The weirdness continues. The Braves won just their second game in their last six — and moved into sole possession of first place. The hitting heroes were Ryan Langerhans and Wilson Betemit, while Chipper went 0-5.
Not weird was a solid John Smoltz outing. He got roughed up in the second, allowing three doubles for three runs. For the game as a whole, though, he allowed six hits and four runs, four walks (two intentional) and struck out three. Needed 99 pitches to do it. Reitsma had another two-inning save. He wasn’t as impressive as he was in his last outing, but got a double play when he needed it.
Depending upon who you believe, Wilson Betemit either is getting showcased for a trade or getting tried out at shortstop so they can decide if he can play there so they can trade Furcal. Or Furcal’s shoulder is just acting up. Anyway, Betemit was 2-2, singling in the fourth and hitting a two-run homer to tie the game with two out in the eighth. He was also intentionally walked twice, which happens a lot. Sure, he’s hitting eighth, but people aren’t intentionally walking Jordan and Langerhans much. He looked okay defensively as well.
Estrada hit a solo homer in the second to give the Braves a 1-0 lead. Langerhans doubled twice, scoring in front of Betemit’s homer. Kelly Johnson was 0-3 with a walk, again. He still looks good out there and you figure sooner or later he’ll get the first hit, but he has to be frustrated. Marcus hit leadoff with Furcal out and was 1-4 with a walk, the latter coming in a long at-bat the like of which Furcal simply doesn’t provide. His single drove in pinch-runner Pete Orr with the winning run.
The Marlins lost to the Pirates again. I don’t get it either. The Mets won and are tied with the Natspos 2 1/2 back, and the Phillies are winning and will probably stay 3 1/2 back… Night game on TBS tomorrow, Ramirez versus Esteban Loaiza.