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.