Braves 18, Mets 10

ESPN.com – MLB – MLB RECAP

That’s more like it. Headed into the bottom of the third, it was 6-0, Mets. Headed to the bottom of the fourth, it was 6-3. At the end of four, it was 14-6, Braves. I really think this team is going to score some runs.

Mike Hampton didn’t do much better than Russ Ortiz, unfortunately, going four innings and giving up six runs, five of them earned. Like Ortiz, he didn’t get any help from the defense, a run scoring on an error by Furcal, his second in the first two games, but the game was already 5-0 by then. Hampton needed 90 pitches to get through the four innings. Just as worrisome, runs were scored off the core of the bullpen, Nitkowski, Reitsma, and Smoltz. The latter gave up a two-run homer in the ninth. Better in this situation, I guess. Gryboski pitched an inning with his arm stapled to his shoulder to get the win, and Base12 also had a scoreless inning.

But the story was the offense, which pounded out nineteen hits, also drawing six walks. All the regulars got hits but Furcal, who walked twice. Adam LaRoche, in his first major league action, had two hits in the big fourth inning, including a double, scoring twice and driving in two. Julio Franco also had two hits in the inning, pinch-hitting for Hampton, and bringing up the question of why you have a lefty fourth outfielder to pinch-hit if you’re going to use your righthanded first baseman as your first pinch-hitter. Johnny Estrada also had two hits in the fourth; everyone in the lineup reached base in the inning but Marcus Giles, who drove in a run with a sac fly.

The litany of good days… Chipper had a two-run homer in the second and also had a double late in the game. Marcus was 3-4 with three RBI and now has five for the year. After going hitless in his first start as the Braves’ regular catcher, Johnny Estrada was 3-5. Mark DeRosa managed to not make any errors and was 3-3 with four runs scored. It was that kind of day. The only disappointment was that Julio Franco didn’t get to bat against John Franco.

Night game tonight to finish the series, John Thomson against — I can’t believe this — Scott Erickson. Apparently Mark Gubicza wasn’t available.

9 thoughts on “Braves 18, Mets 10”

  1. No TV in my part of the country, but I did try the ESPN web thing to follow the game. Gave up when I saw the score. What a comeback. I sure would like to see Thompson at least get to the 4th inning tonight. Its good to see Chipper hit one early. I think that if he has a great year so will the rest of the offense.

  2. Listened to this game on the radio (when they weren’t breaking into coverage with freeway jumper coverage. I took the even money bet that he would jump, sadly he didn’t). Couple of observations:

    I’m glad we are making such a big deal about putative vs actual ace. Hampton was even worse than Ortiz.

    Piazza is about as locked in as locked in gets.

    Did I miss the announcement where the Braves decided to move back to Fulton County Stadium? The Ted is playing like the launching pad so far.

    You know it’s a weird game when the only pitcher on either side who looks good the whole night is Grybo. I too hope Thomson can at least eat some innings tonight.

  3. Until either one of them makes it out of the 5th inning, I think that we should put quotes around ace. For example: I think that our actual “ace” this year will have a higher SLG% than that of our 1B.

  4. My “fearless prediction” for this season was that Thomson would end the season with the best record and best ERA in our rotation.

    I thought that would be because he’d exceed expectations, not because Ortiz and Hampton would sport ERAs that Hideous Freak would have difficulty counting on his hands.

  5. I like how everyone here thinks they can extrapolate pitching performance for the year based on one outing. Doing that will result in worse accuracy than Ray Charles with a sniper rifle. But go ahead, sing you doom and gloom songs.

  6. Has anyone seen a pinch hitter get 2 hits in an inning before? I don’t think I ever have; that was a great inning to watch.

  7. And with respect to pitching this year vs. last, in the first 5 games last year the Braves allowed 41 runs, including a 17-1 pasting in Florida. However we label these aces, Maddux started out last year horribly in his first three starts, and rebounded at a very good (albeit not excellent) level the rest of the way.

    All that said, Ortiz has now been struggling pretty much since last July, with ERAs of 4.4, 4.19 and 4.5 the last three months, a 5 ERA in two postseason starts, a crappy spring and a weak debut.

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