The good news is that the Braves are 2-1 and have scored an average of ten runs a game. The bad news is that they’ve allowed over eight runs a game. In fact, their best pitching performance was in the game they lost, when the relievers managed to hold the Mets more or less in check.

John Thomson had the Braves’ best start yet, but it still wasn’t very good, allowing four runs, two earned, in five innings. (I’m not actually sure why both runs scoring in the fifth were unearned.) He needed 86 pitches, 57 strikes, struck out four and walked three. It was positively Koufaxian compared to the first two games, but not quite what the Braves needed.

The bullpen… Ick. Cunnane got a completely undeserved win for blowing a 5-4 lead in the sixth, though he didn’t seem to be pitching that badly. Nitkowski, pitching for the third straight day and apparently carrying on the legacy of Ray King, walked the only two men he faced. Gryboski allowed those two to score, but none of his guys did. Reitsma actually pitched a scoreless inning, but allowed two hits. And Smoltz allowed a solo homer before settling down to get the save.

I’m getting depressed, so let’s talk offense. The Mets did not start Scott Erickson after all. They say that he pulled a hamstring warming up, but I think this whole Erickson thing is some kind of weird fraud. Dan Wheeler, who pitched last night, got the start, and actually pitched okay. But the rest of the pen didn’t do their part. This time, everybody got a hit. Marcus Giles is now hitting .692 on the young season after a 4-5 night. Johnny Estrada had three hits and four RBI and he’s hitting .462. LaRoche had only one before lifted for Julio in the sixth, when the Braves scored three runs, one of them on Julio’s bases-loaded walk against John Franco in the long-awaited battle between the two ancient guys named Franco. The Braves had fifteen hits in all.

Three against the Cubs now. Greg Maddux won’t pitch in the series. Nor will Mark Prior, who is on the DL.

A final note… As you no doubt know, this is the thirtieth anniversary of Hank Aaron’s 715th homer. The Braves wore throwback uniforms for the occasion. Personally, I’d just like to say that Hank’s 715th is my first identifiable memory.

8 thoughts on “ATLANTA 10, NY METS 8”

  1. The runs were unearned because the first run was scored by the player who reached on the error and the second run was scored on a sacrifice fly that gave the Mets two outs – any further runs would have been unearned.


  2. While the Franco-Franco battle is surely the highest combined age of same-surnamed opponents in a major league game, the question is: is it the highest combined age ever? My brief and unsystematic search suggests not: Satchel Paige pitched three innings for KC in 1965 at the age of 58. Thus, since John Franco is 43 and, assuming Julio is somewhere near 45, as long as Ol’ Satch pitched to someone who was older than 31, then he would still have the record. But if Julio is really 80……

  3. Wait! I forgot Minnie Minoso had two ABs with the White Sox in 1980 at the age of 57. If either of them was against a pitcher over 32….

  4. OK…OK… I have to give up on this, but we can’t forget the 33.7 innings Jesse Orosco pitched last year at age 46 either. God, they’re a bunch of geezers out there! PS… I’m 48.

  5. Right about now my “analysis” I did last week that said the Braves offense would suffer this season but their pitching would pick up the slack is looking a bit silly. I guess I’ll keep my day job.

    The pitching has been terrible of course but so has the infield defense. So far the D has given away at least two runs every night. I know we aren’t exactly the Cardinals as far as infield defense goes but it’s got to get better than this. I know I personally cringe every time I see a ball hit to third.

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