Lost in all of the extra innings madness were the fine starts made by Jair Jurrjens and Clayton Kershaw, and they had the opposition fooled for a majority of the game. Jurrjens threw a lot of pitches early on, but really settled in and threw six strong innings and struck out six batters. He allowed just one run on seven hits and two walks. Kershaw was equally impressive, and he was just one out away from a complete game. Before the ninth inning he had the Braves batters completely fooled, outside of Freddie Freeman who rocked a monster home run off the lefty in fifth inning.
Don't look now, but Freddie Freeman is now 2nd on the team in OPS (.837) and of his four career home runs, two of them have come against Roy Halladay and Clayton Kershaw. That's pretty damn impressive.
With the Dodgers up 2-1 in the 9th inning, Clayton Kershaw came out of the dugout once again to finish the game. After two quick outs my Martin Prado and Alex Gonzalez, Chipper Jones singled and Dan Uggla doubled. Freddie Freeman walked after putting together a fantastic 8-pitch at-bat, which loaded the bases for David Ross. After falling behind 0-2, Ross "fisted" a ball into left field to score two runs. With a 3-2 lead in hand, the Braves had a chance to add on to their lead, but Jonathon Broxton struck out Nate McLouth to end the inning.
Craig Kimbrel came in to close out the game, but similar to Kershaw, wasn't able to get that final strike. He walked Jamey Carroll on four pitches to lead off the inning, but then got Aaron Miles to pop out in foul territory. Kimbrel threw a wild pitch to move Carroll into scoring position, but responded with a strikeout of Jerry Sands. With two outs and an 0-2 count on Casey Blake, Kimbrel inexplicably threw a fastball right down the middle. Blake drove it into left field and the Dodgers had tied the game.
Neither team posed much of a threat in the tenth, but the Braves had a chance to take the lead in the eleventh. With runners on the corners, Nate McLouth came up with a chance to be the hero. Instead, he struck out on a slider in the dirt and the threat was ended.
After pitching three times in four days, Fredi Gonzalez brought Cristhian Martinez out for his second inning of work in the twelfth. He retired Casey Blake, but then gave up a double to Andre Ethier, which brought up Matt Kemp. Keep in mind this is the Matt Kemp who has had an OPS of 1.000+ for the entire season. With first base open and Juan Uribe on deck and the pitcher's spot in the hole, we decided to pitch to Kemp and he sent a 1-0 fastball 400 feet to center field. Dodgers Stadium erupted, and the Braves lost their fourth game in the past five days.
The Braves had this game won, but mistakes from both the players and manager Fredi Gonzalez derailed any chance the team had of winning the game.
Outside of Matt Kemp, it's tough to award an MVP to multiple guys on the losing team, but I'm giving it to David Ross and Freddie Freeman. Ross, who has been underutilized all season long, came up with a huge 2-run single in the 9th which should have won the game for Atlanta, and Freddie Freeman might have played the best game of his career. The kid is locked in right now, and it's a joy to watch him play every night.
Martin Prado (0-5, BB, 2K), Nate McLouth (0-4, BB, 3K, 4LOB) and Matt Young (0-5) all had forgettable days. Fredi Gonzalez is also an idiot for allowing Martinez to pitch to Matt Kemp. That's just bad managing.
Comment of the Game:
Fat Dingflyer wins today. We all know David Ross is a Boss.