J.D. Drew had a huge game, the Braves’ bullpen had another good one (except for Smith and Gryboski), and the Braves scored nine runs, and could have scored more — they left 11 on base, seven in scoring position. I’ll take it.
Drew was 2-3 with two homers, a walk, five RBI, and three runs scored. His homers were the difference in the game. His solo shot in the fifth gave the Braves a two-run lead at the time, and after the Marlins had come back to cut the lead to one his two-run shot in the seventh provided the final two runs of the game.
Furcal, Green, and Estrada all also had two-hit nights, Charles Thomas hit an RBI triple and later scored the go-ahead run, and Mike Hessman, of all people, drove him in with the worst-looking single you’ll ever see. The bad news was that Chipper left the game after possibly hurting his hamstring, but it might have been precautionary on the wet field.
There was a long rain delay with nobody out, two on in the bottom of the second, and neither starter was around after that. Both had given up two runs in the first and AJ Burnett looked bad in the second as well, but the first relievers who came in after them stank. The Braves got four runs off of loser Darren Oliver, and Travis Smith was Travis Smith. He even threw in a walk this time. But Sam McConnell replaced him and went 3 1/3, allowing one run (the typical Gryboski inherited run) getting the win. He wasn’t really that good, when you break it down. He walked three, struck out only one, and threw nearly as many balls as strikes.
Alfonseca pitched the eighth and Smoltz the ninth for a save, his 14th. Still 17 behind Garber… The fourth game of the series will be a night game tomorrow. Maybe it won’t even rain again. The Mets and Phillies both lost, so the Braves picked up a game on everyone.