Simmons Goes for the Downs as Atlanta Rocks Colorado, 9-8

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Well that was fun.

About 4 hours later, a crazy game finally ended with the Braves extending their win streak to four.

The game was all about offense. Brandon Beachy couldn't get through 4 innings in his season debut as the rust was visible. While the fastball ranged from 91-93, he had trouble locating and getting any sort of consistency with his secondary pitches, hanging several that came back to bite him. The inconsistency in movement and location is to be expected in this stage of Beachy's recovery, but it won't make it any easier to watch.

Colorado scored early and often. Carlos Gonzalez started his 5-for-5 night with an RBI single, and Wilin Rosario hit his 15th home run of the season an inning later. The Rockies seemed to break things open with three more runs in the top of the 3rd, but the Braves struck back.

Joey "Doubles" Terdoslavich started the bottom of the third with one of his namesakes, and after a Brandon Beachy sac bunt, Jason Heyward drove him in. A walk and single later, an Evan Gattis grounder to third was booted by Nolan Arenado, and the Braves were in business. Chris Johnson and Andrelton Simmons doubles were sandwiched with an RBI groundout by Dan Uggla, and the Braves were all of a sudden up 6-5.

Three pitches into the next inning, Arenado made up for his mistake by crushing a game-tying homer. Carlos Gonzalez would later score on a wild pitch, and Beachy's line ended with 3.2 innings, 8 hits, 7 earned runs, 2 home runs, 1 walk, and 5 strikeouts. It didn't take too long for the Braves to respond, however, and with two runs in the bottom of the fifth, they regained the lead at 8-7.

The real hero of tonight's game was David Carpenter. After all the early runs for Colorado, Carpenter shut them down with 2.1 hitless innings and 3 strikeouts, and the Braves bullpen looked to hold onto a one-run lead.

Without Craig Kimbrel available, Jordan Walden was pushed back into ninth inning duties, and he gave up the lead while failing to make it through the inning. With the bases loaded, newly-acquired Scott Downs got Todd Helton to hit a soft line drive back to the mound to end it, and he would escape a potential game-winning runner in scoring position with a solid 10th inning.

The Braves made it quick in the bottom of the inning. After a Dan Uggla walk, Simmons took a massive hack at a hanging slider but missed. He didn't the second time, sending his second double of the game into the left-center gap to score Uggla.

Win Expectancy Chart

Source: FanGraphs
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