Open Thread, 9/23/98, #Braves vs. Maybe the Worst-Ever NL Park

Man, how times change. On this day 17 years ago the Bravos were cruising to the finish line, and Smoltz tuned up with 5 innings of one-hit scoreless ball. An 11-0 pasting of the Fish gave the Bravos a 15-game lead in the NL East. Of course, the Marlins had dismantled their ’97 World Series championship team.

The Braves, alas, would go on to fall to the Pads in the NLCS after winning a franchise-best 106 games and finishing the season on a 14-2 tear. Hot at the right time, eh? Yeah, till Kevin Brown and #$#!%#!! Sterling Hitchcock came along.

Back to that night in South Florida, the lineup at funky Joe Robbie Stadium was funky: Ozzie Guillen SS, Gerald Williams, Andruw, Galarraga, Javy, Bautista, Helms, Grafanino, Smoltz.

Tonight’s order: Markakis, Olivera, Swisher 1B (Freddie aggravated his wrist but expected back Friday), Pierzynski, Simmons, Peterson, Maybin, Bourn, Perez.

The Mets aren’t playing particularly well, but the Braves never do anything against the roly-poly oldster Colon. I wouldn’t expect them to tonight. Ws Perez has been pretty good lately, but that streak is prone to end suddenly and violently. On a happy note, after last night’s excellent start, Wisler has a 3.43 ERA over his past four appearances. It’s not a huge sample size, granted, but at least one of the kids appears headed in the right direction.

 

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One comment

  1. I know I’ve got sympathetic ears here, but still, I find it ridiculous that the Bucs and Cubs will most likely end up with better records than both the Mets and Dodgers, who will win their divisions. The Bucs and Cubs will have to endure that one-game playoff just for the right to have to go on the road against a team with a worse record. If ever there was a case to get rid of the divisions…

    And not that I care about the Cubs one damned bit, but I think we all knew that when they hired Joe Maddon that they were going to end up doing pretty well. Maybe not this quickly, but I still think it a testament to his managerial skills that he was able to help turn the Cubs into a contender this quickly.

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