The Braves won, but tonight’s battery both left with injuries. Mike Hampton left the game with one out in the third with “forearm tightness”, whatever that is. He is “day-to-day”. The Braves have an off day on the nineteenth, which would be his next time to pitch, so they wouldn’t have to make a move if he’s just going to miss one start. Eddie Perez left the game in the middle innings for an unknown reason. Presumably if he’s going to be out for any extended problem Brayan Pena will get the call, but there isn’t actually another catcher on the 40-man right now and they might try to tough it out.
Adam Bernero relieved Hampton and was strong through the fifth, but tired and gave up the Dodgers’ only run in the sixth, giving way to Sosa. Sosa pitched through the seventh, needing only eight pitches to do so. Reitsma came back from last night’s misfortunes with a seven pitch, 1-2-3 eighth. Kolb only walked one and struck out two, which is just weird, but then it was fairly low pressure with a four-run lead.
Andruw, back in the cleanup spot for the first time in a month, was the hitting hero, but I presume it doesn’t count. He drove in the game’s first run in the first with a sac fly, scoring Marcus. In the sixth, he hit a monster solo homer to left that made the score 3-0. And in the ninth, he capped the scoring by following Chipper’s solo homer with one of his own. There are honestly people I know who think that the centerfielder hitting .278/.350/.500 is a bigger problem than the shortstop/leadoff hitter hitting .245/.296/.354. And that’s coming into tonight. Furcal was 0-4, so the difference is even greater now. Mondesi also hit a solo homer; this means he’ll be in the lineup at least another two months.
The Marlins lost to the Padres again, bringing the Braves back to a 1 1/2 game lead. Tim Hudson versus Scott Erickson tomorrow afternoon, in what looks like a huge mismatch on paper; Erickson has a 7.26 ERA. But you know what they say about playing the games on paper.