Einar Diaz? When Einar Diaz — the poor man’s Henry Blanco — drives in three runs against you, it’s just not your night. When you give up 17 hits, it’s almost never your night. Throw in eight walks and four errors, and it’s hard to see how the Expos only scored eight runs. In a way, you could see it as kind of a moral victory for the pitchers (Hampton, Alfonseca, Cruz, Nitkowski, and Almanza) that it wasn’t worse.
Hampton was the main culprit, allowing six of the runs, five of the walks, and seven of the hits. Alfonseca relieved him with the bases loaded in the fourth, nobody out, and a run already in on a bases-loaded walk. He allowed two of the inherited runners to score, which in that situation isn’t that bad. Cruz allowed three hits and a walk in two innings but kept them off the board; Nitkowski basically allowed the Expos to put it away with two runs allowed in a single inning, and Almanza finished it by loading the bases, throwing 10 strikes in 24 pitches, but somehow getting out of it.
The Braves had a number of chances to get even or close to it with a big hit, but couldn’t come up with it. Trailing 3-1 in the third, they loaded the bases, then Wise (the new regular left fielder, I guess, and aaarrrrggghhhh!) got hit by a pitch to score a run. But DeRosa (who was hitless after several good games in a row) flew out. Wise and Hessman (yes, Hessman) hit solo homers in the sixth to cut it to two, but they couldn’t get any closer. Nick Green seriously threatened his folk hero status with an 0-5, two error night; the second error helped the Expos put together the rally that knocked Hampton out, but really that was only a matter of time.
Back to .500. The Mets look to be on the verge of beating the Phillies in extras again, and the Marlins lost again, so everything is tightening up. Again. The Phillies now come calling, and a series win would be awfully nice.