Sickening. The Braves three times had the bases loaded with nobody out, and got a grand total of two runs out of those situations. In the ninth, down two, Matt Franco slapped a ball back to the pitcher in that situation that wouldn’t have been a double play except that Franco runs like he’s carrying Ray King on his back. The Braves hit into another double play in the fourth with Reynolds at bat; there is no reason after roster expansion to have Reynolds hit down three runs in the bottom of the fourth. He’s Shane Reynolds, for God’s sake, even the Braves’ relievers can outpitch him.
Reynolds gave up four runs to start the game and the Braves obviously never caught up despite numerous chances. Yeah, he didn’t give up any more runs, but he’s still Shane Flipping Reynolds. King pitched the seventh and Jaret Wright the eighth without giving up any runs, but Shane Mercker gave up a homer to Jeff Reboulet — whom the Braves are singlehandedly keeping in the majors — in the ninth. That was big, because the Braves might have pushed a run across to tie in a 4-3 game.
The Phillies won and the Marlins are losing, and the magic number will be 11 still. Maddux goes tomorrow, so Javy will be available to pinch-hit. Bobby really should give him a chance to get used to Estrada, just in case he’s back next year.
I sure hope that the back to back visions of Ramirez dominating and Reynolds struggling against the Pirates convinces Bobby that Ramirez should be the fourth starter in the playoffs. Can you imagine being down two games to one to the Cardinals and running Reynolds out there against that lineup? Might as well pack your bags.
Greg Maddux’s era is below 4 for the 1st time this year. Brave-4 Pirates-0, bottom 4.