Aw, the wuvvable widdle Cubbies got eliminated! And they everything they could to stay alive, including throwing at the Braves’ hitters, and it didn’t do any good!
The increasingly asinine Cubs led 6-2 after Travis Smith — who else? — allowed four runs on a pair of homers in the fifth. But the Braves got back into it with three runs in the sixth, and took the lead with three more in the eighth, highlighted by Drew’s two-run triple. Gryboski picked up the win, Smoltz the save.
Carlos Zambrano, who is clearly from his behavior a cretin, hit Chipper in the hand in the fifth. Chipper left the game, and it looked bad, but the report now is that it’s a contusion and he’s day-to-day. Zambrano probably wasn’t throwing at Chipper, since it loaded the bases. But he wasn’t too upset about it. He’d already hit Marcus with a pitch in the first. Some people, I know, were upset that the Braves didn’t retaliate when Zambrano led off the next inning, but it’s easy to see why they didn’t. A beanball war would have led to suspensions heading into the playoffs. It wouldn’t matter for the Cubs, but it wouldn’t have been good for the Braves.
John Thomson left the game after three with a stiff back. I prefer to think of it as a precaution. The Braves used eight pitchers on the day; most pitched well, but Cruz allowed a solo homer to Sosa and Smith, of course, was himself.
The Braves had fourteen hits, but eleven were singles. Marrero hit a solo homer, and Furcal a double that was a terrible misplay by the centerfielder and should have been called an error. In fact, that’s what I’m going to call it.
Still no winners in the wildcard/NL West races. The Dodgers still haven’t clinched anything; if the Giants and Astros sweep there would be a three-way tie for two spots, and I don’t know what would happen then. At any event, I assume that the Braves will play lots of bench players tomorrow against Maddux, and then go home, rest, and put ice on various body parts. Hopefully, they’ll get to watch a playoff game Monday.