Atlanta 8 Florida 7

ESPN.com – MLB – Recap

Another year, another division title.

It began with the Braves taking a 2-0 lead in the first on a double by Marcus, a triple by Drew, and a sac fly by Chipper. Then the Marlins scored two runs in the second. Then the Braves got a solo homer by Andruw, another one by Thomas, and Drew drove in Marcus again to make it 5-2. But Ortiz really didn’t have anything — yet again — and was pulled after loading the bases in the third. Unfortunately, Gryboski came in to allow a three-run double to make it 5-5.

The Marlins took the lead on a homer (by Alex Gonzalez, who hit the first one as well) in the sixth off of Cruz. Then Alfonseca, the other guy who’s been pitching well in the bullpen, allowed a run in the seventh.

But it can happen to anyone. Guillermo Mota, one of the best relievers around, allowed the Braves to load the bases on a walk to Julio, a single by Andruw, and a bunt single by Thomas. He got Marrero to strikeout as a pinch-hitter, but Furcal hit a sac fly, with Andruw also moving over to third. The Marlins brought in Benitez, who has been lights-out. But for some reason, they just let Charles Thomas steal second, then Marcus hit a two-RBI single to right to win the game. Smoltz wasn’t great, but got a double-play grounder to end it.

The Braves used eight pitchers, Travis Smith getting the win. The unsung hero might have been Colon, who pitched two innings, the fourth and fifth, of perfect baseball. Marcus was 3-4 with a walk; Estrada, Drew, Andruw, and Thomas all had two hits apiece.

The teams will play again tomorrow, with Mike Hampton pencilled in as the starter. We’ll see. I expect that several normal reserves will play for the Braves. Most certainly, Green or DeRosa will play second for Marcus, who’s gimpy, and either Andruw or Drew will take a game off.

12 thoughts on “Atlanta 8 Florida 7”

  1. I’m proud of this team. When they were down by 6 games, my brother-in-law told me he would give me $100 if the Braves won the division.

    If Cox doesn’t win manager of the year, then someone needs to find out what picture LaRussa has. Jo-Jo the Monkey Boy could win the Central with the offense he has.

    The best part of this year’s Braves is they showed everyone the meaning of team. The leaders are clearly Chipper and Smoltz. Look how they both stepped it up in the 2nd half (with the exceptionof the last 2 weeks for Smoltz). It was a great sight to see them holding the 2004 banner together after the game. They WILL go far in the playoffs, regardless of who they play.

  2. I, along with many others, counted this team out earlier in the year. Damn it was brutal watching Hessman, Garcia, DeRosa et al. in the early going. Everything turned out allright thanks to the entire organization.

    I admit that I wanted Andruw traded in June or so. Well, good thing JS didn’t do it.

    Congrats to the Braves and Bobby Cox.

  3. I’ll have to admit I went to bed when it was about to become 7-5 Marlins. Given the sorry performances against the Reds in the late innings (against a bullpen whose ability has been oft questioned), I wasn’t very optimistic.

    But, leave it to Marcus. It appears he’s coming back to full strength and will be ready for the playoffs.

    Great season from a good team that played great. I never thought this team had the talent to put together the 50 and 20-something record that they’ve had since July. But somehow, it all came together.

  4. I was at Turner field recently and noticed a #42 amongst the other retired numbers. For the life of me, I can’t think of who it is. Can somebody help me out?

  5. For some reason I get a “page no longer exists” error on the comment link for the article following this one. All I really wanted to say was no mention of DeRosa blowing out his ACL in the 6th? Looks like he’ll miss the post season.

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