ESPN.com – MLB – Recap – Braves at Pirates – 08/31/2003
That was pretty familiar. Like yesterday, the Braves exploded to eight early runs. Like yesterday, Bobby let the starter allow the Pirates back into it while the offense went into hibernation. And like yesterday, the Braves came back in the top of the ninth with runs — just two this time — to finish them off.
Marcus Giles had a big day, 3-4 with a walk, two of the hits being doubles. He’s three doubles behind the “modern” franchise record, though the true record is 51, not 47 as has been reported. Giles and Furcal both scored three more runs. Once again, everybody had a hit, and everybody but Chipper scored. Andruw had a three-run homer in the first, Vinny a solo shot in the second and Javy one in the fourth.
Gary Sheffield took the day off, for whatever reason. Andruw hit cleanup but Javy hit fifth. It remains to be seen if he’s moved ahead of the still-slumping Fick in the batting order. I’d have done it long ago, not least because I don’t like having two slow righthanded hitters like Javy and Vinny back-to-back.
Shane Reynolds started and didn’t kill the team, which is all you can ask for. He didn’t walk anyone but did hit three batters to go with nine hits and four runs. Actually, he’d only allowed two going into the eighth, but retired only one batter before giving way to Cunnane.
The Phillies finished off a sweep of the Mets and the Marlins of the Expos, both teams staying 14 back. The magic number is 13. The Braves have a day game with the Mets tomorrow to open a three-game series.
Ramirez was sent to tripple-a. I don’t disagree but they brought up Garcia. I don’t like this. He can’t hit MLB pitching. Any thoughts?
They already have a good-fielding, no-hit(atleast this year) infielder, DeRosa. It really doesn’t make sense to bring up another infielder who can’t hit when they already have an outfielder who can’t either, and are carrying three catchers. If Julio Franco doesn’t come back for the postseason, then they’re gonna have a really horrible bench that Felix Rodriguez, Joe Nathan and Tim Worrell are gonna have no problems with…
Well, I think it’s a good sign. I’d been thinking that they’d definitely go with 11 pitchers in postseason. This indicates that they’re looking at using 10. I’d rather have Garcia — who can at least pinch-run — than a supernumerary pitcher.
The bad part is that this suggests that they’re looking at Shane Reynolds as the fourth starter if necessary in postseason. Ugh.
I agree with the ugh in terms of Shane in the postseason. However, I think you’ve been pretty hard on him. He has turned in a reasonable performance for a cheap 4th or 5th starter. I don’t know that any of us know how he gets people out, but I find it advisable not to ask too many questions when someone you know/root for makes a deal with the devil. It is his soul, after all.
Well, he doesn’t get too many people out. I wouldn’t even be upset if they’d shut down Ramirez, who probably needs the rest anyway. And Reynolds probably won’t kill the team in postseason. I just wish they’d gotten somebody better.
Now the AJC is aying that Smoltz is likely to miss 2 more weeks and Gryboski is done for the season. Sounds like Smoltz is a little more serious than we all thought.
It looks like the Braves are angling for maximum roster flexibility. Adding and DLing Hollins, together with Byrd gives the Braves room to juggle spots ala last year’s F-Rod experiment. And for once, it appears that the #3 catcher at least can hit a little.
And for what its worth, I would rather see Reynolds as the #4 man come October. Ramirez really looks to me like he’s hit a brick wall. Reynolds obviously is no great shakes, but he has been slightly better the last two months and has some mild playoff success. Plus, he may be able to bring that magic elixir that somehow causes the Braves to score roughly eighty-two bazillion runs whenever he pitches.