Travis Smith made an emergency start in place of Horacio Ramirez, and acquitted himself well. So he gets a loss, because the Braves made Eric Milton look like he’s worth the money. The Braves were held to only four hits and one run, which probably shouldn’t have scored — Bobby Abreu tried too hard to make a play, turning a single or double by Andruw into a triple which allowed Drew to score from first.
Smith went six, allowing only three hits and two walks, striking out five. But he gave up the go-ahead run with two out in the sixth, hitting Chase Utley. Technically speaking, Utley should not have been awarded first base; rather than trying to avoid the ball he turned his back into it to guarantee the HBP. But I’m tired of fighting this fight. I assume that someday, baseball will make the umpires rule by the rulebook and players will be required to try and get out of the way, but we’ll probably all be long dead when that happens. Any chance to come back was lost when Armando “I’m paid to get lefthanders out but they’re hitting over .400 against me” Almanza gave up a titanic two-run homer to Thome.
Mike Hessman incompetence watch: Not only was he 0-4 (now hitting .125), Hessman committed two errors at first base, or the same number as Adam LaRoche did all year… Chipper pinch-hit and struck out in the seventh with two runners on base. Hopefully he’ll play tomorrow… Day game tomorrow against the Expos. I have to work, even though nobody at work seems to know why.
Travis Smith looked great today. He must have learned something in Korea. When I saw that he was starting opening day in Richmond this year I checked out his stats and found myself mortified. I went to the game and he struck out eight. His numbers look great this year. If he made the rotation (which granted, seems far fetched) I would not be surprised if he pitched better than Hampton or Wright. It certainly looked like he had good stuff. Call me crazy…
I also thought that the stretch error on Hessman was a tad questionable. He looked like he was stretched out as far as he could go and Derosa’s throw was horrid (he had plenty of time). Again, call me crazy.
Hessman not only makes errors, he cant catch the ball in the dirt. The error on Furcal Saturday would have been handled by most beer league softball firstbasemen. The only reason he is even playing is the horrible turf in MOntreal. It hurt Franco, which forced LaRoche to be playing when normally he would not have been. Essentially, Montreal caused us to have Mike Hessman starting at first base. OUCH.
Yea, let’s all dump on Hessman. If the guy that is supposed to be the back-up 1B weren’t 80 years old, we wouldn’t have this problem.
If Frank Wren and John Scheurholz had done their job and stocked Richmond with more credible potential replacements — and not jettisoned Russ Branyan for no reason — we wouldn’t have this problem either.
I just got home from the game. When I saw that Ramirez wasn’t warming up, I began wondering what happened. I saw it was Travis Smith and was really worried it was going to be a long day. They didn’t even put his name on the scoreboard for the batting order.
I thought he pitched really well. He only made two costly pitches, the homerun to bell and the pitch that hit Utley.
Without question, Hessman should’ve caught DeRosa’s throw. It was definately in his range and any first baseman should have made that play.
The worst part of the entire game was the way Eric Milton made Rafael Furcal look on his first three at bats. It was almost like he had never played baseball before in his life.
Not much comment on the game, other than I was impressed with Smith and not so impressed (again) with Atlanta’s offense.
By the way, Mac, the reason you and many other state employees in the South don’t have Memorial Day off is because it’s a Yankee holiday (I know you work at an HBC, so you should appreciate that irony). Up until fairly recently, they actually recognized a separate Confederate Memorial Day.
I agree that some better contengency plans should have been made, but I don’t see the problem with letting Branyan go. In my opinion, Hessman and Jurries are both better options. Not saying that they are valid major league options at the moment, but neither is Russ.
Well, Branyan doesn’t have anything on Hessman in the leather department, but he would be a more optimal offensive replacement.
The worst part is, Florida won again, and we are now 5.5 games back. It is very difficult to climb over two teams when your more the 4 back.
Was it me, or did it seem like we totally dominated this series, and just came out without a sweep?
I meant to say, “We just came out with a split.”