Atlanta 2, Montreal 0 – MLB – Recap – Expos at Braves – 09/23/2003

Shane Reynolds pitched seven scoreless innings. Shane Reynolds? That doesn’t seem very likely, but it happened. Of course, being Shane Reynolds, he allowed seven hits and three walks, and 99 percent of the time if you allow that many runners some of them are going to score. But you take what you get. Unfortunately, this probably clinched a postseason roster spot for him.

Jaret Wright pitched the eighth for the win, and John Smoltz saved it by striking out the side in the ninth. What elbow problem?

Facing Javier “Should Be In A Braves Uniform” Vazquez, the Braves couldn’t get anything going until the eighth. Mark DeRosa, hitting eighth and playing third with Vinny still on the shelf, walked. Furcal drove him home with two out, and then Sheffield doubled Furcal home after Giles singled. Andruw took the day off, Bragg playing center, but pinch-hit and stayed in for defense, not that the Braves needed any in the ninth. The Braves had only seven baserunners but made theirs count.

The Braves play the Expos one more time, then have Thursday off… The Giants are 97-59, the Braves 98-60. If the Giants finish a half-game behind the Braves, my understanding is that they would have to play a makeup game in New York Monday. (That’s the blackout game.) The Marlins beat the Phillies and are two games up in the wildcard with five games to play. The Cubs have pulled to a game up on the Astros, who are three out of the wildcard.

13 thoughts on “Atlanta 2, Montreal 0”

  1. Mac,
    I think you’re wrong about the Giants/Mets makeup game. the only time they play an extra game is to decide who gets in the playoffs. If there is a half game difference in the standings, the team on top gets home field.

    Others can correct me, if I’m wrong, of course.

    By the way, will you be critical of Reynolds if he goes 8 innings in Game 7 of the WS, giving up a run on 11 hits and four walks as the Braves win?

    Of course, I hope he doesn’t play that huge of a role for the team in postseason (or next season) but for a cheap pickup, he’s been great – meaning he hasn’t embarrassed himself.

    (I’d also agree that it has been smoke and mirrors and hope we don’t have to rely on it. But he has done his job.)

  2. Since the Giants had their division wrapped up by July and the Mets were out of it even before, I don’t think they’d ever have had thought about a makeup game for the division. MLB made such a fuss about home field, the World Series, and the All-Star Game that they can’t let the Giants pass on playing it. If they’re a half game behind the Braves, they’re going to play.

    Eleven baserunners in seven innings? Waaaaay too many. Every Reynolds start is one hit away from disaster.

  3. I’d much prefer to have had Jason Marquis or Matt Belisle or Jung Bong getting the starts that have gone to Shane Reynolds (wily vet) this year. There is no upside to Reynolds, unless you factor in his cost. There is promise with the others, and they’re cheap to boot.

  4. I am annoyed that I can’t watch any more games (besides this fri) till the playoffs cos TBS decided to cover 3 games or something in the last 3 weeks. This is absurd! It’s okay, I guess, cos we made it. But it makes me wonder if anybody at TBS actually thinks logistically about this – What if we had been in a very close dogfight race near the end of the schedules? (as was envisioned at the start of the year). Who knows? I want to believe that they make this schedule on a rolling basis where they designed the lack of frequency at the end a month ago when he had a 12 month lead. But still anything could happen. Bad planning.

  5. Indeed.

    It appears MLB has yet to make up its mind, probably hoping it doesn’t have to.

    In my opinion, if MLB tells the Giants they have to make up the Mets game, I’d leave my starters at home and try to win with the lower end of my 40man roster. No way home field is worth dragging your tired players all over the place for a make up game. Not to mention, the lower end of the Giants roster probably beats the Mets anyway.

    I agree completely that long term, all those other guys. I’m just saying, we’ve (yes, me, too) have been saying all year how he is just about to implode. Hasn’t happened. He is always a hit away from disaster and, quite often, the hit doesn’t come. He deserves some credit for that.

    I’m also emphatically NOT saying he should be allowed anywhere near the rubber in a playoff game.

  6. As a fan of pitching, watching Javier Vasquez throw last night was really something. He is easily the best pitcher in either dugout. If the Braves could have dealt for him, it would have been a major step towards keeping the dynasty going another few years.

    Hopefully the Expos players will hold the line on not playing a split schedule next year. Then the Expos will be forced to trade Vasquez and maybe the Braves can grab him again. I say “hopefully” from a Braves prospective, because clearly having Bud slash the Expos payroll to zero and forcing them to trade all their stars is very bad for baseball. But since Bud is involved, you already knew it was bad for baseball.

  7. As apparently one of the few who can actually watch these games, I should note that Smoltz truly looked like his old self Tuesday night, unlike his 2 previous appearances. Out of the windup, he came out throwing 96 MPH fastballs, then something like 8 diving splits in a row at 90 which no one touched until Wilkerson managed to weakly foul one off. Swinging strikes all over the place. A confidence-inspiring performance. Wright looked pretty good too, by the way.

  8. That’s great news on Smoltz! Regarding television coverage (or lack thereof). I used MLB TV for the first time last week (and by chance it was the Russ Ortiz complete game) and it was awesome. It only cost 99 cents and I could flip between games. In case your curious, I only have local cable and don’t get TBS or ESPN (ouch). The connection never dropped and the clarity was fine. I did have to dowload the latest and greated real player.


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