It’s a lot more fun when Roberto Hernandez is on the other team. After getting out of a mini-jam in the seventh, Boom-Boom Bobby allowed four runs, getting only one out, in the eighth, allowing the Braves to break open a close game. The Braves still played it like a tight game (using Rietsma and Smoltz) but it was smooth sailing from there.

The batting heroes were the corner outfielders, Drew (2-5 with a homer, 3 RBI, 2 R) and DeWayne Wise, who had what I’d guess is his best game of his career, going 3-5 with two doubles, scoring twice and driving in two. Furcal had only one hit, but it was a two-run triple off of Boom-Boom that was the big blow of the game. Everybody got a hit but Estrada.

As noted in comments below, Eli Marrero was activated and Mike Hessman called up, with LaRoche on the DL and Betemit sent to Richmond. Hessman started at first and looked mostly hopeless but did get a hit late in the game. Marrero, looking like he weighed about 95 pounds, pinch-hit and drove him in.

John Thomson’s problem, as I see it, is that he lacks an out pitch. He has good control and throws harder than I thought he did, but he can’t finish batters off quite as well as you’d like. He did have six strikeouts and only one walk, but needed 116 pitches to go seven innings — even though 80 of them were strikes. The Phillies fouled off a lot of pitches. Reitsma, pitching in his third game in a row, has a similar problem… Of Thomson’s three runs, two were unearned and arguably none were entirely his fault, Andruw misplaying a ball that allowed the earned run to reach.

On paper, tomorrow’s matchup looks good, Horacio Ramirez against Eric Milton. We’ll see. A win would help a lot. The Braves have won the two games in this series they arguably shouldn’t — against Millwood with Wright going, and today against Padilla the Brave Killer.