Braves Can't Dodge Loss to Phillies, 5-4

Mike Zarrilli

Down 1 game to the Cards heading into Sunday, the Braves are hoping for help.

Getting in is the main thing.

Mike Minor had his usual rough first inning. Cesar Hernandez swing-bunted his way on, and Jimmy Rollins somehow kept a double fair down the line. Minor looked to wriggle out of it with a pop-up and a strikeout, but after a Domonic Brown walk, Cameron Rupp knocked the ball up the middle for a 2-run single.

The Braves fought back in the bottom half. Jason Heyward singled, and as he attempted to steal single, Justin Upton flared one into right. Heyward, despite the flare, kept running and decided to keep going, seemingly having read the ball. He got to third easily and somewhat considered going home. Freddie Freeman hit a shallow fly ball to center, but Hernandez decided not to try to throw Heyward out from center.

Minor settled down from there. He went 6 innings and gave up just those two runs while walking 3 and striking out 6. It was a solid outing, and a similar one in the playoffs would be just fine.

It was the bullpen that let things get out of hand as Jordan Walden and Scott Downs had a hard time getting through the seventh inning, and Anthony Varvaro had a similarly difficult time in the eighth.

The Braves made one heckuva comeback in the ninth. With two on, Justin Upton put one just - and I mean just - over the left-center fence. Freddie Freeman singled, and Evan Gattis, miracles upon miracles, walked to bring up Chris Johnson. Johnson smashed one into the hole, and Jimmy Rollins made an incredible play to get Johnson at first. Apparently, there was a dust up between Johnson and Terry Pendleton in the dugout after the play in the dugout. I wouldn't expect it to be a big deal. Just a couple very competitive people upset about losing.

Win Expectancy Chart

Source: FanGraphs

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