It was a weird game. If the rain didn’t make it long enough, Don Mattingly tried to with his constant pitching changes in the latter innings. I have some sympathy for him, since it’s not like any of his pitchers actually work.
Well, I guess you could say Matt Magill was, but it constantly seemed like he was about to give up the goose over his five innings of work. He didn’t, and so on the back of another strong outing by Mike Minor, the Braves found themselves down 2-1 going into a half-hour rain delay in the bottom of the 6th. When the rain abated, Mattingly went to work, using four different pitchers get his team through the next two innings with the lead.
That was as far as they’d get, though. The Braves managed 4 runs in the 8th on only three hits, helped out by a couple walks and a timely error on an attempted sacrifice bunt by Andrelton Simmons. The Braves did managed to get a sacrifice bunt down in the inning when Jordan Schafer executed a suicide squeeze two pitches after swinging away (and luckily it off) on a pitch where Gerald Laird had broken from third. Craig Kimbrel came on to pitch the 9th against the heart of the Dodger lineup and was absolutely filthy.
Things of note:
-Fredi managed to pinch hit not once but TWICE today with his catchers. Now granted, when Laird pinch hit (and singled! WTF!) Brian McCann had already been pinch-run for, but still. Fredi used his whole bench, and it was effective.
-I still have complete confidence in Jason Heyward. He’s still walking and hitting baseballs hard. He just hasn’t had much to show from it lately.
-I really enjoyed the crowd there. They stuck it out despite the rain delay and were up for all of Kimbrel’s two-strike, 2-out pitches. Good intensity, and I’m glad they were rewarded with the win.