– MLB – Box Score – Braves at Padres

I suppose you could hit worse and still win the game, but I’m not sure how.  The Braves struck out eighteen times, sixteen (in seven innings) against Jake Peavy.  They hit only one ball out of the infield against Peavy.  Fortunately, that was a home run by Ryan Langerhans coming with Francoeur on in the second, and it won the game thanks to another great outing by Smoltz.  Peavy was pinch-hit for in the bottom of the seventh, otherwise he probably would have set the NL strikeout record.

Smoltz didn’t really match Peavy pitch for pitch, but was more than good enough in his seven innings to win the game.  Unfortunately, he needed 121 pitches to make it that far and had to leave after that.  He didn’t allow a run, struck out five and walked only one, allowing six hits.

Ray pitched the eighth but allowed a homer to Piazza and another hit.  The Braves put the lead back to two with a Chipper homer in the top of the ninth, and Reitsma, bizarrely, came out to finish it.  He got them 1-2-3 with a strikeout, but there’s little or no chance of that continuing.

Every Brave struck out at least once, Andruw and Langerhans three times.  Renteria and Chipper were the only ones to strike out just once.  It was that kind of night.  Hits, other than the homers, were by Francoeur, Marcus, and Betemit (pinch-hitting)…  LaRoche didn’t start with a “stiff neck”.  He always looks like he has a stiff neck to me.