The bottom of the first inning was when we got our first sign that this was going to be a bit of a strange game. The Braves had a opportunity to potentially have a scoring chance after Freddie Freeman stole second base (!!!) and Wilson Contreras’ throw went into the outfield after it caromed off of Freeman’s foot. Ron Washington gave Freddie the green light to speed past third and go home and Kyle Schwarber proceeded to deliver a perfect throw to nab Freddie at the plate and end the inning.
The weirdness continued into the fourth inning, as the Cubs scored their first run in strange fashion. Mike Foltynewicz (who had a decent outing tonight, it must be said) was nearly about to escape that “typical Folty” inning where he gets frustrated after a bad call from the home plate umpire goes against him and things unravel and he honestly should’ve gotten out of the inning unscathed. Unfortunately, strike three skipped past Kurt Suzuki and after the home plate umpire impeded Suzuki’s path to the ball, all runners reached base safely and the Cubs were on the board after a strikeout and an error.
That would not be the first time that the umpires would be in the middle of a crucial moment in the game.
Fortunately for the Braves, they didn’t trail in this game for long as Ender Inciarte delivered a two-out moonshot of a homer into the Chop House in order to tie the game at one run apiece.
The fifth inning ended up being a point of huge controversy in the game. With runners on first and third and nobody out, Mike Montgomery threw a wild pitch that took a fortunate bounce for Wilson Contreras to where he had a chance at tagging Johan Camargo out at home plate. However, Camargo beat the tag and the Braves went back in the lead. That last sentence was true in real life, but in the realm that tonight’s umpiring crew is from, Camargo was out. The replay officials in New York also hailed from that realm as well, because they upheld the decision after the Braves challenged it.
Johan Camargo called out ... and this one is under review. pic.twitter.com/3z9LTA5Gol— FOX Sports: Braves (@FOXSportsBraves) May 16, 2018
To make matters worse, Charlie Culberson was called out at third base after he attempted to reach third on another wild pitch. The Braves couldn’t challenge the missed call due to the previous call going against them, so the Cubs ended up escaping that inning unscathed thanks to some shoddy umpiring.
Charlie Culberson called out ... and it's that kind of an inning in the ATL. pic.twitter.com/o4fKrzxuat— FOX Sports: Braves (@FOXSportsBraves) May 16, 2018
Things remained tied until the eighth inning, which is when Ronald Acuña Jr. came to bat with two outs. Carl Edwards Jr. had made quick work of Ryan Flaherty and Ozzie Albies, but Acuña sent the fourth pitch that he saw into the trees out in center field for a solo dinger that put the Braves in the lead and electrified SunTrust Park.
Everything was coming up Braves until Arodys Vizcaino entered the game and surrendered the lead with a pair of doubles from Albert Almora Jr. and Addison Russell, respectively. Vizcaino was an out away from escaping the inning with the game just tied, but Ben Zobrist hit a liner to center to bring in Russell and give the Cubs their first lead of the game and what ended up being the game-winning run.
The season series is now 2-2, with both of Chicago’s victories coming via late-game comebacks on Atlanta’s bullpen and they nearly came back on the Braves in the game on Monday. Atlanta’s bullpen faltering late against the Cubs isn’t exactly a trend that we want to see continue, so hopefully things will tighten up for the next two games of this series.
But for now, the Braves will be leaving the ballpark with a bit of a sour taste in their mouths for more reasons than one after losing such a wacky game.