That was one of the worst beatings in the history of Major League Baseball. Mike Hampton allowed just two hits and a walk, and thanks to double plays faced the minimum through the first 26 batters. (And I thought that the 27th was out.) He needed only 98 pitches, 63 of which were strikes, and struck out three. He also hit a homer.
He wasn’t alone. Ryan Langerhans, starting for Mondesi, hit two. Eddie Perez hit one. So did Andruw, but it came with the game 8-0 and therefore (under Andruwphobic theory) doesn’t count.
Eleven Braves played today, and all had at least one hit. Langerhans also had a double, winding up at 3-5 for the day with six RBI and raising his BA to .237. Will this finally wake up Bobby and the front office to getting Mondesi out of the lineup? Jordan had three hits, a walk, and three runs scored, Andruw had two hits and three RBI, LaRoche had two hits.
By the way, I hope the spectacle of Willy Taveras trying and failing to play centerfield in this series made everyone really appreciate Andruw. The Astros in general continued their terrible defensive play, especially in the third inning, when the Braves broke the game open. The Braves got five runs with two out, capped by Perez’s homer, but at least three times the Astros could have been out of the inning with a good play, and at least once with a routine one. The Astros were charged with one error today, as they were in each of the first three games of the series, but were far worse than that… The Astro starter Ezequiel Astacio actually reminds me of Jose Capellan a bit; he clearly has electric stuff and no breaking ball or changeup to speak of. He’d go from making a hitter look terrible to getting slammed. He actually struck out six without a walk, but the guys he didn’t strike out hit it hard.
The Marlins are losing 8-2 in the ninth, so the Braves should be up to a 1 1/2 game lead… The Braves play three in Colorado to start a two-week, twelve-game road trip. If they can’t hit in Colorado, then there’s definitely something weird going on. Hudson will face Jamey Wright in the opener on TBS tomorrow. Stupid trivia fact: Wright is tied with Tuesday’s Braves starter, John Thomson, for the eighth-most wins in Rockies history, with 27. Thomson is second on the franchise all-time ERA list at 5.01. Arena baseball, folks. Recaps may be delayed to the next morning due to the latish starts and the tendency of Coors Field games to last four hours.