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722-game-thread-just-when-i-thought-i-was-out | July | 2008 Articles

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7/22 Game Thread: Just When I Thought I Was Out...

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Well, I never thought in a million years we'd win last night, and we didn't just win, we 2-hit 'em. Which leaves me in a predicament: if we won because of my reverse jinx, then I have to predict we'll lose again tonight. But that makes me sound overly negative. So I'll refrain from making a prediction, and just try to talk about tonight's game. We'll be facing Rick Vanden Hurk, who was killed in two April starts and is getting recalled for tonight's game. In the minors, Vanden Hurk had more strikeouts than innings pitched, but his walk rate was a bit high, and that carried through in his rookie year last year. However, he pitched us very well, allowing only one run in 11 innings pitched in his last two starts against us. Eight current Braves have faced him, but only five have gotten hits: Yunel Escobar (2-4), Brian McCann (3-6), Mark Teixeira (1-3), and Tim Hudson (1-1). Chipper, Kelly, and Ruben Gotay have been held hitless with 5 walks in a combined 12 at-bats. Charlie Morton's going for us, and after a couple very rough starts at the beginning of the month he's coming off the best start of his young career, 5 1/3 IP, 1 R, 4 H, 4 K, 3 BB. Too many walks, but it was a good start to build on. Vanden Hurk is a good match for him, another young pitcher with a mixed track record and a less than ideal K/BB ratio. He has never faced the Marlins, meaning they've never faced him, which Jorge Campillo proved can be a good thing. As long as we work the count against Vanden Hurk, he'll give us baserunners. Hopefully the Marlins will keep flailing at Charlie's curveball all night and bail him out of whatever hairy situations he gets himself into. If they don't, the leading home run-hitting team in the major leagues could make it a long evening for the Braves.

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