It’s easy to forget that one of the more memorable regular season games in Atlanta Braves history happened 24 years ago today. No point pretending like I’m writing a preview.
This would be the evening when Kent Mercker, Mark Wohlers and Al Pena combined to no-hit the Padres at FulCo. Only 20,000-plus came out on a Wednesday night–the Braves would lead the NL in attendance the next season–as TP homered in the 5th for the Bravos’ lone tally off the aforementioned Harris. He actually pitched a complete game. It was the home team’s sixth straight win, and maintained the Braves’ half-game lead over the Dodgers.
I had forgotten that the could’ve-been-called-either-way error on TP came with two outs in the 9th. That was typical of the sort of drama the early ’90s Braves produced almost routinely. As it happened, I was on vacation in southern California that day. I listened to most of the game on a Padres station as I drove between Santa Barbara and Los Angeles.
Mercker only threw 82 pitches but it was just his second start of the season. Of course, he also threw a complete game no-no in 1994. Dude made the most of his limited starting opportunities.
That night’s lineup: Otis, Treadway, TP, Justice, Gant, Bream, Olson, Belliard, Mercker.
Tonight’s lineup as the Braves take on a team that looks a little like those early ’90s squads: Markakis, Castro 2B, Freddie, Garcia, Swisher, Simmons Bethancourt, Bourn, Wisler.