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Open Thread and Noc-A-Homa-Win-A-Lotta: Braves at Marlins (7/1)

 Today's Starting Pitchers

 Buddy Carlyle
 Dontrelle Willis
2-2 W-L 7-7
5.14 ERA 4.83
25 SO 73
12 BB 46
6 HR 14
-- vs.

Game Time: 1:05 on

I had a bad feeling about Wicky coming into this year - I knew he wasn't going to have that magical Not Reitsma presence for a full season, that there would be ups and downs. But I'm at the point where I get nervous whenever he comes into a game. I'm much more comfortable having a strikeout pitcher like Soriano or Yates come in to close in the 9th - though Raffy did give up a homer last night, and there have certainly been times when I've had words for Yates like the ones I had for Wicky last night. At any rate, what a relief to win that game and not have a repeat of the heartbreaker Huddy lost in Florida after he loaded the bases and left Wicky to clean up the mess - this wasn't the same situation, but it still would have been ugly.

As it was, nice game with plenty of breaks for us - but hey, umpires in Florida will continue to owe us for the 1997 NLCS for a long time, so it's all good. I think it was the last Xtra game of the year, and it didn't disappoint - who knew that Paronto was once a small child?! Hard to imagine! Miked Salty is always a delight, and I'll be searching for a copy of that "Maxim spread" program Scooter had in his locker - as Chip and Joe pointed out, I think he meant GQ, since Maxim photospreads usually feature young actresses in their underwear, not ballplayers holding bats over their shoulders.

The interview with Dontrelle was also fantastic, and it will be interesting to see him going against Buddy today. Of course, the best part of that broadcast actually had nothing to do with the Xtra features: Heap hit a double, their rightfielder made an error, and Heap ended up on third. Watching Heap run to third is, well. Fun. Hell of a way to break out of an 0-9 mini-slump: go, Heap, go!

Don't forget to get your picks in before the game for Nok-A-Homa-Win-A-Lotta (click here to learn how to play and to view the leaderboard); the three categories are (1) Attendance, (2) Pick to Click, and (3) Above and Beyond Pick.

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