The Marlins are 1-5 against the Braves, and 11-1 against everyone else. Go figure. The Braves are two games behind the Marlins, two and a half up on the Phillies. At any rate, rumors of the Braves’ demise seem to have been exaggerated. Last night, they became the first team this year to score against Dontrelle Willis, and when the Marlins rallied to tie the game, JD Drew broke it open with a bases-loaded
inside the park homer triple, coming home to score on an error.
John Thomson had another strong start, allowing two runs in seven innings, striking out seven and walking two. He could easily have had a shutout; both runs scored on two-out singles. His control wasn’t quite as sharp as it’s been, and he needed 116 pitches to make it through seven, but it was a good start nonetheless.
Mark DeRosa, hitting second when Eli Marrero was scratched, had a big night, homering in the first and singling home a run in the second. He also scored in front of Drew’s seventh-inning triple off the centerfield wall, and drove in his third run with a sac fly in the eighth. Drew slid down to the sixth spot against Willis, and didn’t seem to handle him very well, but the triple came off another lefty, reliever Tommy Phelps.
Even with a five-run lead, Bobby broke out Reitsma and Smoltz to finish it. It seems to me that the rule now is that the good relievers will pitch when the Braves are ahead, and the bad ones when they’re behind, even if the lead is five runs and the deficit only one. I don’t get it myself. If nothing else, it would have been a chance to get Juan Cruz some work in.
Thanks to ESPN, the Braves flew out late last night on their way to San Francisco, where they start a three-game series late tonight. All three games in the series are scheduled for 10:15 ET just to guarantee that no Braves fans can see them.