The Braves perhaps deserved to lose this game. They blew 2-0 and 3-2 leads, the latter in the ninth inning; they hit into three double plays, including one with the bases loaded and one out; they scored runs with four extra-base hits but couldn’t put sequential offense together and left eight men on base despite the GIDPs. It’s very annoying.
The Braves took an early lead when Jason Heyward hit a solo homer and Chipper Jones and Dan Uggla doubled to make it 2-0. But then Hibernation Mode set in, and then Tim Hudson had one of those innings in the fourth that are going to happen when you’re a ground-ball pitcher who allows a lot of balls in play. The Cards had four singles, only one of which was hit hard, and tied the game up.
The Braves had several chances to get back on top, but couldn’t, until Nate McLouth, of all people, hit a solo homer in the seventh that unfortunately capped their scoring. Jonny Venters got through the eighth, but Craig Kimbrel allowed a pair of singles and a sac fly to tie it in the ninth. Freddie Freeman, who had a pretty rotten night, committed an error to extend the inning and almost let the Cardinals win right there, but Alex Gonzalez bailed him out with a great play to end it.
Cory Gearrin pitched well in the tenth, but in the eleventh suddenly ran out of gas and allowed a two-out, two-run triple to Little Nick Punto of all people. George Sherrill, who is for some ungodly reason still on the team, finished the inning.
Dan Uggla led off the bottom of the inning with a walk. Tim McClelland, who had been trying to make himself the center of attention all night with longer and longer delays before making his strike calls, then rung up Freeman on a 3-2 pitch that was (a) several inches outside, and (b) called a ball all night, while (c) waiting several seconds to do so, long enough for Uggla to start towards second base and almost get picked off. Hey, all in a day’s work for the umpires, who are who everyone comes out to see. Fredi didn’t even have the decency to get ejected for protesting this unprofessional behavior. Gonzalez struck out, then LaRussa went with a LOOGY and Fredi left McLouth in instead of sending up David Ross to pinch-hit because he didn’t want to have Martin Prado playing center field and Eric Hinske left in a twelfth inning which, after McLouth flew out (hard, admittedly, to the opposite field) would never happen, saving him the indignity.