I hate this game sometimes. The Braves led 6-2 with two out in the eighth, then Chris Reitsma allowed two runners to reach. At this stage, I wander off from the TV because I see a meeting on the mound and figure, “Bobby’s going to put Smoltz in now.” But NOOOOOOOOOOOO. He leaves Reitsma in. One cheap Philadelphia home run later, and it’s 6-5. With one out in the ninth and Smoltz in, another cheap Philadelphia homer (I really hate this park) and the game’s tied. Alfonseca lost the game in the tenth.
Rafael Furcal hit a pair of three-run homers to account for the Braves’ runs. The first of the two was (on replay) clearly foul, but it was an impossible call for the umpire and looked fair from that angle. The second was a cheap Philadelphia homer, but probably better hit than either of the Phillies’ shots. Johnny Estrada had a three-hit night, and he and Marrero scored in front of Furcal both times, but the rest of the lineup had only three hits and two walks combined.
John Thomson pitched well, though often behind the batters. He left with two out in the seventh and a four run lead. And he gets a no decision. He can’t win.
The Mets beat the Marlins, so the Braves are three games out of first and one out of second. Tomorrow, Hampton versus Paul Abbott. I’ve given up predicting whether games are going to be hitters or pitchers duels, but if ever you’d expect runs, it’s tomorrow on Fox. Oh, God, McCarver will probably be there. First John Kruk, now Tim McCarver.