Dodgers 6, Braves 1 (by ‘Rissa)

ESPN Box Score

If you were looking for that Game 1 tone-setting victory for the rest of the series… this was not it. In spite of all of the optimism going in to this game from the players and beat writers (and most of us, too), the Braves did what the Braves do best in playoff games in recent memory. Lose.

In a cruel moment of hope, Kris Medlen struck out the side in first and looked dominant, working his curve in with a nasty changeup and fastball and making the Dodgers look pretty hapless. Turner Field was rocking.

Justin Upton put up a good at-bat in the bottom of the first, fouling off several pitches before he grounded out weakly to Kershaw, but extending the hope that was kindled in the top of the inning that we may actually be able to get to Kershaw eventually and win this game. But it was not to be.

The Dodgers plated two runs in the second on some rough defense by Simmons, Heyward, and Gattis. While no errors will show up in the box score, we were treated to several Prados due to some weird defensive infield shifts and having a catcher in LF with a right fielder in CF. Thanks, BJ, for being wholly incompetent at your job and putting us in the position of having an out-of-position rookie catcher as a starting outfielder in the postseason.

For good measure, Adrian Gonzalez added a two-run shot in the third. Medlen should have been out of that inning before that homer, but Elliot Johnson had pitched in with a Prado of his own (which really should have been an error) to extend the frame, and the Dodgers once again took advantage of it. At least you can count on consistency from this franchise: when the calendar turns to October, the Braves defense turns to crap. The Dodgers picked up insurance runs in the fourth and sixth to remove any remaining suspense from the game.

The Braves got on the board in the bottom of the fourth on a Chris Johnson two-out RBI that scored Freddie Freeman, which got a rousing chant started. Simmons quickly put an end to that nonsense with a strikeout, stranding runners on the corners. Kershaw then retired the next six in a row and left the game after seven innings in which he struck out twelve Braves. His line score looks like the dominating pitcher we all know he is, but in reality, he actually looked almost vulnerable. The Braves had a chance to beat him when he was not really on his game, but they could not take advantage of the opportunity.

Medlen’s final line was 4IP 9H 5R 1BB 4K, but it could have looked better with a little help from the official scorer (and a lot better with a little help from his defense). He was removed after hitting Puig with his 74th pitch of the evening in the fifth. Ayala relieved him and got out of a bases loaded jam with back-to-back strikeouts. Even with Kris’s performance tonight, if we can make it to a fourth game and are facing elimination, I think you have to hope he is back out there.

Other lowlights from tonight include Gattis being doubled off of first on a routine fly out in the second, BJ striking out to the surprise of absolutely no one in a “pinch hit” appearance in the fifth, Jordan Walden proving that he still cannot pitch, the Braves playing right into the national media script of “the mighty Dodgers can’t be stopped” and the TBS crew following that script right down to the letter, Hanley Ramirez playing a more impressive shortstop than Simmons, and Puig being on base three times which gave us ample opportunities to hear his prowess extolled. The Braves have now lost 17 of the past 22 playoff games played at Turner Field. As a franchise, the Braves have won exactly one World Series title in each of the three cities they have played in. They may soon need to consider the desperate measure of finding a new home if this streak of playoff futility continues.

If you look hard enough, you can actually pull some positives from this game. We did not get shut out. The bullpen (outside of Walden, who is on the roster for reasons not easily discerned) looked impressive. McCann had some good at-bats against a tough lefty. Gattis seemed to settle down after his mishaps early in the game and had some quality at-bats and made a nice running catch, so hopefully he has his playoff nerves under control. Jose Constanza did not get the chance to show off any of the “skills” that got him on this postseason roster. We still have Freddie Freeman on our team.

Tomorrow is a new day. Let’s beat the snot out of Zack Greinke in Game 2, and then go to LA and win a couple and celebrate on their turf.

326 thoughts on “Dodgers 6, Braves 1 (by ‘Rissa)”

  1. Thanks, ‘Rissa. Reading that recap would have been much more gratifying than actually watching that game. If Medlen had pitched like it was September and McCann had three more feet on that drive to left, we’d be having an improved outcome to discuss. But since we’re the Braves, we can only imagine what could have been had those inches been measured out differently.

  2. As far as Uggla, if Fredi has issues with the guy, well, I can’t believe more people aren’t furious with him.

    On August 12th, right before he took a two-week vacation to have eye surgery, he had the nerve to announce to the world that as far back as Spring Training all he saw of the ball was a white blur coming at him. I suppose this was his way to garner sympathy or understanding, but taken at face value, that decision has cost us dearly. While he spent the whole summer hacking and slashing his way to a .698 OPS, we could have found someone to replace him (and the injured Ramiro Pena) with a better pedigree than E. Johnson.

    Uggla could have had his two-week surgery earlier in the year and possibly rebounded the rest of the year (if he has anything left in the tank, which I doubt), but his ambivalence towards alerting others to his crappy vision robbed us of that opportunity, too.

    I’m no big Fredi fan but playing Elliot Johnson is the best of his limited options, and for that a heavy load of the blame goes on Dan Uggla.

  3. @2 I think that is the start of a deteriorating relationship between the two. Dropping him off from the playoff roster is probably more of a message to Dan than George being a better player….a message in the line of “you are not bigger than the team”.

  4. Needless to say, this was not the result I wanted to wake up to

    But hey, today is another day, although this has now turned into a “must win”

  5. Let’s hope for a change in fortunes tonight…I have tickets down the left field line.

  6. In defense of Gattis, it was not an easy fly ball to get to. The Braves were playing tight, trying to do too much. That’s why you saw Heyward airmailing a throw that had no chance to get Puig but could’ve held the runner at 2nd. That’s why you say Justin turning a single into a double with an ill-advised sliding bid later. Maybe that’s why Medlen’s FB was all over the place.

    This team needs to settle down and play fundamental baseball. If you take away the self-inflicted wounds, (including Gattis getting doubled off in the second for absolutely no reason) the Braves could’ve been right in it. I remain optimistic. Kershaw was the best they had, and the Braves did okay against him. Zack Grienke doesn’t scare me. Can’t wait for tonight’s game!

  7. You nailed it on the recap, ‘Rissa. I was at the game last night; Kershaw was not invulnerable; Medlen served up a home run ball but pitched well. The Braves played the same sort of dickwad baseball they played in the Outfield Fly game. BJ in the batter’s box before the tenth inning was a sorry sight.

    For those watching or listening to a broadcast: did anyone ever say why Andrelton was playing so far over towards the hole when Puig was up? He almost always stations himself closer to the bag and ranges right, and his usual positioning would have led to two Puig outs.

    @7 On the fly ball that Gattis missed, he ran the wrong way first–took a step or two toward left center when it was down the line.

  8. I think the Braves have the toughest assignment of any playoff team. They didn’t play at their best last night, but it may not have mattered. It’s not like they were flailing against the Marlins. I have no affection for them, but the Dodgers are a really good team and – based on their starting rotation alone – should win it all.

  9. Coulda, woulda, shoulda. The Braves got smoked, plain and simple.

    I will not waste another moment on this team–at least not this year.

  10. @7 I wouldn’t say that the flyball Gattis missed was “easy to get to”, but that’s the sort of play that a MLB LF should be able to make regularly. I’d guess JUp makes that play 75% of the time. Hell, I bet Prado would make that play 90% of the time. Let’s be honest, here – Gattis’ range in LF is substantially less than Ryan Klesko’s used to be. As many others have noted, this isn’t Gattis’ fault, it’s BJ’s (or if you prefer, Wren’s fault for signing BJ).

    All in all, the Braves found a multitude of ways both familiar (strikeouts and errors! Medlen suddenly bad in the playoffs!) and novel (defensive shifts that move fielders away from where they’re needed!) to fail last night. I’m so very tired of watching the Braves suck in the playoffs – last night was just the re-opening of the psychic wound that comes with being a Braves fan.

    All of that said, I think the Braves have to be the favorite to win tonight – Minor’s stuff will play better in the postseason that Medlen’s has, and Greinke is no Kershaw. Go Braves!

  11. The Braves – all the failures of Cubbiedom (and used-to-be Red Sawx-dom), with none of the cachet.

  12. Don’t know if it has anything to do with the team playing so tight, but Fredi is a nervous wreck. In the post-game I started to feel a creeping terror just listening to him.

  13. What’s up with the defensive shifts? The Braves are one of the better fielding teams in the league, so why fix something that isn’t broken? The shifts reminded me of how Bobby would try to out finesse an opposing manager in a big game (safety squeeze, anyone?) when, in the end, the play would backfire. This seemed to happen against the Cardinals an awful lot.

    Just let the boys play, Fredi!

  14. We won’t have to worry about Gattis playing left field after McCann leaves.
    I suppose then BJ will have to play every day. I wonder if there’s a plan for curing his suck?

  15. ‘Rissa you should try to do this recap thing for a living.

    I couldn’t watch after Ayala got out of the bases loaded jam.

  16. @17 I don’t know. I have been going back and forth on this. On one had we had two regulars both hit under .200, something that has not happened in the past century. On the other we won 96 games and our division after losing several key members of the team to season-ending injuries (didn’t I read somewhere that we had the most season-ending injuries in the majors this year?) I think the answer to your question may be answered by how deep we get into October.

  17. @17 Maybe Chipper could take a break from hunting this offseason to work with BJ and Uggs?

  18. I’m not too concerned. Lose by one run or six the result is the same: We’re down 1-0 in the series. Win tonight and most of last night will be forgotten.

    Let’s just hope Minor gets those first inning woes out of the way in the bullpen and Greinke turns into his previous October pumpkin self.

  19. These Braves need to act like they’ve been here before. Simple as that.

    These are the Dodgers. We own them. Time to put’em down and move forward.

  20. Updated odds as to which miserable playoff loss are you? after Game 1:

    2:1 Ambush
    5:2 Dead Man Walking (again, Gattis being your starting playoff LF is a symptom, not a cause, of postseason malaise)
    20:1 Umpire
    20:1 Clincher
    20:1 Gut-Shot
    20:1 that which dare not speak its name

  21. I thought the crowd last night was pretty awesome at the start of the game, even if the place wasn’t completely full. I wasn’t sure how they’d compare on national TV to the raucous environments in Pittsburgh and Cleveland the last few nights, but I’d say they held their own in the first inning. Too bad everything fell apart after that and didn’t really give the crowd anything to be loud about. But still.

  22. @24, the laundry has been here before. The individuals in tonight’s lineup average 26.3 years of age and 3.8 career postseason game appearances, however. To the extent that they look like postseason noobs and not The Braves, it’s understandable.

    Postseason games at the Ted have a more jittery feel to them as compared to the regular season, up to and including the Jumbotron operator putting on high-energy dance music between innings. I can’t help but wonder if that’s counterproductive to a team as inexperienced as this one under the bright lights.

    I’ve started to notice a trend of going out there with a crowd that wants to shake the stands, and getting players who overthrow everything after an inning or two. I have no idea if there’s a real correlation, but it seems worth looking into.

  23. The crowd was great considering our playoff history and the play on the field last night. I really think our playoff history creates an absolutely crushing pressure that otherwise wouldn’t be there – and that can’t be helping.

    The main problem is that we don’t have a Kershaw. Tonight the matchup is more even, but the Dodgers are still slight favorites. Good luck to everyone attending tonight.

  24. I was there. It was a great crowd. The ushers were walking around trying to make people sit down, which I thought was stupid.

  25. @26

    The crowd was alive in the first inning. Even when Kershaw mowed through the top of the order we were cheering the strong AB that Upton had and declaring that we won the inning because we made Kershaw throw 20 pitches. After that though… nothing. Just terrible. There were still sections standing up in the 7th inning though just hoping for something to get excited about but it never really came.

  26. Starting to think that Fredi is going to start Schafer tonight. Meh.

    Watch out for Grienke at the plate, he’d be one of our better hitters if he was in our lineup.

  27. @32: be serious, that’s a total exaggeration. If he were in our lineup tonight, he’d only be like our sixth best hitter.

  28. @28 – I agree that the playoff history (Now 0-8 in first game of playoff series since 2001 NLDS) hangs heavy over a Braves fan’s psyche. How can it not? Getting behind the 8-ball amps up the sense of impending doom.

    I know the “Dooooooooomed” meme around here gets chuckles, but given the way Octobers (plus September 2011) have gone for the last decade and half it’s hard for me to have a rosy outlook. If the Braves could just win a darn playoff series in a game where they came through with some clutch hits I think the dammed-up malaise of 10 years of playoff failure would be released from my brain and make room for sunny days ahead.

  29. Schafer is 6 for 11 vs Grenke.
    DOB says that, plus Gattis’ poor play yesterday, may lead to a Schafer start.

    Nothing like a reactionary manger to calm the players down before a big game.

  30. @37, be nice.

    I can’t quite figure what the Reds were thinking when they fired Dusty, but he’s one of the better managers in baseball. The Royals should hire him in a heartbeat and simply eat the money they just gave Ned Yost.

  31. Don’t be surprised if Jim Riggleman gets a shot at managing the Reds. He’s their AAA skipper.

  32. Watching from home, I thought the crowd was great. Things seemed to come apart quickly unfortunately. Medlen was really fidgety with runners on (constantly throwing over). I think that sapped some of the energy. That and the runs.

  33. @29

    I witnessed a totally ridiculous situation involving ushers and getting people to sit down, as well. Resulted in a group of people being kicked out of their seats and being forced to go back and stand in the standing room only section so that a family who refused to stand up could see. Also, how much nerve does it take to go and complain to an usher about somebody in front of you refusing to sit down during a playoff game?

    If I ran a team, they would have several “seated-only” sections (probably one for each price point) where the general rule of the day would be that everyone had to sit unless the entire stadium was standing or something super crazy happened. Basically, if you’re asked to sit in those sections, you’d be required to do it and the expectation for the section would be that everyone would be generally seated. Then, I would publicize the following policy on such matters, shown on the Jumbotron before the game with the evacuation plan and everything else:

    “We would like to remind fans that this is a sporting event. Though we encourage fans to sit down if that’s what everyone else in their section is doing, we will not be involved in actively asking people to sit down outside of the designated seated-only sections, nor will we be ejecting anyone from their paid seats for the sole ‘offense’ of standing up and supporting their team outside those sections. Our suggested solution is to stand up yourself and support your team. If you are physically unable to stand for the majority of a game, we encourage you to purchase seats in our seated-only or handicapped sections. If you would like to move to the seated-only section for tonight’s game, visit the guest relations desk behind Aisle [whatever] and we’ll gladly exchange you to equal-value seated-only tickets if any are available. Thank you for your understanding.”

    You can file that under “never gonna happen”, though.

  34. @39

    Alex, you’re the one being nice, too nice…

    in these (local) parts he’s persona non grata…a phrase any Reds fan will use

    bad decision maker…we wouldn’t know anything about that, would we?

  35. if megalomania comes
    then rational thinking succumbs
    so who will play second
    we’ve already reckoned
    it cannot be one of your chums.

  36. the Pirates are showing us how to rebound from a Game One loss…

    5-0 in the fifth…

    those ghastly red-enveloped Matrons with their saggy chests and cornstalk hair look

  37. @42

    The people they tried make sit down never did. Some 22 year old chick and her douche boy friend were they ones complaining.

    I yelled, “This is America, and you stand at playoff games. If you don’t like it, move to some of the 4,000 empty seats!”

    The standers clapped and we started the “Beat LA” chant. The tools moved.

  38. We’re gonna kick some Greinke tail tonight! The bats are gonna come alive, Minor’s gonna be on, and we’re gonna even up this series.

    “Momentum is tomorrow’s starting pitcher.” -Earl Weaver

  39. @ 42

    nick, a masterpiece from you, sign him up!

    the situation you describe has become a real problem in the English Premier league too which has been ‘sanitized’ since the days when more than half the fans were standing on the terraces…that had to go after more than one disastrous loss of life happened, rightly so of course…

    but what’s replaced it has cost it its soul…the singing/standing/heckling bit is very muted…the stadiums are now all seating and if you get carried away by what’s happening on the field and rise to your feet for more than a moment the stewards will be all over you…

    your $75 seat, your $1500 season ticket (19 games) keep you safe but the cost has been great. Look at the Liverpool Kop for another example – that wonderful song sung by an all standing ensemble who must then resume their seats. Wrong.

  40. @51 English stadiums went to all seaters after Hillsborough but you still get really great atmospheres in most places. Places like Chelsea/Man United/Arsenal have become tourist attractions and that has contributed to the more muted atmospheres at some games but for the biggest ones they still get up for it. I watch every Liverpool game and the Kop is always standing. I went to a game at White Hart Lane last year and was able to stand for periods of the game as well with no problem. I was at the game last night and there were sections that seemed to stand the whole time. Just seems like an isolated incident with the guy who didn’t want to stand.

  41. @50 I love Weaver quotes like that. He was so far ahead of his time in the way he thought about the game.

  42. So I see E. Johnson went 0-4, and made that error-that-wasn’t-scored-as-one that cost the Braves two runs. He can’t hit, and if he can’t even field, what the hell good is he?

    Even the announcers last night seemed baffled the Braves aren’t putting their best team on the field, with Uggla, not Johnson.

  43. @55 The announcers last night were consistently pretty stupid, so personally I didn’t take that as a point in Uggla’s favor.

  44. @55 – To be fair, the announcers were baffled by anything that didn’t give them an opportunity to gush over Puig. But yes, Elliot Johnson is about the least confidence inspiring playoff second baseman since Brooks Conrad. At least a playoff loss can’t be directly pinned on him just yet, though he’ll have at least two more opportunities to join the Conrad Club.

  45. If Jason Heyward strikes out it doesn’t mean he “can’t hit.” We know Elliot Johnson can field, one play notwithstanding.

  46. To be fair, the announcers were baffled by anything that didn’t give them an opportunity to gush over Puig.

    That’s true. The obsession over Puig is just…weird. Hope the Braves can rally and win this series, so we can all enjoy a Puig-free postseason going forward.

  47. This is why I generally don’t watch playoff baseball. It screws up everything good about baseball.

  48. That game was so awful I turned it off early and went back to reading a book about a less depressing subject-the Viet Nam War.

  49. I was flying from Austin to ATL last night. So I spent the first five innings reading space opera. Then I landed, checked the score, and went home to read space opera and troll BTF’s OMNICHATTER.

  50. From the Braves’ Twitter account:

    Just announced: SRO tickets are now available for tonight’s game for $20. Don’t forget: Lakewood Amphitheater shuttle for $5. #FearTheChop— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) October 4, 2013

    So…does that mean Game 2 is sold out? I mean, I’d think the standard practice is to only sell standing-room-only tickets after all the seats have been purchased, but I’m not sure with this organization.

  51. @63

    It should either mean that or that they’re close enough where they expect it to sell out with walk-up.

  52. I was at the game last night and toward the end a couple of punk Dodger fans tried to start a “Let’s go Dodgers” chant. They got down and basically started yelling in people’s ears. Someone threw a beer at them and told them to shut up. No one was hurt, and after some bellyaching they did sit down.

    After suffering through so many other crowds infused with the fans of opposing teams… I was mighty proud of my fellow fans on that one. Others might disagree I’m sure, but I thought it a very reasonable thing to do.

    On we go. The team played tight last night, and the Dodgers took advantage. We need to play like all those playoff ghosts aren’t around. Just take it a play at a time.

  53. @66

    They did look tight. I pin that a little of Fredi. His main job is to run the clubhouse and keep the guys lose. I understand the situation and that it is a tall order. The great managers are maters of this.

    The last couple of years we seem to tighten up in September and October under Fredi.

  54. @66 – those guys are used to a fan base that kills people for wearing Giants gear. Be careful.

  55. @44, Mac’s rule was that this place should try to be as inclusive as possible. The very few people who got banned were those who recklessly attacked other people or trolls who were repeatedly told to stop. Everyone else is encouraged to treat each other the way your mom told you to treat other people.

    Attack the team, not each other. Be nice.

  56. What a disaster of an inning for the Rays! Makes what happened to us last night look like child’s play.

  57. @69 That wasn’t an attack, as nothing was said about the particular person, it was a suggestion that he carry out his promise. If people are going to be so over-the-top ridiculous as to claim they are done with a team because it lost a playoff game, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that others might not care for their online company.

  58. @71 While I won’t mind us not having to face him next year, that is sad for baseball. He’s a fun one to watch.

  59. So what happens at 6:07 when this Rays-Sox games is still going on? Will they start our game on TNT or something?

  60. I get that Baker is a target of ridicule for the Fire Joe Morgan crowd, but the Reds have won at least 91 games for three of the past four years. He’s getting fired because they lost that stupid one-game play-in?

  61. Everyone else is encouraged to treat each other the way your mom told you to treat other people.

    You lot would have never survived my mom…

  62. I think Dusty was fired because he is one of those that thinks Joey Votto wasn’t being aggressive enough (i.e. expanding his zone and swinging at pitches he doesn’t have a good chance to crush).

    If it came down to your franchise first baseman who’s under contract until the 2020’s vs your incumbent manager who has made questionable strategic moves his entire career, I think Walt Jockety’s decision was pretty easy.

  63. Just re-watched last nights top of the first inning. I am pumped for tonight. Go Minor, go Braves! We just won’t lose two in a row at home. Won’t happen.

  64. I would argue that Dusty has made questionable tactical moves throughout his career, especially in the playoffs. He is not the guy that I would want managing my team in October. But from April to September, he’s been pretty damned good. If the strategy of the game is about winning ballgames, then I think he’s been pretty effective strategically at getting his players to play to the extent of their abilities.

  65. Dusty Baker is Bobby Cox with a deeper tan, man. All of the same pluses. All of the same negatives. You could probably start calling Fredi Gonzalez “El Dusty Bakero” if you wanted.

  66. Rumor is that Jocketty wanted to fire the hitting coach, Baker said “no, fire me”, and Jocketty replied “OK”.

  67. We’re not doing well, but balls diving below gloves, soft loopers dropping in, a Dodger-friendly definition of “check swing” — we’re fighting stuff beyond our control here.

  68. El Oso has now reached base four times in five plate appearances. Now we need to make sure he stays there.

  69. I’m not sure that McCann could beat out a squibber or bunt against the shift. Slow, slower, turtlesque.

  70. Fine double play there by Simmons and Elliot; that turn almost makes playing him worthwhile.

  71. The important thing was to get through that inning without drama, so the meat of their lineup comes up without anyone on.

  72. This is such a typical Minor game… Struggling in the beginning and getting very strong in the middle innings. Keep going, Mikey!

  73. The Braves score a lot of runs in the fifth and eighth innings. Let’s put some more on the board!

  74. Running into the wall twenty yards after you make the catch — not how you play the game.

  75. Yeah, Minor saw that he’s been calling a strike on that side of the plate for Greinke all night (inside for R, outside for L). Now for two straight batters, he’s nailed it for a strike. If the ref’s giving an inch, use it.

  76. Great start once he settled down. Get it for him, guys.

    EDIT: Ayala — oh, boy. Why do I feel we’re asking too much of him here?

  77. You have got to be kidding me. Where have theirs heads been this series?

    Kimbrel here? Need a strikeout and Crawford near impossible to double up.

  78. Two costly miscues this inning. This shouldn’t be happening at all. Let’s hope they can turn two and get out of it.

  79. This is the most pathetic inning ever. Two balls hit really softly, and suddenly the Dodgers have put up a serious threat.

  80. I’m transfixed in horror every time I see a play setting up like that. I’m so ready for that throw to go into centerfield.

  81. No, Fredi. No. For the love of God and the Flying Spaghetti Monster, do not bunt.

  82. The guy gave away an out, with BJ, the fastest guy on the team, ALREADY IN SCORING POSITION, so that Elliot Johnson and Constanza could hit with RISP. The guy is a moron.

  83. I can only wonder what’s going through Tommy La Stella’s head right now as he watches this idiocy.

  84. Elliot really is channelling his inner Uggla in this series.

    Um, no. E. Johnson is hitting like E. Johnson. Look at his career and 2013 stats. He sucks, and nobody should be surprised.

    This inning looked so promising until Fredi’s Wonder Twins (Johnson & Constanza) came up.

  85. My friends who are Rockies fans now understand why I complain so much about Fredi.

  86. 221- And E. Johnson’s probably still a better hitter than Uggla, sadly.

    Walking the bases loaded to get to Heyward? That’s an interesting strategy. It’s almost like Fredi got to manage the Dodgers there, but I don’t know which team he wants to win.

  87. Guess Gattis is moving behing the plate. Really over managing by Mattingly, taking the bat out of Costanza’s hands then walking Reed to get to Jason.

  88. Complain? He just had the opposition burn through a pitcher and get a guy on base while only sacrificing Constanza. I think it’s a pretty good read of the opposing manager.

    And then Heyward took advantage of it.

  89. Jesus, I just chugged two imperial IPAs, passed out, and had a dream that Mattingly traded pitching to Constanza with a base open for pitching to Heyward with the bases loaded.

  90. I expected Mattingly to go to the lefty, but not to walk Reed Johnson to get to Heyward.

  91. Mrs. Sam: Why would you walk anyone to get the bases loaded for J-Hey? With two out? Mind you, I am NOT complaining….

  92. Bad time for Carpenter to turn into a pumpkin — although he had strike 3 on Ellis.

  93. So we take two catchers out to put Laird in. And now Gattis won’t be able to hit in the 8th. After that homer we really could have used him. Wow.

  94. Man, this would have been insufferable if Carpenter hadn’t fanned Pweeg. And here comes the Kraken!

  95. It’s not terribly unusual to see a poor managerial decision cost a team a chance at victory. It’s very unusual to see unorthodox managerial tactics win a game. Fredi’s Constanza gambit, where he had no intention of letting Constanza hit, but he knew it would force Mattingly to at least take out his wrong-handed pitcher, and possibly inspire Mattingly to further damaging maneuvers, probably ended up turning this game from a loss to a win.

  96. @269. Are we absolutely sure that that was Fredi’s intention, and that this wasn’t just some wonderful sequence of events.

  97. #269

    You’re trolling, right? If not, the problem with your hypothesis is that the Costanza’ at bat may as well have been named George.

  98. It’s an off day tomorrow, a one-run game, and the guy on the mound gave up two runs. Why take chances? Kimbrel won’t be throwing any pitches on Saturday.

  99. #272

    Carpenter couldn’t get Uribe after getting Puig? If you were that concerned about Carpenter against the heart of the Dodger order, you would have started the 8th with the Kraken.

  100. What happens if a couple of runners get on? Do you give up the chance to pad the lead by letting Kimbrel bat? Oh, nevermind, BJ’s up.

  101. Kimbrel threw only 3 pitches. His two fastballs were 100 and 101. I’m in 100% agreement with Fredi there. Carpenter shook off laird and threw a hanging curve. He might want to listen to the old man back there.

  102. After the way Minor pitched tonight you have to give the ball to Med Dog in game 4.

  103. Laird’s throws back to the mound are embarrassing. That is a man with Mackey Sasser syndrome.

  104. Simmons caught the ball with his glove grazing Gordon’s butt. He was out but I wouldn’t complain had the ump called it safe.

  105. @314, Rusty, I am living in Switzerland. Already got no sleep last night. Good for me they are not playing tomorrow…

  106. You know, if Cal Ripken says Simmons got the tag down, I’m happy. These guys on MLB can shut up.

  107. Game Three is a must-win, otherwise the season is the line with a pitcher who had a 5.77 ERA with the Orioles in a year in which pitchers’ ERAs are way down. If this was 1999, Garcia’s ERA would probably have been like nine.

  108. Great win. For the record, I am no Fredi hater, but my god that sequence between he and Mattingly in the 7th was just some of the worst managing ever.

  109. @320. Well, we know who they learned their trades from! With Matheny, the league has the new bobby, new joe, and new tony.

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