Atlanta 6 Houston 5 – MLB – Recap

This team… Maybe they’re something special. Or maybe it’s just the Astros’ bullpen. It was a very odd game. Darren Oliver started but went only one (1-2-3) inning before leaving with a shoulder problem. That actually worked out for awhile for the Astros because the Braves were setup to face a lefty and the Astros’ pen is largely righthanded. Kirk Bullinger, of all people, threw three innings, which should have been shutout but the Braves got a gift run on a misplayed grounder.

Mike Hampton didn’t have it, though. He walked the bases loaded with two out in the fourth, then allowed a two-run single. He loaded the bases again — two singles and a walk — in the fifth, and Bobby went to Gryboski, who actually got the grounder for once but slapped it with his glove to turn it into an infield single to score a run. Martin came in and walked in a run around two popouts.

Well, it was 5-1 Astros through five, and things looked bleak. But in the sixth, Chipper singled leading off and Andruw hit a rocket off the short wall in left for a long single. Phil Garner went to David “Gryboski” Weathers. Julio doubled in the the Joneses (Andruw would have either been out or stayed at third but for sloppy defense again). And Marrero tied it up with a monster homer off the goofy train.

The Astros eventually ran out of pitchers, which is what happens when your starter leaves after one inning. Brad Lidge, who’s great, got out of a Weathers jam in the seventh and pitched the eighth, but all they had left was Dan Miceli. Drew singled with one out, and Chipper doubled him to third. Andruw was intentionally walked, and normally you’d expect a reliever here but they didn’t have any. Marcus, who was still out of the lineup with a groin pull (he hopes to play tomorrow, and Nick Green looks just awful right now) pinch-hit because the Braves were out of hitters. He hit a sac fly to give the Braves a 6-5 lead.

Great work from the bullpen after the touchy fifth — which after all was a tough spot. Alfonseca pitched the sixth and seventh, walking two but not allowing any hits. Juan Cruz actually pitched the eighth in a tie game, and looked great, finishing with a strikeout. Smoltz was sick, but got through the ninth allowing one hit for the save.

The Phillies are tied with the Padres in the seventh; Millwood left after two innings with an elbow problem. Uh-oh. It appears that Pat Burrell will go on the DL too. And Larry Bowa is still employed! The Marlins and Mets both won… The Braves head to Arizona now.

8 thoughts on “Atlanta 6 Houston 5”

  1. Hey, what was the deal with Smoltz? The commentators said Reitsma would get the 9th inning duty cos Smoltzy was not well. But then Smoltzy closed the game in the end. Is something wrong with Smoltz? I missed the 1st half of the game. Is he battling another injury?

  2. Phillies ended up scoring two runs off Trevor Hoffman to win in SD.

    This was a very nice win to get. Hampton was infuriatingly painful to watch, but he was due to come back to earth sometime. cool that they rallied back.

  3. This had all the makings of a huge disappointment. Darren Oliver. 8 innings of Astros relievers. We should have won this game with our eyes closed, but we were down 5-1 in the sixth. I’m hoping that the L-R thing was what had us tied up in the first 5 innings, because we did look good against everyone else but the Lidgerator. Garner can’t be blamed for bringing his closer out in the seventh; I’m just about positive we would have scored against anybody else that inning.

  4. For those of you who didn’t see the game, Cruz retired Everett, Beltran, and Berkman 1-2-3 in the eighth on two popups and a strike out while consistently touching 98 on the gun. He basically looked like K-Rod with an extra 5 mph on his fastball. Although it was encouraging to see Juan in a tie game, the realistic part of me knows that it was only because Reitsma had pitched the previous two nights (including once when he entered into a tie game in the eighth and lost the game) and because Smoltz was sick.

    We’ve still got two months left for the light to go on in the dugout. At least it seems like we are getting closer.

  5. Why is Bagwell playing? It hurts to watch him throw. Houston isn’t a very good team with him out playing.

    Did anyone hear the broadcast when Skip said Bobby loved Adam Everett? The Adam Everett with the 698 OPS? Geez, I hope Skip was drunk and not serious.

  6. As good as Cruz looked — and he did look good — he doesn’t really compare at all with Francisco Rodriguez. I wish he did, mind you. They both throw heat, and Cruz’s fastball has good movement — kind of a corkscrew trajectory to the plate — but K-Rod’s slider is one of the best breaking balls in the game. I’m pretty high on Cruz, but he just doesn’t have that kind of stuff.

  7. Never thought Jaret Wright would hit a homer, against Brandon Webb of all pitchers.

    Hope he can make it stand up, ’cause no one else can do anything with Webb tonight (So far that is, it’s still early, but Webb looks ‘on.’)

    Of course Wright hasn’t been able to find the strike zone either.. But like I said, it’s early, so I’ll shut up.

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