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World Series 2001
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10/22/2001 03:35 AM ET
Smoltz's future as a Brave uncertain
By Mark Bowman
MLB.com
John Smoltz on MLB Radio

ATLANTA -- There were a lot of goodbyes, handshakes and smiles as many of the Braves exited their locker room Sunday night after being eliminated by the Diamondbacks.

One guy who may have been saying his final farewells as a Brave was free-agent-to-be John Smoltz.

"I don't know what's going to happen," Smoltz said. "I hope those weren't the last two innings that I pitched in a Braves uniform."

Smoltz finished the postseason by allowing one earned run in seven innings. He notched two saves during the playoffs and established himself as one of the game's most dominant closers after assuming the role in mid-August.

But the former starter says he may have aspirations to return to his former role and doesn't know if that's in the Braves plans.

"I have a lot of things to look at," Smoltz said. "There's no doubt, I enjoy starting."

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Smoltz, who played his first season for the Braves in 1988, said he has just requirement when looking for possible employers next year.

I want to play for a team that has a chance to win because I want to win."

Wet grass: After watching his team commit four errors in Saturday night's loss and hearing his team complain about the wet infield conditions, General Manager John Schuerholz had a somewhat comical view of the situation.

"Last night it was the dew fairy," Schuerholz said. "The cold temperatures and the dew point combined to give us a dew index higher than we're used to. The dew index was the highest it's ever been."

Surhoff gets opportunity: B.J. Surhoff indicated throughout the week that he would like to get a shot to hit against Randy Johnson. In both of the Big Unit's starts, Manager Bobby Cox opted to go with the right-handed hitting Bernard Gilkey in left. But Surhoff got his chance with a seventh-inning pinch hit appearance in which he lined sharply to right field.

Sanchez finds bat: Rey Sanchez's steady glove at shortstop kept him in the starting lineup while he hit a cool .227 after being acquired by the Braves on July 31. But he seemed to find his bat and lose his some of his prowess in the field during the past two games. He had two errors in Saturday's game but had four hits in his last eight at-bats of the NLCS.

Quote of the Day: "Sure we had our opportunities out there tonight. But that's why he gets paid the big bucks to get outs in clutch situations."

--Chipper Jones on Randy Johnson getting out of Game 5 jams.

Stat of the Day: Including the regular season and playoffs, the Diamondbacks won all six games at Turner Field and outscored the Braves 38-9.

Mark Bowman is the site reporter for AtlantaBraves.com and can be reached at bowman.mark@worldnet.att.net.