Evan Gattis was the man of the hour for the Braves today, as his giant homer to center field put the Braves in front in the 9th and gave Atlanta a series sweep over the Marlins; a complete 180 of their last visit to Marlins Park.
According to Fangraphs' NERD rating, today's contest was considered to be the highest rated game in terms of entertainment. Although there were long periods of time without scoring, it did deliver on entertainment, as Aaron Harang managed to escape multiple jams over 6 and 2/3 innings of work. This was yet another game where Harang gave Atlanta a chance to win late, and with the way the offense has been hitting as of late, that's all you want from your starter and Harang continues to exceed all expectations.
Harang's start wasn't without mistakes, though, as the Braves got behind early thanks to a 2-run homer in the bottom of the 2nd from Marcell Ozuna, his 10th of the season. The ball was a 74-mph curve that hung high and Ozuna aptly smashed it over the left field fence, which is where it landed in someone's margarita in the Clevelander.
The Marlins wouldn't be on top for long, as the Braves pegged them right back in the top of the 3rd. Jason Heyward and B.J. Upton have been a pretty potent one-two punch at the top of the lineup as of late, and they continued that run in today's game. After Tommy La Stella and Andrelton Simmons both got on base with singles and Aaron Harang moved them over with a bunt that was as droopy as his demeanor, Jason Heyward hit a bloop single to bring in TLS, then B.J. benefited from a bad defensive play from the Marlins to make it onto first while Simmons crossed home to tie the game.
Both teams threw up donuts on the scoreboard until the top of the 9th inning which is when Steve Cishek came in for the Marlins, relieving Nathan Eovaldi after he went 8 innings with 4 strikeouts. Eovaldi was on cruise control, and Cishek hoped to continue that. Unfortunately for him and the rest of the Marlins, he ran into a guy who was a bit overdue for a homer in this park based on his time there last year. Evan Gattis went into this game with 9 homers in Marlins Park, and today, on a 2-0 count, Gattis hit the 3rd slider he saw right into the fish sculpture for a 2-run homer that put the Braves on top for good.
Since Craig Kimbrel had a busy week, Shae Simmons was tapped to come in to make the save. Despite running into a small bit of trouble, Simmons was able to induce a double play and eventually got a fielder's choice to end the game and earn his first career save. That's a pretty good first 2 days on the job, right?
The Braves went into this series tied for 1st with the Marlins. Now, they'll be heading back to Atlanta to host the Seattle Mariners with a 3-game lead in the division over both Miami and the Washington Nationals after bouncing back from a horrendous start to the week.