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brilliant-pitching-lousy-hitting-duh | April | 2005 Articles

2005 Archives

Brilliant Pitching, Lousy Hitting (Duh!)

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The Braves took yet another game into the ninth inning with no runs on the board, and only one run scored by the opposition. And they split another series, marking the sixth-straight to start the season without a sweep!
Wed:Nationals 2, Braves 0
Thu:Braves 2, Nationals 1
Here are some disconnected facts from the game and other recent performances by the Atlanta Braves: The Braves loaded the bases in the ninth with no outs, quickly struck out twice, but a two-out throwing error from Christian Guzman allowed the Braves to score two runs and take the lead. So, after all the offensive impotence, the Braves still didn't earn their runs, but they at least setup the situation to allow an error to push two runs across. John Smoltz has now struckout 28 batters in 21.1 innings over his last three starts, walking only four three batters and allowing only 18 hits and four runs (1.69 ERA), and yet he is credited with two losses and a no-decision (today) over those three starts. If not for the National's ninth-inning error today, those numbers would have earned him an 0-3 record over those starts. Pete Orr appeared yet again as a pinch runner, making him one of only four Braves to appear in all 16 games this year (Furcal and the Jones boys are the other three). Andruw Jones, now in an 0-for-27 slump, was benched today in favor of Ryan Langerhans in center. (Langerhans went 0-for-4, but the Braves managed only four hits off John Patternson.) But Andruw came on to play defense in the ninth, and immediately made a diving catch to keep the Nationals from attempting any ninth-inning magic tricks. Brian Jordan batted with the bases loaded yet again, his fifth bases-loaded at-bat of the year, and the tenth for the entire team. He struck out this time, but he's still batting .400 with a double and a homer, so I'm not complaining yet. That strikeout came in the ninth inning, finally snapping his hitting streak at six games. During the streak streak, he was only 7-for-24 with no walks and only one extra-base hit (that bases-loaded double last Friday). That's .292/.280/.333 with a .613 OPS, hardly special for a hitting streak. The Braves have scored only eight runs in seven games, and the two today were unearned because of a two-out error. But let's look at the bright side: The Braves won today, splitting the series with the Nationals and keeping their record even at 8-8. And Dan Kolb got an effortless save!

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