Well, that’s another win. It may only serve to keep pace with the won’t-lose Nats, but it’s a lot better than the alternative, which was a real possibility against longtime nemesis Chris Capuano, who came into play with a 2.64 career ERA against the Braves, and with Tommy Hanson making his first start coming off the DL.
The Braves took the lead in the second on a solo homer by Chipper Jones. Hanson pitched five innings of shutout ball, but after the third he was lucky to do so. Martin Prado threw out Andre Ethier at home, trying to score from first on a double, to end the fourth. In the fifth, the first two hitters singled, then went to second and third on a groundout, but Capuano was due up and lined out, and the next man struck out. Still, arguably Hanson should have been lifted there and told, “good job”, the game handed over to a rested bullpen.
Instead, he started the sixth. Chipper misplayed a ball down the line that was inexplicably called a double (he got his glove on the ball and at minimum should have knocked it down to save a base). Two batters later Ethier hit a two-run homer to give the Dodgers the lead. Fredi then let Hanson pitch the seventh. He gave up another leadoff double, got the next two men… and there sits Shane “Burn In Hell” Victorino, picked up at the trade deadline. He doubles and it’s 3-1, Hanson out of the game.
The Braves, meanwhile, couldn’t do much with Capuano. But Paul Janish singled, one of three hits for him on the night, leading off the eighth. Reed Johnson had a pinch single. Michael Bourn sacrificed them forward, then Martin Prado drove in a run with a grounder. Then the big hit, as Jason Heyward, 0-3 with two strikeouts to that point, singled to tie the game.
The Braves had a big advantage in that their bullpen was well rested and the Dodgers’ was not. Craig Kimbrel threw the ninth, issued a walk and his usual two strikeouts. The Dodgers got a runner to second on Eric O’Flaherty in the tenth with an error on Freddie Freeman and a Burn In Hell sac bunt, but he got out of it. The Braves had a golden chance in the bottom of the inning. Bourn singled with one out, stole second, and went to third when Matt “My Wife Wears the Bikini Bottoms In This Family” Treanor‘s throw went into the outfield. But after getting ahead 3-0 Prado struck out, and after Heyward walked Chipper flew out.
Jonny Venters gave up two hits in the eleventh, but luckily a double play was sandwiched between them. The first two batters went down weakly in the bottom of the eleventh. But David Ross singled, and unlikely hero Janish singled, and suddenly Juan Francisco could win the game with a single, which he did, hitting for Venters, who picks up the win.