A wonderful game, a real playoff atmosphere, ruined in the end by the presence of Scott Proctor, like a great meal where the dessert is phlegm pie. Proctor gave up a walkoff homer to Raul Ibanez, the second man he faced; the only surprise is that he didn’t give it up to Ryan Howard, the batter before.
After the game was long delayed by rain, they finally got started. The Braves grabbed a 1-0 lead in the second thanks largely to wildness by Roy Halladay. Chipper singled, then went to second on a wild pitch, then scored on a Freddie Freeman single. Freeman went to second on another wild pitch, but unfortunately Dan Uggla couldn’t get him to third, striking out, so Jason Heyward‘s groundout didn’t get Freeman home.
The Phillies tied it up in the bottom of the inning. Ibanez led off with a single, then went to second on a silly, “it’s the rule” balk that obviously wasn’t an attempt to fool him. Carlos Ruiz, Braves-killer, singled him to third, where with one out Ibanez scored on a sac fly.
In the fourth, Brian McCann, the best catcher in baseball, singled, then went to third on a Chipper double. (Anyone else would have scored, I’m afraid.) Freeman struck out, but Uggla hit a grounder down the third-base line for a run-scoring infield single. Unfortunately, Chipper couldn’t get to third, so again Heyward’s groundout didn’t get a run home. And in the bottom of the inning Ruiz hit a homer to tie it.
The game went on from there, the Phillies threatening but being stopped, and the Braves not doing much. They couldn’t do anything at all against the Phillies pen. In the ninth, Scott Linebrink gave up a single to Jimmy Rollins with one out but McCann threw Rollins out on a stolen base attempt. He walked the next batter, and Fredi brought in Sherrill, who got Chase Utley. Unfortunately, the pitcher’s spot was due up third, Sherrill was hit for, and he wasn’t available to pitch to Howard and Ibanez, Eric O’Flaherty and Jonny Venters also having been used. Cue Proctor, drive home safely.
I am going to try to recap this afternoon’s game roughly on time, but can’t guarantee it. It may be that I wind up doing a dual recap tomorrow afternoon.