Atlanta 5, Los Angeles 1

ESPN.com – MLB – Recap – Braves at Dodgers

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.

12 thoughts on “Atlanta 5, Los Angeles 1”

  1. Is it cynical to think that since Perez only plays when Hampton pitches, that he was taken out because he can’t hit or run as well as Jonny?

  2. Mac, I’m with you on Furcal. Terry’s got to be saying something to him about his propensity to overswing, but he still keeps doing it. I guess he thinks that he’s a power hitter now.

    I’m not sure if Kolb’s success tonight was because it was a non-save situation or not, but I liked the movement that his pitches had. His control was still questionable, missing his target by a mile several times, but he still looked better.

    Mondesi. Secretly, I wish that he would go into an 0-for-50 slump just so Bobby would go ahead and get him out of there; but I still have a part of me that hopes he comes around…I just don’t think that it’s going to happen.

    But enough of the negatives–Great game! Our bullpen stepped up when we needed them. With Hudson on the mound we “should” take the rubber game tomorrow.

  3. Whatever else you guys say about Mondesi, and maybe it’s all deserved (I haven’t been paying attention), that throw he made to get Bradley at third took me back to his rookie year in LA when nobody knew he could throw.

  4. Mac, a friend of my brother’s said tonight at dinner that he liked Furcal and not Andruw. Strange conincidence. Furcal is clearly the bigger offensive drain on the Braves lineup right now. I mean Andruw’s hitting well over .400 for like three weeks now. Great performance tonight as well.

    Nice work out of the bullpen, a major strength for us this season. (Minus Damn KolBB, but he’s our worst middle reliever).

    The boys are really grinding it out on the road and showing resilience.

    I really want to see Hudson perform well and get run support. He should have two more wins than he does and both of his tough outings ended up in one run losses.

    No Sunday reds this week =(.

  5. Well, there doesn’t seem to be any way that Furcal comes back next year. I think that’s ok because there’s no way he earns the contract some team is certain to give him. But I worry a lot about who’s going to replace him. The organization clearly thinks very highly of those two no-hit guys Pena and Hernandez. I don’t know if Betemit will even get a shot since he’s probably firmly entrenched in the “not a SS and maybe not even a regular” slot. It looks like Kelly Johnson played SS the other night for Richmond. But I guess that doesn’t necessarily mean anything… as with Betemit, I think that once whoever it is that decides these things decides that a player isn’t something, it doesn’t get undecided no matter what.

  6. KolBB’s success was more a result of a strikezone the size of Texas. Both strike three calls were borderline ridiculous.

    As for Furcal, it seems like he’s trying to make Braves fans not miss him next year. Right now, I sure wouldn’t miss him, great defense or not. That he’s struggling is one thing, but what annoys the heck out of me is when he swings at two shoulder-high pitches to get to 0-2, then goes fishing for a pitch in the dirt and off the plate. He’s swinging at everything, he’s not working the count at all, and if he doesn’t start doing that, he won’t get out of his slump anytime soon.

  7. I’m not worried about Furcal. He has been taking some pitches, all of which are strikes. When he doesn’t tkae pitches we bitch about that. Maybe he needs to try to bunt more, speed doesn’t go in to a slump.

  8. Another note, CHipper is playing some mad D at the hot corner too, other than the ball that went between his legs the other night. Not too many people have been talking about the Braves in the field this year.

  9. Speed doesn’t slump, but Furcal just does not seem quick enough to bunt his way on base anymore.

    What shortstops will be free agents after this year?

  10. I’d like to see what Betemit could do with more pt.

    I’d also like someone to show Furcal a mirror so he can see he is not Babe Ruth. He needs to view some video of Ichiro. Learn to put the ball in place and we’ll have a leadoff guy again.

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