The Atlanta Braves struggled to find their identity on Friday night against Ross Detwiler as the team scattered only three hits in the first six innings. Then in the 7th inning, Chris Johnson was able to put Atlanta on the scoreboard by hitting a shot to left-center field. It may have been only the 7th inning and only one run but Johnson got the rally started that turned an early ugly game into an exciting early April game.
Julio Teheran started on the mound for the Braves but started a little shaky. He gave up a home run to Bryce Harper in the 1st inning and then in the 2nd inning gave up a walk, a few singles and two more runs. It seemed he just needed to settle down and get in a groove, and that is what Teheran did. After giving up those early four runs, he went six complete innings striking out six and did not give up another run.
In the top of the 8th inning Jason Heyward walked, Justin Upton singled, Evan Gattis walked all with two outs in the inning off Nat’s pitcher Tyler Clippard. Then with the bases loaded B.J. Upton was able to draw another walk leading to another score. Again bases loaded, Dan Uggla puts a decent swing on the ball and at first I thought he hit a bomb but he got under the ball a little and fly out to deep center field. Braves down 4-2.
The Braves bullpen did their jobs again last night with newly acquired Luis Ayala pitching a 1-2-3 7th inning. Then in the bottom of the 8th Jordan Walden got the job done after giving up a few singles but no runs. Braves still down 4-2 heading into the 9th inning.
Drew Storen pitching now for the Nationals in the 9th inning facing the rally starter himself, Chris Johnson. Johnson would single to get the inning started then Ramiro Pena puts an absolute terrific bunt down for a single. Blake DeWitt pinched hit for pitcher Walden and puts down a sacrifice bunt to move the runners over for the top of the lineup. After Andrelton Simmons strikes out for the second out, Heyward draws another walk. Bases loaded again for the Braves, HAVE to do something this time. Justin Upton singles on a tough play to Ryan Zimmerman as he was playing back and tried to go to second to get Heyward. But with two outs in the inning, on contact Heyward was moving and was able to get to second quickly. The throw from Zimmerman though went past the second baseman into right field scoring Pena as well as Johnson. BRAVES TIED 4-4.
Eric O’Flaherty came in for the bottom of the 9th inning and sat Washington down 1-2-3. With momentum now in the Braves favor, we head to extra innings!
After Dan Uggla walked, with two outs already in the inning Ramiro Pena comes to bat for the Braves. Already making a name for himself after last weekends RBI’s, he shines again. Pena blasts a home run to right field…Braves UP 6-4.
Braves leading, last inning, who else….Craig Kimbrel. He shuts to door on any attempt of a comeback for the Nationals as he works through the heart of their lineup, Jayson Werth, Bryce Harper and Ryan Zimmerman all go down in order.
What a comeback for the Braves, an exciting game for the beginning of April that felt like the beginning of October. With winning the first game, it makes it a lot easier to win the series now. Never stop Chopping!! Braves Win 6-4