Hey, a win! A real, honest-to-goodness win. A come-from-behind win, on top of that, and a win in which the Braves scored in not one, or two, but three different innings. While it is somewhat troubling that they only got single runs in each of those innings when two of them could (should) have boasted a crooked number, a winâ€™s a win and to nitpick at a moment like this would take the focus away from enjoying said win, so on to the good stuff.
Ervin Santana looked great in the first inning, awful in the second, and then pretty good again through the sixth. He gave up both Dodger runs in that long second inning, which actually turned out to be a pretty good recovery considering the Dodgers collected five hits in the inning. His counterpart, Hyun-jin Ryu, picked up one of those hits, which brought the Dodgersâ€™ starting pitchers’ batting average up to .950 against the Braves this season (okay, I kid, but only a little. I think I recall Joe saying something to the effect of Dodger pitchers being 6 for their last 10 after that hit. I think Iâ€™d rather face a DH at that rate.)
The Braves wasted no time chipping away at the deficit. In the bottom of the inning El Oso Blanco led off on his bobblehead night and immediately doubled to left-center. Chris Johnson sacrificed him to third (the fact that we were bunting runners over in the second is a sad commentary on our current offensive abilities, but, hey, it worked, and I promised no nitpicking, so Iâ€™ll give them a break). Andrelton Simmons, playing for the first time in a week, put the ball in play and scored Gattis on a groundout to second. Hopefully the time he just spent resting his ankle also helped the shoulder thatâ€™s been barking at him.
In the bottom of the 4th Andrelton solidified his status of offensive hero of the evening when he knocked another base hit to score Justin Upton and tie the game. The following inning Jason Heyward, who will probably bat leadoff for the foreseeable future since no one else seems interested in doing anything up there, got on base and came around to score on a Justin RBI single. I believe that puts Justin back in front as the Upton career RBI leader, a position I doubt BJ will ever hold again.
The Dodgers got a couple baserunners off of David Carpenter and Jordan Walden after Santana left the game but never really mounted a threat, and the Braves tried and failed to extend their lead after Ryu left the game with a leg injury in the 6th. They clung to their one-run lead as Craig Kimbrel entered the game, and his inability to command his fastball allowed the Dodgers to mount their strongest threat of the evening. A walk and Yasiel Puigâ€™s fourth strikeout of the evening sandwiched between two hits later, the Dodgers had bases loaded with only one out, and grim melancholy fell upon the patrons of the game. Usually only the Braves manage to waste such opportunities, but Kimbrel managed to coax a double play ball off the bat of Matt Kemp, and the Braves are once more back in the win column. A win tomorrow afternoon and the Braves split this series, but that thought may just be me getting a little greedy, so I digress. I will keep my focus on the subject at handâ€”a Braves victory. We won tonight. We won tonight. That just feels so great to write.
Natspo(s) delenda est.