Big win. I know how early it is, but big win, nonetheless. The Marlins had won seven in a row and looked early like they’d make it eight. They took a 2-0 lead in the first largely thanks to sloppy defense, and when the Braves tied it at two on Eli Marrero’s two-run homer in the second, promptly made it 4-2. The Braves seemingly were hitting rockets right at the infielders but couldn’t get anyone even on base.
Then, with two out in the sixth, the Braves rallied. Marcus hit his second double of the game, and Chipper homered. Andruw doubled, and then Julio singled him in (though Andruw did his best to get thrown out at the plate). Suddenly, it was 5-4, Braves, and it ended that way.
Jaret Wright was adequate. His ERA is prettier than his pitching, since three of the runs were scored as unearned. But he went six, struck out six, and generally gave the Braves a chance. Gryboski pitched a perfect seventh, and Reitsma got out of a little trouble in the eighth. Smoltz pitched a perfect ninth, with a strikeout, for the save.
Short bench note: Mike Hampton hit for Wright in the bottom of the sixth. This is what happens when you have a five man bench and two men aren’t available. He struck out… DeRosa, meanwhile, led off again but was 0-4 and is now smack at the Mendoza Line.
Game two of the series tonight, Josh Beckett versus Russ Ortiz. That doesn’t look promising, does it?