So, that’s baseball for you. Rick Ankiel and Kyle Farnsworth come through big, with the assistance of a guy playing the position for the first time all year, and the Braves get off the mat (resilience!) and head back to Atlanta with home field advantage and Tim Hudson going on long rest.
Tommy Hanson had a great breaking ball tonight, (last night, now) but couldn’t control his fastball. After going strikeout-single-strikeout to open the game, he walked Buster “The Outman” Posey, then left one over the plate that Pat Burrell crushed for a three-run homer, and considering the offense the Braves have shown, presumably the ballgame. They got another run in the second when Commando Cody Ross hit a single down the line that Melky “The Load” Cabrera misplayed into a double (he almost fell down, but fortunately held his feet, as he could have set off a 6.2 earthquake) followed by an RBI single from pitcher Matt Cain. We’re all starting to think about the offseason at this point.
But in the sixth inning, Derrek Lee singled, and went to second on a bobbled ball by Burrell. Brian McCann singled him in, but that was all the Braves would get, 4-1. The bullpen, once again, was doing a magnificent job keeping the Braves in it after Hanson was hit for in the fifth. Michael Dunn, Peter Moylan, and Jonny Venters combined to get through seven, then Craig Kimbrel pitched two perfect innings, both with two strikeouts.
Lee and McCann singled to open the eighth, and the Giants went to their closer of the bad dye job, Brian Wilson. Melky, being Melky, tried to ground out to fellow fat guy Pablo Sandoval, but the Kung-Fu Has-Been’s throw pulled the first baseman off the base, and Lee scored. Brooks Conrad bunted to make it second and third, and Alex Gonzalez, finally, hit a double to left center to tie the game. The Braves couldn’t get him home, but they lived.
Billy Wagner came out to start the tenth, with Omar Infante moving to second and Troy Glaus coming in at third on a double switch. Edgar Renteria, now a bench player, pinch-hit and picked on Glaus, laying down a bunt single. What’s more, Wagner hurt his oblique (probably) on the play; he got one man on a sac bunt but then had to leave… for Farnsworth.
I’m still not sure that what followed really happened and wasn’t a fever dream. Farnsworth hit the next guy on the hand, then walked Aubrey Huff to load the bases. And then, he got a grounder from the Outman right to Glaus, who threw just a little wildly to Omar, who handled it and relayed to first for the double play to get out of it. With one out in the eleventh, Ankiel hit a no-doubter into the Bay, giving the Braves the lead. Farnsworth allowed a one-out single, then got one Braves-killer, Travis Ishikawa, only to face… Commando Cody. Who popped out to deep short. Like I said, I’m not sure this all happened, but that’s what I remember and what the computer says happened, so I guess.