Six in a row, as the Braves took the lead in the second and knocked Schmidt out in the fourth. Paul Byrd had a good day on the mound, going six innings and allowing only one run, and a great day at the plate, going 2-2 with two RBI, one run scored, and a sac bunt. Schmidt struck out eight Braves but allowed ten hits and six runs.
After a two-out rally in the second (Thomas tripled home Estrada and Byrd then singled him home in turn) the big inning was the fourth, when the Braves basically nicked-and-dimed Schmidt to death, scoring the four runs with only one extra-base hit. That was Thomas again, who doubled after Marrero walked to lead off. Byrd singled home Marrero, then Furcal did the same for Thomas. Marcus laid down a bunt but beat it out to load the bases. Schmidt got Drew and Chipper and seemed to get out of it, but Estrada came through with a two-run single that knocked Schmidt out and basically ended the game.
Thomas, as you can see, was all over the place today, going 2-2 with two HBP and a walk and scored four runs. Furcal was 4-5 with four RBI, Estrada 2-4 with a walk, two RBI, and a run, Marrero 2-3 with two walks, two runs scored. Andruw had what apparently was a routine day off.
I have to say that Byrd was kinda lucky. He only allowed four hits, but he also walked three (none of whom were Bonds, who went 1-3 before leaving late with the big deficit) and struck out only one. I really don’t think that that’s going to work. Alfonseca pitched a perfect seventh; Roman Colon allowed the first two runs of his major league career in the eighth, which allowed the Giants to cut it all the way to 9-3. Cruz then struck out two in a perfect ninth to end it.
Tomorrow’s game will be Sunday Night Baseball. ESPN is likely to top its work from the Cardinals series, when its entire opening was dedicated to St. Louis with no mention of their opponent. I am fairly certain that tomorrow night we will see an open entirely dedicated to Barry Bonds with no mention of either team. Their internet operation lists Wayne Franklin as the Giants’ starter tomorrow night, facing Russ Ortiz, but since Franklin relieved Schmidt today that’s highly unlikely.