John Smoltz gave up four runs before he ever got an out, and the Braves never got close to catching up. The worst part is that the big blow was a three-run homer by Jim Thome. Thome had only one homer coming into the game, and so either a sleeping giant has awoken or Smoltz gave up a homer to a guy who’s done. Either way, bad news.
Smoltz had some of the same problems he had in the Red Sox game, an inability to work efficiently that limited him to six innings, 110 pitches. He walked four men, which isn’t good, though he allowed just two hits after the first.
Furcal had three hits, but after Marcus doubled him home in the first the Braves’ 2-5 hitters were silent save for a two-out single in the eighth by LaRoche. Andruw’s in one of his slumps again; though he’s hitting the ball, he’s not hitting it hard. Estrada had a couple of hits.
Colon, still, amazingly, on the roster, pitched the seventh allowing a walk. Gryboski, who was activated several days ago only to sit in the bullpen while Dan Kolb kept pitching, gave up two hits leading off the eighth but got out of it. Colon allowed two hits and two walks in the ninth and a single run that probably killed any dim comeback hope.
The Marlins lost to the Mets. We can’t count on that happening again; Pedro was pitching. The Braves stay one out. Tomorrow sees Jon Lieber face Ramirez in a Fox day game.