Much like earlier this year, a Roy Halladay start in Atlanta turns into a wild affair. After Martin Prado and Freddie Freeman homer to knock Halladay out in the 5th inning, the Braves squander the lead the next half inning. Dan Uggla actually got a fastball over the heart of the plate, depositing it in the centerfield bleachers to retake the lead 5-4.
The one safety net of the season gave out before we could blink. After Craig Kimbrel makes Erik Kratz look bad on two breaking balls, McCann calls for a fastball and sets up down the middle, leading to a no-doubt homer down the left field line. I realize a 99 MPH fastball can be a very effective pitch, but throwing pitches in the strikezone on an 0-2 count is not necessary when one swing can tie the game.
The top of the 10th had the makings of a bad inning from the beginning. Cristhian Martinez comes in, allows a leadoff single to Kevin Frandsen then balks him to second. After a Chase Utley groundout, the Braves intentionally walk Ryan Howard, who already had three RBI. Juan Pierre strikes out on a generous strike three call on a backdoor (back porch?) slider. Martinez tries to start John Mayberry with another slider and puts it on a tee, giving the Phillies a 3-run lead. The Braves go 1-2-3 in the bottom of the inning to end it.
This must be what a Cubs fan feels like. This game felt like a repeat of Game 162 last year and it’s really hard to get those thoughts out of my head. Fortunately, the Cardinals, Pirates, and Dodgers are currently playing just as poorly as the Braves, giving Atlanta time to possibly straighten themselves out. You never know when a hot stretch will start, but it seems unlikely when the team is playing like this.