Well, that could have gone better. You would think that John Smoltz, if he was going to have problems, would have them after he’d thrown a few innings. No such luck. He gave up five runs, capped by a grand slam, in the first, and was chased after two more scored after retiring only two batters in the second. For what it’s worth, Jorge Sosa had 2 1/3 strong innings relieving him (3 K, 2 H, 2 BB) and Roman Colon a perfect inning in the eighth, Tom Martin a scoreless (but two-hit) ninth. Bernero gave up two runs in his two innings of work, though. I don’t think it’s just the flu.
The Braves were held to five hits, a double by Estrada and singles by Furcal, Andruw, Langerhans (who entered the game late) and LaRoche. Actually, all the hitters but Julio, I think, got into the game. Maybe we can get it counted as an extra spring training game.
Chipper was 0-4, but hit a warning track fly ball in the first after Furcal and Giles walked. Who knows what would have happened if it had carried a little farther? Furcal and Giles were running so couldn’t advance, and Marcus was spiked at second on Andruw’s groundout as the next batter which would have at least gotten one run home. Marcus is okay, apparently; Estrada left the game in the fifth after being hit with a foul tip.
The Marlins not only can’t get a decent stadium deal, now they have to play in “Dolphins Stadium”… Hampton vs. Leiter tomorrow. Estrada wouldn’t start that game normally anyway if Perez is indeed Hampton’s personal catcher, and against a lefty it’s not a big difference between them as hitters. The game will be on SportsSouth and on ESPN2. I have to work.