Atlanta 4, Florida 1

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Well, well, well. In a game I frankly didn’t think that the Braves had much chance of winning, Russ Ortiz had a terrific start and the Braves got just enough offense — from likely and unlikely sources — to win it.

Ortiz rolled for the first five innings. He got a break in the second when a runner was called out at the plate when he looked safe, but he really looked strong. It looked to me like he tired a little in the sixth, and he left the game in the seventh with two out and two on having thrown 109 pitches but with the Marlins not yet on the board. However, Gryboski then let a run in on a wild pitch. Still, it was a strong outing for Russ, who had (for him) fine control, walking no one, striking out seven, and throwing 75 strikes. (He also had two hits.) Reitsma and Smoltz mowed down the Marlins in the last two innings.

Chipper had put the Braves ahead 2-0 in the first on a homer with DeRosa on, but the Braves couldn’t get another run across until the seventh, when Jesse Garcia, of all people, hit a homer. Neither I nor anyone else could believe it. Wise pinch-hit and tripled, coming home on a single by Giles, who has at least one hit in every game this year. That was enough.

Drew and Furcal still are out. At this stage, they might as well disable Furcal, who hasn’t played in forever… The Braves go for the sweep tomorrow, Hampton versus Brad Penny.

5 thoughts on “Atlanta 4, Florida 1”

  1. Ortiz was really quite phenomenal tonight, and I say that as someone who’s not a big Ortiz fan.

    He was really painting the corners well through the first five innings, and doing it with better velocity than he’s shown since coming to Atlanta.

  2. I didn’t think we really had a shot tonight either, but the Ortiz from last summer showed up. It was nice to see how strong the Reitsma/Smoltz one-two punch was in the 8th and 9th. Hopefully, we can get the sweep tomorrow. This series is sort of reminding me of the big sweep the Braves had of the Expos in Puerto Rico last April. Going into that series, the Expos were in first place, while the Braves were still sputtering out of the gate. However, the Braves never looked back after that.

  3. Yeah, Russ!! That was the sort of thing we were waiting for, at least out of one of those “nos. 1&2” starters.

    He really did look as good as I’ve seen him. He was throwing “perfect pitches”, that is to say balls where if a guy swings at it he won’t do anything with it and if he doesn’t it’s a strike, in some key situations. 7 strikeouts to zero walks you would take from anyone. Bravo!

    A potential sweep would be huge for this early in the season — so far they have looked like the defending champs.

  4. Man, I hate local blackouts.

    Yeah, I could go to the game… but I don’t have 50 bucks to blow. ::sigh::

  5. Jesse Garcia had a game best appreciated by fans who follow the game day after day. Let’s celibrate when a guy like Jesse gets up to take his swings and makes a difference. He fielded well, too.
    Eli Marreo’s strong throw to the plate reminds me of the pros on this team that play more than one position. Ballplayers aren’t interchangable parts, but this team’s built for flexibilty. Getting these supersubs to believe they ARE the Braves and they must play to win is Bobby’s job this year. You never bet on the jockey; always bet on the horse, but without a clearly dominant team in the NL, I still really like our chances.

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