He warned us that some of his worst performances came when he was closing for the first time and returning to the rotation thereafter, but who among us wasn't secretly hoping for a dominant six innings out of Smoltz tonight? Oh well. We're not stressing this yet; a few more starts of a similar nature and we'll be calling for him to join Dice-K on the WBCDL, but for now we're going to assume it's some rust and that he'll shake it off over the next couple of weeks. Even in this, um, less than inspiring start, he had moments when you could see exactly why he's a no doubt hall of famer.** And then he'd give up another hit to Josh Bard.***
Too bad Jordan Zimmermann was consistently good. He's a seriously impressive kid.
Luckily, we took the first two games of the series, so we're actually okay with this loss. Winning is better--don't get us wrong! we like winning! we think it's kind of nifty keen!--but we still won the series. And that's the key. Sometimes you just need to tip your cap and move on to Atlanta.
In conclusion, you know a game's out of reach when Julio Lugo shows up. And promptly boots a grounder.
*RIP, Michael Jackson. And Farrah Fawcett.
**See also, the fifth inning.
***He really hates the Red Sox, doesn't he? Not that we can blame him.