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Braves short hops
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10/12/2004 4:01 AM ET
Braves short hops
Atlanta offense can't keep up with Astros, Killer B's
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ATLANTA -- Collectively, the Braves' lineup couldn't produce at the same pace the Astros' top four hitters alone did.

For the series, the Astros' top four hitters -- the Killer B's (Craig Biggio, Carlos Beltran, Jeff Bagwell and Lance Berkman) -- combined to go 34-for-86 (.395) with eight homers, seven doubles, 21 RBIs and 24 runs scored.

As a team, the Braves scored 21 runs, had four doubles and seven homers.

Aside from a few players, like Andruw Jones and Rafael Furcal, the Braves didn't get significant contributions.

Stats all, folks
A look at the key statistics from the Braves-Astros NLDS.

Team stats

Digits The Deal
ERA 7.04 Exhausted staff ran out of gas
BA .267 Couldn't keep up with Astros' .322 team series average
Runs 21 No consistent timely hitting
Errors 1 Committed only error on Monday, but it didn't matter

Who was hot?

Player Digits The Deal
Andruw Jones .526 BA, 10-for-19, 2 HR, 2 2B, 5 RBI The most consistent threat
Rafael Furcal .381, 8-for-21, 2 HR, 4 RBI Game 5 homer -- his second of the NLDS -- capped big series

Who was not?

Player Digits The Deal
Marcus Giles .125, 3-for-24, 6 Ks, 1 R Chipped in a hit in Game 5, but endured rough series

Behind the numbers
Bothered by a bruised right hand all series, Chipper Jones started making better contract of late. But he finished the series 4-for-20 (.200) with no extra base hits or RBIs.

Frozen moment
Still within striking distance while trailing, 5-2, in the seventh inning, Chris Reitsma was in position to get out of the inning. But with two outs, Craig Biggio slapped an RBI single to right. The hit sparked a five-run inning.

Slick move
While it was moot because the Astros broke the game open late, the approach of the Braves' hitters to run up starter Roy Oswalt's pitch count was nicely done. Going on three days' rest, Oswalt's night was done after five innings and 111 pitches. The Braves trailed by just a run, 3-2, when the 20-game winner exited.

Game 5 struggles
After not going to a Game 5 in their first seven appearances in the NLDS, the Braves have gone to a Game 5 at home each of the last three years.
Year Opponent Game 5 result
2002 San Francisco Lost, 3-1
2003 Chicago Cubs Lost, 5-1
2004 Houston Lost, 12-3
Braves in the Division Series
Division Series play began in 1995, and the Braves have been in these best-of-five series ever since. After winning their first five NLDS matchups, Atlanta has dropped three straight and four of five. All-time, the Braves have a 24-14 Division Series record.

Twenty-inning streak
Since the final inning of Game 2, the Braves had trouble keeping the Astros off base. From the start of Game 3 through the third inning of Game 5, Houston put at least one runner on base for a stretch of 20 straight innings. The streak stopped when Jaret Wright tossed a 1-2-3 fourth inning. Over the span, the Astros collected 16 runs on 28 hits with 13 walks.

Last word
"In Game 5, we haven't been able to get the big hit or get the big out the last two years. As long as all of us can go home, look ourselves in the mirror and say we gave it our all, it's OK." -- Chipper Jones

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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