LaRoche Stomps on Braves, 8-7

Scott Cunningham

A long, bizarre night ended in disappointing fashion for the Braves.

Adam LaRoche got a little revenge against his former team.

It was an "of course that happened" ending to game that was anything but normal. It started with a rough night for Mike Minor. Usually with good command, Minor had trouble finding the zone and lasted less than two innings while giving up four runs. Jason Heyward went yard in between innings to support the lefty, but by the time Minor was replaced, the Nationals were up 4-1.

Usually that spells disaster for a team facing Stephen Strasburg, but Strasburg only lasted an inning-plus. In an expected act of retaliation for Bryce Harper being hit twice last night and the highly-publicized time in Washington, Strasburg hit Justin Upton with a fastball in the first inning. During the next inning with Andrelton Simmons at the plate, Strasburg completely lost the plate, but it's unknown how intentional it was. The first pitch was a curveball in the other batter's box, but the next two were a foot or so behind Simmons. The three wild pitches meant Jordan Schafer scored from first after a walk, but Strasburg was then ejected.

From then on, it was a battle of the bullpens and an exchange of home runs. After the Nationals scored a couple more runs to make it 6-2, the Braves fought back. Brian McCann hit a two-run home run in the sixth. Then Ryan Zimmerman hit a home run an inning and a half later to make it 7-4. Freddie Freeman responded with a solo shot to center in the bottom of the eighth. Then came the big blow. With two outs in the bottom of the ninth, Heyward hit his second home run of the night, a two-run shot, to tie the game.

The game would get to the 15th inning. Bullpens emptied. Both teams used starting pitchers as relievers - Kris Medlen for the Braves and Dan Haren for the Nationals. But it was Adam LaRoche who supplied the final blow, a home run deep into the night to right field, that finally put an end to a wacky game.

Win Expectancy Chart

Source: FanGraphs

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