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Braves short hops
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10/06/2004 11:49 PM ET
Braves short hops
Missed opportunities haunt Atlanta in Game 1
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ATLANTA -- Drawing seven walks would typically be a huge advantage in any game, but especially so in the postseason. On Wednesday, the Braves couldn't cash in on their free passes, and now they find themselves down one game to the Astros in the best-of-five Division Series.

Despite walking six, Roger Clemens came out on the winning end in Houston's 9-3 rout at Turner Field. Reliever Chad Qualls issued a walk in the eighth, but the Braves couldn't capitalize. None of the seven batters who walked ended up scoring.

Vitals check
A look at key statistics through Game 1 of the NLDS.

Team stats

Digits Trend The Deal
ERA 9.00 Overcoming four home runs allowed by the Braves' pitching staff was too much of a task
BA .212 Unable to convert numerous chances, leaving 12 on base
BA w/ RISP 0-for-7 Stranded second and third in the second inning and bases loaded in the third
Runs 3 Wasted chances early led to fewer chances late
Fldg % 1.000 Marcus Giles and Chipper Jones each made great diving stops

Who's hot?

Player Digits Trend The Deal
Andruw Jones .667 BA, 2-for-3, 1 HR, 1 RBI Provided some missing pop

Who's not?

Player Digits Trend The Deal
Chipper Jones .000, 0-for-4, 2 Ks, 1 BB Team leader counted on to produce playing with bruised right hand

Behind the numbers
Carlos Beltran's two-run homer in the fifth may have padded the Astros' lead to 6-1, but the switch-hitting All-Star had a pivotal at-bat in the third inning. With the game tied, Beltran slapped a two-out single. The two-out hit kept the inning alive and the Astros added three more runs, two on Lance Berkman's homer.

Frozen moment
Rafael Furcal got the job done leading off, walking twice and slapping an RBI triple. But he was left on base three times.

Second guess
Jaret Wright grooving a full-count fastball to Beltran with first base open in the fifth inning.

Lucky 13
The Braves have won an MLB record 13 straight division titles. How have they done in their first playoff games in those respective seasons? Overall, 6-7.

Braves in first game of postseason
Year Round Result
1991 NLCS Pittsburgh 5, Atlanta 1
1992 NLCS Atlanta 5, Pittsburgh 1
1993 NLCS Philadelphia 4, Atlanta 3
1995 NLDS Atlanta 5, Colorado 4
1996 NLDS Atlanta 2, Los Angeles 1
1997 NLDS Atlanta 2, Houston 1
1998 NLDS Atlanta 7, Chicago Cubs 1
1999 NLDS Houston 6, Atlanta 1
2000 NLDS St. Louis 7, Atlanta 5
2001 NLDS Atlanta 7, Houston 4
2002 NLDS San Francisco 8, Atlanta 5
2003 NLDS Chicago Cubs 4, Atlanta 2
2004 NLDS Houston 9, Atlanta 3

Braves tidbits
Chipper Jones aggravated his right hand making a diving backhanded stop on Morgan Ensberg in the fifth inning. Jones will see how the hand feels in batting practice Thursday. If he can't play third, Marcus Giles likely would, with Nick Green playing second. ... Catcher Johnny Estrada was drafted by the Astros in the 71st round of the 1994 draft. He didn't sign. ... Beltran's two-run homer in the fifth inning gave the Astros a 6-1 lead. The six runs at the time matched the total number of runs the Astros scored when they were swept by the Braves in the 2001 Division Series. ... Wright allowed three home runs for the fourth time in his career, and second in the postseason.

Last word
"This wasn't typical of our season. We gave up a lot of home runs, a lot of runs. We didn't put a lot of [runs] against them. Hopefully, we can bounce back tomorrow." -- Estrada

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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