– 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.