Hey, look on the bright side! With Mark Prior’s complete game victory, at least the story isn’t “Maddux fails again”! Greg took the loss, but deserved better. He allowed two runs on four hits in the first, but none of them were hit hard and one was a bunt that Robert Fick fell down on for one of the most obvious errors you’ll ever see but was called a hit anyway. If not for Fick, Greg and the Braves probably would have gotten out of the inning unscathed. Maddux was great; Prior was greater, and luckier.
Prior gave up only two hits, a single by Giles in the second and a pinch-hit double by DeRosa in the eighth. DeRosa later scored on Marcus’ sac fly, as they continue to be the only Braves doing anything in the series. Fick, who didn’t quite singlehandedly lose the game, but is playing like he has money on the Cubs, is hitless. Sheffield, Chipper, and Andruw have one hit apiece, though all at least drew walks tonight. The Braves committed four errors, not counting Fick’s butchery.
After the Braves got within a run, Gryboski allowed a run-scoring double in the eighth that pretty much ended it and took all the wind out of the Braves’ sails. Prior threw 133 pitches. I feel very strongly that in a seven game series doing this would come back to haunt the Cubs. But it’s not a seven game series.
Clement goes for the Cubs tomorrow against probably Russ Ortiz. I think that the Braves almost have to open up the bullpen and let anyone pitch. If Ortiz gets in trouble in the third, anyone, even Hampton, has to be on call.