Wow. (This is going to be a long one.)
One heck of a game. Nick Green hit a three-run homer (needing only a long fly ball to score DeRosa from third with nobody out) to win a game that really did seem to have a playoff atmosphere. (Down to lots of the other team’s fans showing up and making noise. Really, guys, you’re welcome to pay a visit, but behave yourselves.)
Green had already tied the game in the tenth with a sac fly. Furcal had doubled leading off, then went to third on a wild pitch when Green was trying to bunt him over. (It appeared that it was actually a foul ball, but considering that the pitch might have hit Green if he hadn’t pulled back in time, I don’t think that the Red Sox have much of a case.) Green’s heroics were thrown into relief because during regulation play he’d looked like he had money on the Red Sox, striking out three times on pitches way outside and committing an error on a typical try-to-do-too-much play. (They charged the error to Furcal, but it was Green’s fault.)
Jaret Wright went six, striking out seven and walking one, and threw exactly 100 pitches. He gave up a moonshot in the first to David Ortiz, then in the second allowed a run when for some reason Bobby had him pitch to the #8 hitter Bill Mueller (who only won the batting title last year) with two out, a runner in scoring position, and first base open rather than face the pitcher. Now Bobby’s reluctant to issue an intentional walk? The Braves rallied back on solo homers by Chipper in the second and Drew in the third.
Wright basically shut the Red Sox down after that for four innings. Alfonseca gave up a hit in the seventh, then Reitsma got in all sorts of trouble in the eighth but got Ortiz and Ramirez (the latter on a strikeout looking) to get out of it. Smoltz allowed a hit and a walk, but kept them off the board in the ninth.
Then Bobby, mysteriously, went to Sam McConnell to pitch. Okay, Damon, a lefthanded batter, was going to lead off, but please. Damon singled, then bunted over. Ortiz was walked, and Gryboski, of course, gave up the go-ahead single to Ramirez, because that’s what he does, then got a double play so his ERA still looks pretty.
Green tied it up again. Finally Juan Cruz put in an appearance, and he had great stuff, striking out four, walking two, and really not allowing any sort of solid contact. So he gets the win and everything worked out. In all, the Braves struck out 15 Red Sox, setting a season high.
Furcal doubled DeRosa to third in the 12th, setting up Green. But he really shouldn’t have gotten the double. It was a gapper that the Red Sox played cleanly, and Furcal could have been thrown out with a perfect throw. It was stupid to risk it, but it worked out.
Curt Schilling tomorrow. Oh boy. I can guess one thing — he isn’t going to come out of the game early, not after the last two games the Sox have played… The Marlins lost, the Mets won, and the Phillies have gotten into the twelfth in their own game with the Orioles. The Braves are, right now, three behind the Phillies and only a game and a half behind the Marlins, and are back to one game below .500.
What a night! First I went to see Spider-Man 2 and was absolutely blown away. The hype surrounding this one is completely deserved. And if that wasn’t enough heart-stopping action for one night, I got to catch the late-inning heroics on TBS. It was good to see our ‘middle-market’ team show they still belong in the presence of ‘big-market’ bohemoths like the BoSox. I hope we can keep the pressure on ’em since I’ll actually be in the Ted for tomorrow’s game.
I guess what I’m saying is that it was a thoroughly entertaining night all around…and go see Spider-Man 2!
It’s just awesome to watch Cruz throw the ball, and it’s just criminal the way Bobby underuses him. Talk about wasting your resources. Couldn’t we give Hampton the Trey Hodges memorial phantom elbow injury and give Cruz a shot? If he ever got into the rotation, you would never get him out of there.
My favorite part of the Phillies-Orioles marathon was that the Orioles bullpen had to cover the last 15 innings due to their starter Matt Riley (the guy the Braves made look like Steve Carlton last week) lasting just one inning. The bullpen’s response to the heavy workload? 15 IP, 0 ER. That’s gotta drive Bowa nuts.
Great win for the good guys. It’s amazing how the Braves are still alive given the seasons (or lack thereof) by Chipper, Andruw, Furcal, Giles ,etc, etc. I guess we need to thank the rest of the division for being so weak.
On another note, what’s with the constant whining about other teams’ fans in Atlanta making so much noise? Are you kidding me? They’re supposed to sit there and applaud for their team in a manner so as not to offend? Ridiculous. If the Atlanta fans weren’t so pathetic in the first place, maybe there wouldn’t be so many Boston/New York/Chicago fans expressing themselves.
Bring Back Chief-Knock-A-Homa!
If Braves fans went to Chicago or Boston and acted like that, they’d be lucky to just have things thrown at them. They’re taking advantage of Southern politeness.
Don’t get me started on the fan behavior topic. Sure, Braves fans need to be more passionate. Still, I hope I never see the day when Braves fans abandon class and sensibility the way many Red Sox and Cubs fans do at ballgames. It’s one thing to cheer your team when they make a good play, but it’s pretty obvious when you’re so-called cheering is just an effort to rub it in to the other teams fans. “Hey, let me hold up my Red Sox cap in the air and point at it because we’ve just won 1 out of our last six games! Yeah!” I guess it’s because they’ve both been embarrassed by their rivals for so many years that they don’t miss an opportunity to try and make another team’s fans feel worse. It’s a little amusing what they do, but mostly just sad.