I should be happy, but as happens way too often, I’m mostly just relieved. This was a game where the Braves never should have been in danger, but trailed in going to the eighth.
John Smoltz was dominant through five, but then couldn’t get through an inning unscathed. The Braves took a 2-0 lead in the second as Langerhans doubled home Francoeur and Smoltz squeezed LaRoche home (Ryan tried to steal a run by following Adam home but was thrown out). It was 3-0 when McCann homered in the fourth.
But John let that lead get away in about five minutes, allowing four hits in the sixth to tie it. (Other than a bunt, the outs he got were Cabrera and Commander Cody Ross, while people like Alfredo Amezega were killing him.) LaRoche had a big two-out single to retake the lead in the bottom of the sixth, but Smoltz popped up after Langerhans was intentionally walked. And Joe Borchard — who is a terrible player, and really doesn’t belong in the major leagues — hit a homer to tie it back up, and Dan Uggla hit a homer in the top of the eighth to take the lead. (Why was Smoltz still out there? Well, you know what our bullpen is like.)
Then Andruw (he and Chipper were both back in the lineup but neither had done much thus far) hit a leadoff homer to tie it. With two out, LaRoche, against a LOOGY, hit a homer to take the lead. Wickman gave up a one-out single (and a two-out stolen base) but nailed down a save. LaRoche was 3-3 with a walk, two runs scored, two RBI, and more than made up for some choppy defense at first.