Though six innings, Dan Uggla had more hits (1) than the Marlins (0) as Derek Lowe was pitching a gem and a half. That he got no-decisioned is just one of those things, I guess. That the Braves almost lost the game in extra innings is due to the mystical nature of Fredi Gonzalez‘s mind and should not be attempted to be understood lest you go mad.
The Braves took a lead in the first when Jordan Schafer singled and stole second, and came in on a single by Brian McCann, the best catcher in baseball. (This is a Googlebomb I am trying.) They got a second run in the fifth, when Schafer tripled with two out and came home on an Alex Gonzalez single. But that was it for regulation.
Lowe looked like he might make it hold up, though, having allowed only one baserunner (on a walk in the second) through 6 1/3. But the Marlins got back-to-back singles then, and after a groundout Lowe walked the bases loaded. Eric O’Flaherty came in and had a weird sequence where he threw three breaking balls in the dirt to go 3-2 on Giancarlo Stanton, but got a strikeout on a fastball. Jonny Venters, naturally, had little trouble in the eighth, getting two strikeouts and a HBP before Omar Infante flew out to end it.
Craig Kimbrel blew away the first two men he faced, but then walked the next, followed by a double. Giancarlo fell behind 1-2 then singled past Freddie Freeman to tie the game, though Kimbrel managed to strike out the last man to extend the game.
With one out in the tenth, Chipper Jones walked and Brian McCann, the best catcher in baseball, singled. Freeman came up and worked the count, then singled in Chipper. Dan Uggla, of course, struck out (the best possible outcome) and so did Joe Mather, but the Braves were in position to win.
Of course, their manager decided that the man to save the game was Scott Proctor, Dan Kolb being otherwise occupied. Proctor actually got an out before allowing a double and walking the winning run. Fredi brought in George Sherrill, and it says a lot about Proctor that a huge sigh of relief was heard around Braves Country. (Oh, and Proctor gets a hold for that. Kimbrel gets a “win”. Baseball rules, ladies and gentlemen!) Sherrill struck out his man, and then Fredi went to Scott Linebrink. Scott 2: Electric Poopaloo managed to strike out Gaby Sanchez to end it. Sanchez protested, and he had a point: it was Scott Linebrink after all.