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Braves short hops
10/09/2004 7:49 PM ET
HOUSTON -- John Thomson's early exit with a left oblique injury meant a long day for the Braves bullpen.

In all, six relievers worked 7 2/3 innings. The 'pen combined to give up eight runs on 10 hits with eight walks and four strikeouts. For the series, Braves relievers have worked 17 of the 28 total innings played. The relievers are 1-1 with a 5.83 ERA.

Vitals check
A look at key statistics through Game 3 of the NLDS.

Team stats

Digits Trend The Deal
ERA 6.11 Allowing too many two-out RBI hits
BA .264 Have fallen behind in all three games
BA w/ RISP 5-for-28 (.179) Not generating any consistency
Runs 12 Only three runs total in first five innings of three games
Fldg % 1.000 Fielding has been solid

Who's hot?

Player Digits Trend The Deal
Andruw Jones .500 BA, 6-for-12, 2 HRs, 4 RBIs Was a triple shy of the cycle Saturday
Charles Thomas .364, 4-for-11, 1 BB, 1 HBP On base three times Saturday

Who's not?

Player Digits Trend The Deal
Marcus Giles .133, 2-for-12, 3 Ks, 1 R Took an 0-for-5 collar Saturday

Behind the numbers
The Braves had a four-game postseason winning streak over the Astros in Houston snapped Saturday. The Braves have enjoyed success in Houston, taking two of three in Minute Maid Park during the regular season. All-time in Houston, Atlanta is 149-147 in the regular season.

Frozen moment
Walks, they say, are killers. The Astros made the Braves pay for a key two-out free pass in the fifth inning. Paul Byrd walked Lance Berkman with two outs and no one on in a tie game. Two batters later the Astros were up, 4-2, on Jeff Kent's RBI double and Morgan Ensberg's run-scoring single.

Second guess
Considering his options, manager Bobby Cox didn't have many choices. But deciding on Thomson to start Game 3, exactly a week after he strained his left oblique muscle, didn't pay off. While Thomson threw pain free in his side bullpen sessions, he aggravated the muscle just four pitches into the first inning. The early exit taxed the bullpen, putting more pressure on Russ Ortiz, the Game 4 starter, to work deep into his start.

Ding dong
Most homers by a club in Division Series history:
Number Team Year
11
Yankees
1995
11
Mariners
1995
7
Braves
1995
7
Astros
2004

Modern history I: Tying the Braves
Carlos Beltran's two-run homer off Byrd in the third inning Saturday was the seventh time the Astros have gone deep in the series. That matches the 1995 Braves for the most ever by a National League team in an NLDS.

Modern history II: Homers for Jones
Andruw Jones' three-run blast off Russ Springer in the eighth inning was the center fielder's ninth postseason homer. Jones is now tied for second on the Braves' all-time postseason homer list with Ryan Klesko, Javy Lopez and Fred McGriff. Chipper Jones has the most postseason homers, with 11.

Last word
"This is no time to panic. We know what we've got to do. We've got to get this series back to Atlanta." -- Chipper Jones

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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