Rallying behind their manager’s record-breaking ejection, the Braves took the first game of the series. Bobby was thrown out in the fifth inning for arguing balls and strikes on Chipper. In the sixth, the Braves rallied from 3-0 down for four runs, Teixeira leading off with a homer, Escobar doubling home two runs, then coming home on a pinch-hit by Diaz.
Smoltz continues to not be himself, throwing a whole lot of sliders and not having his best fastball, or seemingly any split-finger fastball. He allowed a run in the second and two in the third. For the game he struck out four and walked three (the Sloth twice) and gave up six hits.
He was in line for the win, still, as Mahay got through the seventh on nine pitches and Soriano, though he allowed a hit, had two strikeouts in a scoreless eighth. But Wickman got in all sorts of trouble in the ninth and was barely able to get out of it with the score tied. Willie led off the bottom of the inning with a walk. KJ bunted him over and reached on an error. Chipper’s hit scored Willie to end it. (ESPN is calling it a double, but my understanding is that it’s a single, because the game ends when Willie crosses the plate.)
Escobar had a big game, 4-4. Teixeira and McCann had two hits each.