ESPN.com – MLB – MLB RECAP
The Braves’ season isn’t dead yet, but it’s not at all well. For the third straight time, they lost the last two games of an interleague series after winning the first, dropping in the process to three games below .500. In the stages of grief, I today reached anger and may soon move on to bargaining.
Primary culprits included the newly dubbed Ski Brothers, Grybo and Nitkow. Gryboski relieved Thomson with two out in the seventh with two already in for a 5-1 Royals lead. (Thomson should not have started the inning; he’d struggled in the sixth, allowing a run on two hits, after a half hour rain delay.) The Royals piled on for another run charged to Thomson and two of Gryboski’s very own. Then, after the Braves rallied to make it 8-4, Nitkowski extinguished all hope by allowing a two-run homer.
Andruw Haters Club Update: he was 2-4 with a double, but hit into a double play in a key situation.
BÍte Noire Update: Mike Hessman got the start at first base and hit a homer, thereby guaranteeing six more weeks of strikeouts.
Chipper Haplessness Update: 0-4, dropping to .206 on the season. He did make a nice play at third, apparently.
Juan Cruz Helplessness Update: Pitched the ninth, since the game was securely lost. One batter reached on an error, and he had a strikeout.
The Indians are next. You know, this looked like an easy interleague schedule starting out.
ESPN.com – MLB – MLB RECAP
Once again, I am thoroughly disgusted. Once again, the Braves lost the second game of an interleague series after taking game one. Once again, the game was marred by rainfall and by umpires who refuse to stop these stupid interleague games until there are actually large pools of standing water on the field, if then.
The game was 3-1 entering the eighth. The Braves had pitched in and out of trouble all night, and the Royals’ only run had come on a double play. Runners all over the place (the Royals had 20 hits on the night) but most had been stranded. Then the game fell completely apart. Reitsma allowed two hits leading off the inning, then a three-run homer to Angel “.629 OPS” Berroa. Then another run to give the Royals insurance.
The Braves rallied for one run on a groundout in the bottom of the inning, but rather than bring in Smoltz to keep the game close, Bobby brought in Armando Almanza. Almanza allowed the first two batters to reach, then Travis Smith came in. For once, Smith did not allow a homer. Instead he allowed three singles (two of the infield variety) and a double, and the game was basically over.
Furcal hit a homer to lead off the Braves’ batting, and wound up with three RBI for the game. Nick Green had two hits. Jaret Wright was okay, but didn’t have the electric stuff of his last outing, and needed 103 pitches to get only 5 1/3 innings. Gryboski got out of the sixth with only two pitches.
Can we at least get a series win this time? Is that too much to ask? Former Braves farmhand Darrell May goes for the Royals tomorrow. He has a 6.26 ERA.