A true nailbiter and worth every penny. If you’re a fan of an old-fashioned pitcher’s duel, that was pretty nearly game of the year. And if you got up to the fridge for a beer in the third inning, by the time you got back to the couch, it would’ve been the fifth. That game just flew by — 122 pitches for the Marlins, 119 for the Braves, time of game a crisp two hours and 33 minutes.
Lots of great things happened. In his first game back from the DL, Huascar Ynoa matched goose eggs with our nemesis Sandy Alcantara for the first five frames. He also got an infield hit on a little nubber, one of the only five hits Alcantara yielded.
Ynoa was the first to flag. After having beaten out an infield single and legged his way to third after a fielder’s choice and a single, a possibly-winded Huascar gave up two singles sandwiched around a bunt.
Brian Snitker was up from the railing in a heartbeat, and brought in Tyler Matzek — say what you want about player’s manager Brian Snitker, he went with the hot hand to bail out the rookie, and it wound up working out — Matzek yielded a sharp single but Joc Pederson held the runner from scoring, and with the bases loaded, Tyler induced a popup and a strikeout. Crisis averted.
Sandy Alcantara is a good pitcher. But when he faces us, he turns into Jacob DeGrom. For his career, he’s got an ERA of 3.60. Against us, it’s 2.20. Through seven innings, we were still knotted zero-zero, thanks to a remarkable perfect inning by Chris Martin, but it was possible to feel somewhat concerned.
But you can’t keep a good man down for long, and the team that only hit homers scratched across some ABC baseball. After Stephen Vogt struck out, pinch-hitter Abraham Almonte worked Alcantara’s first walk of the night. Ozzie struck out, but Almonte stole second and took third on Alcantara’s second wild pitch of the season. With only 98 pitches under his belt, Donnie Baseball left his ace in to face Jorge Soler, who was 0-3 and 5 for his last 31.
Snake eyes. On the 103rd pitch of the evening, Soler took a slider to right and singled in the go-ahead run.
The next inning, a grateful Austin Riley greeted reliever Anthony Bender with an insurance bomb to right-center. That was enough for Hancock, who notched his first one-two-three inning in his last eight appearances.
Win, win, win. Cheers to the best bar anywhere.