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.