Eric Hinske sticks an epi pen into the heart of the season!
For six innings, the Braves were a completely different team than last night, in that they were losing 1-0 behind a brilliant pitching performance and they weren’t getting any runners to speak of on base so they could be stranded. Completely different. The Marlins’ lone run off of Tim Hudson came in the third when Melky completely and utterly misplayed a long fly ball into a double. He didn’t even come close to hit, so of course it was scored a hit, though Tim Hudson‘s instant classic reaction to it is yet another nail in the coffin in the “earned”/”unearned” run distinction. The Marlins then got two infield singles to score the run. It was pathetic. And through the first four innings, Melky had the Braves’ only hit. In the fifth, Ankiel reached on an infield single with two out, so you can guess how helpful that was.
Jason Heyward laced a single up the middle with one out in the sixth. He was forced at second on a groundout by Brian McCann. Derrek Lee then hit a double into the corner, Snitker sent McCann, and Brian wasn’t out by more than fifteen feet. In all seriousness, Dan Uggla, the cutoff man, had the ball before McCann rounded third. He double-clutched and didn’t make a particularly good throw, but he could have run Brian out. Snitker is the worst.
But in the seventh, Melky’s second hit of the night was a single leading off the the inning. Alex Gonzalez bunted him over, which… whatever… but Brooks Conrad, Folk Hero, was on the case. Conrad tripled off the wall in right-center (Cameron Maybin was injured trying to make the catch) and tied the game. Ankiel, typically, struck out when a fly ball would have given the Braves the lead, but Eric Hinske, the missing man of late, hit a high homer to right field to make the game 3-1.
They needed that second run, because Peter Moylan allowed a leadoff homer to Uggla. He got the next man, then gave way to fellow ubiquity Jonny Venters, who gave up an infield single (the Marlins had lots of them, all night) but then got a GIDP to end it. Billy Wagner had one of his no-touch outings, striking out Wes Smelms, then walking Emilio Bonafacio, only to strike out the next two. Same old, same old.
UPDATE: I am reminded that Craig Kimbrel, who got the win for pitching the seventh, struck out the side, looking particularly unhittable as he did. I figure there should be a ceremony where Bobby hands the keys to Kimbrel over to Fredi Gonzalez and says, “Here, ruin him. Do it for me.”