Well, the Cardiac Kids of Cobb County (and, no, I will not get all cutesy and spell those with K’s instead of C’s, thankewverimuch), almost pulled out another late inning comeback win, before falling to the Phightin’ Phillies in 11 5-4.
The Phillies starter was Nicholas Pivetta, who sounds like he was conjured up from the feverish imagination of Niccolo Machiavelli. He only managed to go four innings before Phils manager Gabe Kapler, who in his first two games is determined to make Sparky Anderson roll over in his grave with the pitching changes, brought the hook. It would only be the 4th time in Phillies franchise history that 8 pitchers were used in the first nine innings. Anyone care to wager that number 5 won’t be tonight? I didn’t think so.
In the bottom of the 4th, Swanson continued his good day at the plate, singling in Suzuki, who had been hit by a pitch in the hand, with two outs, to give the Braves a brief lead, until Santana went all Black Magic Woman on Folty in the 5th. Philly took the lead in the 6th when Aaron Altherr walked off Jose Ramirez, and was driven in with a 2 out single by Nick Williams. Lead off walks…grr.
Did I say lead off walks? Atlanta nabbed one of its own in the 8th, when Freddie Freeman drew his thrid of the evening (and is currently on pace for a season total of 486 free passes). Freddie went to third on a Nick Markakis groundout when no one covered the bag, and came in to score after Preston Tucker had his second game tying RBI in the 8th. Snitker sent in Peter Bourjos to pinch run and the Braves looked like they took the lead after Swanson’s third hit of the night, a screaming double to left, but Bourjos was called out after a video review. It appeared his lead leg bounced over the plate as the tag was applied. I couldn’t tell from the replay one way or the other, but the Braves didn’t squawk at all, so that must’ve been the right call.
Arodys Vizcaino mad it interesting in the 9th, but managed to wiggle off the hook, stranding Phillies at first and third by striking out Hoskins – who so far looks like he’s the second coming of Ryan Howard. So far he’s been crushing Braves pitching in his short career.
Shane Carle worked a clean 10th, but in the 11th, he gave up singles to Crawford, and Cesar Hernandez, and with one out Santana nailed the solo, with his second sac fly for a 5-4 lead.
And when you’re scheduled to send up Bourjos, Carle, and Flaherty in the bottom of the inning, you had a bad feeling about this. Carle had to hit because Suzuki went out after being hit in the hand, and Snitker had burned Lane Adams as a pinch hitter in the 7th inning. Bourjos stayed on for Tucker and Charlie Culberson (aka Evil Dansby) was switched in for Original Dansby after the 8th. Ahh, the joys of a four man bench. I have no idea why Snitker didn’t pinch hit one of the starters – say Julio Teheran – maybe he didn’t trust anyone left in the pen.
But, Atlanta improbably rallied a bit. With two out Flaherty hit one through the hole, and Culberson sold the home plate ump on a hit by pitch that didn’t appear to be, but again the Phillies didn’t squawk, so maybe I need better glasses. But Ender jumped on the first pitch and popped out to shallow center. And, that, as they say, was that.