game, and Matt Franco came out to pinch hit for Ramirez in the fifth. Then Hessman made the third out, and Ramirez went back on the mound for the 5th, then the 6th, then the 7th, and finally the 8th, as I think I recall. Sort of surprising that they thought he was done after 4 and he almost goes the distance.