So now the most reliable part of the team is breaking down.
The Braves took a 2-1 lead in the first; it stayed that way until the ninth. Brian McCann doubled home Michael Bourn and Freddie Freeman hit a bloop double to score McCann in the top of the inning. In the bottom of the inning, what’s left of Rafael Furcal scored on a groundout.
Both teams had their chances to score; the Braves left eight on and the Cards eleven, and both teams hit into two double plays. Randall Delgado had some control issues but as happens sometimes he was hard to hit, allowing just three hits through five.
The bullpen lived dangerously all night, and it came back to beat them in the end. Peter Moylan pitched the sixth, and gave up two hits; likewise Arodys Vizcaino in the seventh and Jonny Venters in the eighth. Somehow they got away with it, and then the Braves got a run in the ninth when Michael Bourn tripled home pinch-runner Antoan Richardson.
But Craig Kimbrel finally faltered. He gave up a leadoff single, then got two outs, and then his control deserted him. He walked Furcal and then Scott Theriot to get to Albert Pujols. Pujols hit one down the line to right to score two; Theriot was out by a mile trying to score the winning run, sending the game to extras.
The amazing Scott Linebrink ended the game from there, loading the bases on two hits and an intentional walk, and then giving up a sac fly to end it. The only surprise is that he didn’t walk home the winning run.