The Braves played pretty pitiful baseball for eight innings, then played some inspired baseball for the next two. I keep coming back to the post I put up earlier in the week which described this team as resilient, and tonight they overcame another dominating starting pitching performance from the opposing pitcher and victimized the Phillies bullpen.
The offense "started" for the Braves in the ninth inning -- better late than never. Chipper Jones got things started with a walk, and then with two outs, as if to atone for grounding into a bases loaded double play earlier in the game, Troy Glaus parked one into the left field stands. That put the Braves within a run, still with two outs, and you-know-who-super-kid up to bat. Jason Heyward didn't waste much time, after a called strike on the first pitch he sent pitch number two over the wall in right field to tie the game. On to the tenth inning.
After a 1-2-3 inning from Billy Wagner in the top of the tenth, leading off the bottom of the tenth was Nate McLouth, who worked the count 2-2 after falling behind 0-2, and then hit the third homerun of the night for Atlanta -- the walk-off winner. What a comeback for the Braves! Nate also got the unusual empty dugout silent treatment as he crossed home plate by his Braves teammates. This team is certainly having fun with each other.
For most of the night, Phillies starter Kyle Kendrick was on his game, and didn't come into this game like a guy with an ERA over 17.00, that put the Braves bats into hibernation for the first eight innings. Kendrick out-dueled Tommy Hanson, and continued his mastery of the Braves -- he was 4-and-1 lifetime against Atlanta.
The Braves had their chances, including loading the bases in the fourth inning before watching Troy Glaus ground into an inning ending double play.
Tommy Hanson wasn't sharp enough for the umpire tonight, and as a result he threw too many pitches in the early innings, reaching his pitch count in the fifth inning. The Phililes hit a few balls hard off of Hanson, but they also got some really lucky breaks, including a check swing double by Chase Utley which led to a run.
But all the bad of the first eight innings was forgiven with a huge ninth-inning comeback, and the go-ahead homerun in the tenth. Get used to this game plan, this may be our only way to win tomorrow night as well -- wait out Halladay and get into the Phillies' pen.