– MLB – Box Score – Braves at Devil Rays

That’s exactly what Chuck James was supposed to do. He got strikeouts (eight of them, in as many innings) and fly balls (of his other outs, he got thirteen fly balls and two groundouts, one for a double play). It’s worked in the minors, and what works in the minors usually works in the majors. James allowed but three hits, two of which could easily have been scored errors, and the one run could have been scored unearned. The only real blemish was four walks, three of them in the early innings. Kid’s good.

The Rays only started to make solid contact in the eighth — one thing to watch for is that when he tires, those popups might turn into something more dangerous, and Bobby may need a quick hook. For now, we appear to be in good hands.

The Braves got an early run in the second when LaRoche doubled, Pratt sacrificed him to third, and Giles hit a little fly ball to Tomas Perez, an infielder playing right field for some reason, and LaRoche stumbled home with a 1-0 lead. They weren’t able to do much more until two out in the seventh, when a single by Betemit and a walk by LaRoche brought Pratt back to the plate and he hit a three-run homer.

Betemit was playing short with Renteria DHing, and probably killed his chance of playing there full time any time soon with some really sloppy play. He misplayed two of the three hits and committed an error, and the one run (in the seventh) was mostly his fault… Sosa pitched the ninth for an easy save, not that any saves are easy for us.

On to New York. Oh boy. It’s entirely possible that one of our relievers (I’m guessing Paronto, but you can’t rule out Yates) will actually allow a home run hit out of Yankee Stadium.