Braves WON! A super huge bounce back win for Atlanta. They had to get out of the ATL with at least one win. Now they head to Los Angeles needing to win at least one to bring the series back East. Of course I would prefer that the Braves just wrap up the series win in LA, and not have to come back home and face Kershaw again.
Minor mimics Glavine: Mike Minor got the Braves off to a nail-biting start last night — a walk and a run-scoring double, and suddenly they find themselves down again. For Minor it was a familiar story of being plagued by troubles early in the game. His ERA this season in the first inning was 5.62, while his ERA never got above 3.45 in any other inning. That follows a pattern for his career in which he allows the most runs in the first inning (4.87 career 1st inning ERA). That’s the same pattern that Tom Glavine followed (or succumbed to) in his career, with an ERA of 4.58 in the first inning, and no higher than 3.91 in any other inning. If we can accurately use Glavine as a model for Minor, we should keep a pillow over our head in the first inning of games he starts, and enjoy the show after that. For Glavine it was a a blueprint for a very successful career, including a great deal of success in the postseason.
Bleeders, Bloops, and… DP: While Medlen could not contain the unlucky swings taken against him on Thursday night, Minor was able to work around the bleeders and bloops and prevent the damaging extra base hit that led to the Dodgers adding on against Meds. Minor allowed leadoff singles in the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th innings, but he got critical double-plays in the 2nd and 3rd, and was able to pitch his way through it in the 4th. He also allowed a leadoff single in the 7th and the Braves were able to escape the inning with the help of Luis Avilan who induced yet another double-play. That final DP escape fired up the fans and the team…
A 7th for the managers: You don’t have enough fingers and toes to count all the managerial decision points that happened in the bottom of the 7th inning. There was a pinch runner who showed no signs of trying to steal a base. There was a bunt with the bottom of the order coming up and a runner already in scoring position. There was a pinch hitter pinch hitting for a pinch hitter (<<< I’m really proud of that sentence). And all of that was before Don Mattingly really started managing. But there was also possibly the biggest hit of the series so far from a Braves player as Jason Heyward laced a 2-out single back through the middle to score 2 crucial add-on runs.
Braves bats still not right: Atlanta scored more runs last night, but they were still out-hit by the Dodgers 10-to-6. The bats have still not woken up, and they need to.
Laird with the save: The box score says that Craig Kimbrel picked up the inning-plus save, and yes he was pretty electric — touching 100mph and 101mph on the radar gun several times. Batters may not be able to hit Kimbrel, but he can be a little wild at times, and he allowed 2 walks in the 9th inning. The Dodgers pinch ran with Dee Gordon, who was stealing second on the very first pitch. Gerald Laird came up with a terrific throw, aided by a great catch and tag from Andrelton Simmons, and Gordon was the second out of the 9th inning in a one-run game. Simply a huge play. Replays show that Gordon was out… but he didn’t think so:
See you on Sunday at 8pm.