The Braves will need the silhouette of Derrek Lee.
Refresh this post all night for an inning by inning recap of NLDS game two between the San Francisco Giants.and the
Top of the first
Matt Cain on the mound to start the game for the Giants. Omar Infante greets him with a single through the infield to right field. Jason Heyward fouls out on a pop-up in front of the Giants dugout in which catcher Buster Posey and third baseman Pablo Sandoval collide violently. They both took the field again after being checked out by the training. And once again Heyward fails to advance the runner in the first inning. Derrek Lee flies out to the right-field warning track for the second out. Brian McCann walks on four straight pitches, and our fifth place hitter "Melky Cabrera" grounds out weakly to the second baseman. Another squandered opportunity for Atlanta when they get their leadoff hitter on base.
Bottom of the first
Tommy Hanson strikes out Andres Torres to start the bottom half of the first. Freddy Sanchez reaches for a ball and pulls a change-up just past the out-stretched glove of the shortstop. Hanson then strikes out Aubrey Huff with a bunch of off-speed pitches. Those off-speed pitches seem to be working best for him, and he seems to be having a hard time locating his fastball. And just like that a poorly located fastball out over the plate is crushed by Pat Burrell for a three-run homerun on the first pitch. Juan Uribe grounds out to second to end the inning, but not before the Giants score the first legit runs of the series. 0, Giants 3
The rest of the game after the jump...
Top of the second
Brooks Conrad leads off the second by fouling out to the left fielder. Alex Gonzalez grounds out to deep short, and Juan Uribe makes a great dive and throw that seems to pull the first baseman off the bag. Bobby Cox comes out and asks the first base umpire to ask for help from the second base umpire on the call, and while arguing he throws his hat on the ground and is ejected from the game. Rick Ankiel follows with a single to right field, and Tommy Hanson strikes out on three pitches to end the inning. It certainly looked like a close play, and the Braves dugout had a great view of the play, and everyone in the dugout immediately reacted as if the first baseman didn't hold the bag, but the first base umpire (the same one who was at second base last night for the blown call) would not even ask for help. MLB needs to do something. There's nothing wrong in asking for a second opinion.
Bottom of the second
Pablo Sandoval strikes out on a ball in the dirt. Cody Ross strokes what should have been a single to left field, but Melky stumbled and Ross turned it into a double. Matt Cain hits a little come-backer over the mound to score Ross. Torres lines out to Melky in left, who actually makes a head's up play to throw back to first and double off Cain for the double play. Braves 0, Giants 4
Top of the third
Infante flies out to center field. Heyward strikes out looking on a pitch about four inches off the outside part of the plate. Still, Jason has to be a bit more protective and not as selective with a two-strike count. Lee gets under one and pops out to left field.
Bottom of the third
Hanson strikes out Sanchez looking to start the third, then Huff is rung up on a check swing by the third base umpire. Posey grounds a ball back over the mound stopped in back of the second base bag by a diving Conrad who had no play on Posey. Hanson gets the better of Burrell this time as he grounds out to Infante at third.
Top of the fourth
McCann and Melky both strike out ahead of a Conrad single to center. Gonzalez then flies out to left center to end the inning.
Bottom of the fourth
Uribe lines out to Ankiel in center. Sandoval bounces out to Lee unassisted. Ross taps back to Hanson for the final out of the inning.
Top of the fifth
Rick Ankiel hits a rocket at at Sanchez, who throws him out at first while sitting on the ground. Nate McClouth pinch hits for Hanson -- rather early to be going to the bullpen, Hanson looked like he was just settling into a groove. At least McLouth doesn't waste the at-bat and singles to right field in his first postseason at-bat. Infante follows with a walk, but Heyward ground into a 6-3 double play to end the inning, and end one of the best rallies the Braves have had this series.
Bottom of the fifth
Michael Dunn relieves Hanson who was pinch-hit for in the top half of the inning. He strikes out the opposing pitcher looking to start the inning. Torres then lines out to Conrad in his tracks, and Sanchez strikes out. Curious that the left Dunn was brought in to face three right-handed hitters, but he got them one-two-three.
Top of the sixth
Lee rips a single to left-center, and a bobble by Burrell allows Lee to reach second. McCann rips the next pitch for a single to just about the same place to score Lee. Melky then proves his uselessness by flying out the opposite way to left field on a 2-0 count. Way to be aggressive. Conrad then swings and misses at strike three, and Gonzalez flies out to left to end the threat. Braves 1, Giants 4
Bottom of the sixth
Dunn remains on the mound to face the left-handed hitter Huff, who grounds out to Conrad. Peter Moylan relieves Dunn, who gets Posey to tap back to the mound. Burrell hits a ball that queue's off the third base bag for a double, and Nate Schierholtz pinch-runs for him at second. Moylan ends the threat by getting Uribe to strike out swinging.
Top of the seventh
Ankiel strikes out to start the seventh. Eric HInske pinch hits for Moylan, and flies out to left-center. Infante collects his second hit of the game, a single to left field. That prompts Bruce Bochy to go to the bullpen for lefty reliever Javier Lopez. Heyward runs the count full only to look at another called strike three. The ball looked a bit low and inside, but still too close to take.
Bottom of the seventh
Everyday Jonny Venters is the next Braves pitcher, and gives up an infield single back up the middle that is knocked down by Conrad. Ross grounds to third, and Infante starts the double play, but Ross beats the throw at first base and only the lead runner is erased. Looked like another real close play. Aaron Roward slaps a pinch-hit single through the hole to right field, Ross advances to third. Venters bounces back and strikes out Torres and gets Sanchez to fly out to end the threat.
Top of the eighth
Sergio Romo comes on to pitch and gives up a single to left to Lee. McCann follows with another single, advancing Lee to third. Bochy doesn't waste any time and goes to his closer Brian Wilson. Amazingly Melky hits a soft infield dribbler to the third baseman and beats the throw to first base as Lee scores from third. Conrad lays down a sacrifice bunt to move McCann and Cabrera up a base and put two runners in scoring position with one out. Alex Gonzalez comes through huge with a double to the left-center field gap scoring two and tying the game. Ankiel flies out to left field, and Matt Diaz comes on to pinch-hit. He strikes out looking on a pitch on the inside corner. But the Braves make it a new game and their offense finally comes alive to score some runs -- and off the Giants' closer! Braves 4, Giants 4
Bottom of the eighth
Craig Kimbrel is the next Braves pitcher. He strikes out Huff after falling behind 3-1. He strikes out Posey on the 11th pitch of an epic at-bat, and gets Schierholtz to ground out to the shortstop.
Top of the ninth
Infante chases a high and outside pitch for strike three from Wilson. Heyward ground out to the shortstop. Lee has a great at-bat, but ends up striking out to end the inning.
Bottom of the ninth
Kimbrel strikes out Uribe on a high inside fastball. Sandoval grounds to short, where Gonzalez vacuums it up and throws to D-Lee who scoops it out of the dirt -- two good defensive plays. Kimbrel records his fifth strikeout when Ross waves at strike three, losing his bat in the process.
Top of the tenth
Brian McCann got a HOLD of one off of Ramon Ramirez, but hits it into the deep gap in left center for the first out. Melky doesn't get it out of the infield with a weak ground out to second, and Conrad ground out down the first base line.
Bottom of the tenth
Billy Wagner comes on to pitch, and in the double switch, Troy Glaus takes the place of Brooks Conrad, playing third and moving Infante to second. When you haven't played a position in a year as Glaus has, the ball will always find you. Pinch-hitter Edgar Renteria bunts to third and Glaus has no play. Torres follows with a sac bunt to advance Renteria to second. Wagner hurt himself on the pitch. He grabbed himself on the left side of his belly. He slowly comes off the field with the help of the trainer. Kyle Farnsworth relieves Wagner, and plunks Sanchez on the hand to put runners at first and second. Farnsworth then walks the bases loaded on a very close 3-2 pitch to Huff. Somehow. SOMEHOW. Farnsworth gets Buster Posey to ground to Glaus who goes to second to start the 5-4-3 double play. Oh MY! Braves get out of a bases loaded one-out jam to go the the eleventh.
Top of the eleventh
Gonzalez grounds out to the new shortstop Renteria, on to first for the out. Rick Ankiel CRUSHES a ball into the depths of McCovey Cove to give the Braves the lead. Glaus works the count full, but grounds out to third. Infante strikes out, but the Braves have a lead. Braves 5, Giants 4
Bottom of the eleventh
Farnsworth stays in the game, and Diory Hernandez takes over at third for Glaus. Schierholtz hits a loud out to deep center for the first out. Uribe lines a single back up the middle. Pinch hitter Travis Ishikawa flies out to Heyward in right. Farnsworth gets Ross to pop out to short to end the game and secure the victory for Atlanta. Phew!