Exhibition game, really. The Braves sent out a lineup without Drew, either Jones, Estrada, or Giles — though Drew did pinch-hit, and Giles pinch-hit and stayed in the game. They still scored six runs off of Maddux in six innings, driving his season ERA over four.
He got the win anyway, because Byrd had nothing, allowing nine runs in four innings, with three homers and nine hits. After this, I wonder if the Braves would consider leaving him off the postseason roster in favor of a pure reliever… Capellan allowed a run in two innings, and Colon two hits but no runs in two innings. The Braves obviously weren’t going to use anyone they planned on using in postseason.
Charles Thomas hit a pair of homers off Maddux; a three-run shot in the second and a solo job in the sixth. LaRoche (pinch-hitting) hit a solo homer in the seventh, Wise a solo homer (off of Kent Mercker) in the eighth. Julio had two hits (finishing the season with 99) and Marrero had three.
The Astros are three outs away from clinching the wildcard; the Braves would play them on Tuesday in what certainly will be a day game because the Braves-Astros series are always day games. Chipper will play; Thomson is still questionable though he says he’s okay. I’ll try to do a preview tomorrow.