Hey-o! The Braves looked completely dead, but Brian McCann ignited a ninth-inning rally by lining a freaking single off of Javy Guerra’s freaking face, and they ended up winning by two. (Freeman, McCann, Uggla, Chipper, and Heyward combined for five consecutive singles and three runs.)
Brandon Beachy pitched another pretty good game (2 runs, 7 hits, 6 strikeouts, 1 walk in 6 1/3 innings), but he made a mistake to Kemp, who looks like the best player in the majors this season, and with the Braves’ bats looking like they often do against the Ted Lillies of the world, that seemed like it was going to be enough to give the Braves a loss. Prior to the ninth inning, Atlanta had managed only five baserunners (four hits and a walk), with the only run coming when Uggla drove Freeman in with a two-out single in the fourth inning.
For a minute, it looked like the Braves might get to sneak out with a rain-shortened win, but LA tied it in the bottom of the fifth and took the lead an inning later on the massive homer from Kemp, and then the rain pretty much stopped, so they had to play it out.
I thought this was an annoying game to watch — it was a rainy getaway night in a mostly-empty stadium; the Braves kept hitting warning-track flies; Fredi was doing Fredi things like bringing Dumpster Fire Durbin into a one-run game with a guy on base and real hitters due up; and of course, it felt like a loss for several innings — but it ended up being a nice win and a really nice road trip.
Venters and Kimbrel — six batters faced; five strikeouts — were dominant yet again. As for the other bullpen, given Guerra’s struggles and the new dent in his face, I suspect that Kenley Jansen is going to be a popular waiver-wire pick-up in fantasy leagues.
Anyway, the Braves get a richly-deserved day off tomorrow, and then a home series against the even-more-hapless-than-usual Pirates starts on Friday, with Hanson on the hill. I’m looking for a dominant effort from Tommy.
Finally, cheers to the recovering Mac, who is currently high as a kite.