Monday, April 23, 2007

The Braves regain what was rightfully theirs.

On the first pitch of the rubber game between hated rivals, Braves' second baseman, Kelly Johnson showed that his 4 strikeout performance the day before hadn't effected him. He took the Met's future Hall of Famer, Tom Glavine, deep and gave the Braves a lead that they would eventually swindle. When you have two future Hall of Famers on the mound you'd expect a low scoring pitchers dual and after Glavine's first pitch it was just that, at least until the 5th inning when the Met's tied the game on a Shawn Green bomb to right field.

both scored off a Jeff In the sixth inning, the Braves took the lead once again when Andruw Jones and Brian McCann Francoeur 2-run single. A lead that was short lived when John Smoltz fell apart in the bottom half of the inning. First Smoltz gave up an RBI single to Jose Valentine that scored Carlos Delgado and then Jose Reyes, the "most exciting player in baseball" according to Chip Caray, who is the Braves' announcer, came up with the bases loaded and just as fast as they were loaded they were unloaded when Reyes tripled down the right field line scoring Moises Alou, Shawn Green and Jose Valentine and put the Mets up 5-3. Then Paul LoDuca singled in Reyes and the Braves had to turn to the bullpen and it took Steve Coyler to end what was a miserable 6th inning that now had the Mets leading 6-3.

But just how our lead was quickly erased the inning before, in the 7th inning thanks to an Edgar Renteria 3-run homerun we had tied up the game for the 2nd time. And just like he'd done it in the first inning, Kelly Johnson put the icing on the cake in the 8th inning with a game winning 3-run homer. And Bob Wickman came in on the 9th, striking out one and earning his 6th save on the season.

After the game, Kelly Johnson, who had just had one of the best games of his short career, was obviously very excited and said the following.
"That was one of the most exciting ones I've seen between the Braves and the Mets," he said. "It's only April. And if that's something to look forward to for the rest of the year, it could be pretty exciting. I have a feeling that we're going to change hands at the top of the division many more times."

Braves' ace, John Smoltz, felt the same as Johnson about the importance of this win and possibility of it being a "signature" win.
"I don't think it's too early for any kind of signature win," Smoltz said. "We were going to lose this game. For all the ways they scored in the sixth inning, it just looked like it was too much for us to come back. And for us to come back and win this game was just a tribute to everybody's effort to not give in and not give up."

Fellow future Hall of Famer and Braves' third baseman, Chipper Jones, was a little more rational.

"Smoltzie plays once every fifth day," he said. "It's a nice win, don't get me wrong. A signature win? Possibly. Maybe later on, down the road, you look back and say it was."

and was tossed for There was also a scary scene in the game, when Braves' catcher, Brian McCann squared around for a bunt in the ninth while facing Met's Pedro Feliciano and was hit on his left ring and pinkie finger. He did stay in the game and after the game X-rays were taken and were negative. Also Braves' manager, Bobby Cox was ejected in the sixth-inning after coming to the aide of Smoltzauguring balls and strikes. This ejection was his 127th of his illustrious career and moved him just four behind John McGraw for 1st all-time.

WP: Tyler Yates(1-0)
LP: Aaron Heilman(1-2)
SV: Bob Wickman(6)

HR: ATL- Kelly Johnson, 2(4) and Edgar Renteria(3) NYM- Shawn Green(3)


Braves: 12-6
Mets: 11-6
Marlins: 8-10
Phillies: 6-11
Nationals: 6-13

Note: The Braves next game is tonight versus the third place, Marlins and their ace, Dontrelle Willis. We have Kyle Davies going and the game starts at 7:05 PM ET.

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