Atlanta 2, Pittsburgh 1 – MLB – Recap – Pirates at Braves – 09/07/2003

And back to the offensive struggles, even though the Braves got the win. Well, Kip Wells is a good pitcher. The Braves had eight hits, but only Javy Lopez was able to do anything productive, driving in one run with a double and another with a solo homer.

Fortunately, Mike Hampton was having another good start. Hampton only allowed four hits and one unearned run, being “effectively wild” again. The only hits to the outfield were all by Jason Kendall, and the only run scored on an infield single by a player who reached on an error. Robert Fick twice committed errors at first base and is digging a bigger and bigger hole for himself. After Hampton pitched eight, Will Cunnane got the save, the first of his career.

The Braves screwed up in the eighth and lost a chance to get some insurance when Marcus Giles botched a sac bunt with Furcal at first base and the Pirates got the force at second. But why are you bunting with a .317 hitter, or with a guy on first who is 25 of 27 on stolen base attempts? Sheffield singled next, but the Joneses made outs. I hate giving up outs, and I thought Bobby had stopped bunting with Giles.

The magic number is nine. The Phillies play tonight, then come to Atlanta for four. It would be nice to take that series.

12 thoughts on “Atlanta 2, Pittsburgh 1”

  1. Hampton is definately the best pitcher on our staff right now. and it’s a great thing to say especially when Maddux is pitching so well. If we can get Ortiz back on track I think we have our best chance in years to take the prize.

  2. The starting pitching is looking good all around, which gives me great hope for the playoffs.

    And can anyone believe Javy? I don’t see how we can let this guy go next year (unless its a choice between him and Sheffield). I mean, 37 home runs! Ridiculous. I was as big a detractor as anyone last year and the year before of the “pop up king”, but he just seems to have completely reinvented his offensive game.

    I would love to see him at first base next year, playing more and concentrating on slugging :)

  3. Are you sure Marcus wasn’t bunting on his own? it sure looked on the replay like Furcal wasn’t expecting the bunt.

  4. Fluke years are not that uncommon. But what I’ve been wondering if Javy’s year isn’t for real. There does seem to be a legitimate change from the last couple of years in that he shed alot of that excess muscle.

    What are some guesses at Javy’s stat line next year?


    I don’t really belive the BA spike, but perhaps the power would still be there.

  5. Of course, if you’re Javy, and you post a 40 HR year, and you still don’t get to start every postseason game, do you even bother to stay?

  6. Yeah, because he might not start any postseason games for another time. How many playoff teams can afford to pay a 32 year old Catcher what he’s gonna demand. Though Schuerholz over-paid for him this year, he’s still probably gonna get the salary he’s making this year, $7M, and maybe more. How many teams will pay a Catcher that now?

  7. How many playoff teams can afford to pay a 32 year old Catcher what he’s gonna demand

    What he demands is pretty irrelevant. He likely will get similar offers from a few teams in a lower range than he wants, and then it’s just a question of which he’ll want to be with, and the extent to which he’ll want to stay in Atlanta. I think he likes the Braves, but if he gets smacked with the continuing insult of riding the pine while Blanco plays and the team makes another early exit, then I coudl see him wanting to leave.

  8. So will Javy catch Maddux at all at any time in the next three weeks to prepare them? One would presume so.

  9. This is second hand info, but apparently Joe & Skip said that Bobby plans to have Javy catch Greg (gotta love first names!) at least some as we go down the stretch.

    This news makes the blowout tolerable.

  10. That is good news. Now the questions is – what happens if Greg sucks? I don’t mean this as a flippant always-the-negative kind of question, because Maddux is likely to face the Marlins and Phils among his final starts this season, against whom he has allowed an aggregate 29 earned runs (and another 8 unearned) in 28+ innings, and the Expos, against whom he has a 5.40 ERA this season in 20 innings.

    IOW, Javy will be catching Greg against the teams who have owned him this season. If he pitches well, then wow. But if he pitches poorly, will Javy be pulled despite that he pitched poorly against them with Blanco back there too?

    And as an aside, I see Hernandez threw 8 strikes and three balls in one inning. I can’t recall the last time I saw him throw only three balls to one hitter ;-)

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