The top two teams in the National League looked to be evenly matched throughout the entirety of the night. All it took was a Scott Proctor appearance in the bottom of the tenth for the Phillies to separate themselves and take game one of this weekend's series by a score of 3-2 over the Braves.
After waiting nearly two hours to see this game get underway, fans saw two professional pitchers go to work. Brandon Beachy pitched well, allowing just two runs in six innings. Roy Halladay didn't have his best stuff, but was tough as always. Beachy was spotted a one run lead in the top of the second when Chipper scored from second on a phenomenal piece of hitting by Freddie Freeman. The lead didn't last long. After giving up a lead-off base hit to Raul Ibanez in the bottom half of the inning, Beachy flinched when starting his windup to send Ibanez to second. This was a costly blunder, as a Carlos Ruiz grounder through the middle allowed Ibanez to advance to third. Ibanez was then sent home on a sac fly by Wilson Valdez.
The Braves reclaimed the lead in the top of the fourth on a grounder to Valdez off the bat of Uggla. McCann came home on the play to give the Braves a 2-1 advantage, but of course the mirror image ball club struck back in the bottom half. Carlos Ruiz crushed a fastball into the left field corner and over the fence to tie it up again. That score held until Fredi brought in Scott Proctor in the bottom of the tenth. After a close call with a Ryan Howard double that Jordan Schafer saved with a great defensive play, Ibanez belted a no doubter to end it. Proctor's location on that particular fastball was horrendous and he was the first one to know it. On a night where the ball really wasn't flying, Ibanez's homer was a surprisingly mighty one.
This game was really about the little things throughout the first nine innings, and it was pretty frustrating to see it end in the way that it did. Obviously, the Beachy balk played a large role in the game. Then in the ninth, Linebrink, B-Mac, and Uggla combined for one of the best pitch-out executions I've ever seen as they gunned down Jimmy Rollins with time to spare on a stolen base attempt. Freeman and Gonzalez also flashed some fancy glove-work without the desired positive result. They'll get 'em tomorrow and Sunday, though.