10/05/05 9:55 PM ET
Time to put Game 1 in the past
Clemens poses challenge, but Braves like chances with Smoltz
This isn't the way we wanted to get things started in the National League Division Series against the Astros. But we're still very confident that we can turn things around, especially with John Smoltz going for us Thursday night.
There's obviously a lot of people talking about us having to face Roger Clemens, and believe me, we look forward to the challenge. But people have to remember that Smoltz is the guy that we want out there in these types of situations.
We see that competitive fire in Smoltz every day, whether it's on the golf course or whatever. But in the postseason, he's even more of a different animal. I expect him to go out there intense and do whatever he has to do to help us win.
We would have loved to have gotten the win for Tim Hudson in Wednesday night's game. But we just didn't get the hits or make the plays when we needed to. There are some nights in the postseason when you've got to be mistake-free.
We had our chances against Andy Pettitte. Andruw Jones' big two-run homer in the fourth inning pulled us within run and really got us going. But later in that inning, after I'd reached on a one-out bunt single, Brian Jordan hit a shot that just happened to got right at Houston's shortstop. That double play stopped the momentum we were building right there.
Then when they scored five in the eighth, it kind of took the wind out of our sails. Still, we kept fighting in the ninth inning, and that was good to see. It's something we've done all year and will continue doing throughout the postseason.
We just have to bounce back and get a win Thursday night. As Game 1 was coming to a close, Chipper Jones told me that we have to immediately forget about this one or we'll found ourselves swept out of the postseason.
That's obviously not what we worked for this season. So we're looking forward to seeing Smoltz out there Thursday night. I'm pretty confident we can bounce back from this one.
Jeff Francoeur's diary appears as told to Mark Bowman, a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.