Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Quick thoughts on the game last night

It was definitely one of those "baseball is weird" kind of games. Smoltz gave up a number of extra-base hits, but managed to pitch himself out of jams time and again. The Braves did not hit Pedro hard at all after the first two batters of the game, but they did a great job of moving runners over and getting them home. The wife and I agreed that we don't have a lot of confidence in Andruw getting runners home from third with fewer than two outs, but he did that successfully in the first and third innings and with Smoltz pitching effectively, but not dominantly, that was enough. He got a big double play out of Cliff Floyd with a runner on third and fewer than two outs and then he got another double play out of Jose Reyes on his final pitch of the night. Luck? Skill? Combination thereof?

The bullpen was very encouraging last night. Farnsworth has been pitching well for the entire season, so it wasn't a surprise that he dominated against the dregs of the Mets' order in the 9th. Chris Reitsma, on the other hand, pitched a scoreless eighth against the heart of the Mets' order and only allowed one runner, although that one runner did get on on a smoked double, so it wasn't all peaches and cream. Cox views Reitsma as his bridge to Farnsworth. I don't have as much confidence in Reitsma because of the fact that he never came back from his dead arm period last year and was a complete disaster by the time October rolled around. Still, hope springs eternal for some teams in Spring Training and for the Braves in September as they look towards another postseason appearance.

By the way, I made a mistake yesterday in saying that the Braves hadn't hit Pedro in his two starts against them. I forgot Martinez's third start against the Braves on April 26, when they dinked and dunked their way to a three-run first and then held on for a 4-3 win, surviving one of Dan Kolb's worst outings of the year. So anyway, the Braves are 2-2 against Pedro this year, which is pretty good, but that stat is a little deceiving because Smoltz has started three of those four games and allowed four earned runs in those three starts.

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