Braves lose 5-0. Here’s how:
Top 1: Braves go meekly, three up, three down. Freddie Freeman strikes out looking on a slow curve one pitch after blasting one long but foul.
Bottom 1: Odubel Herrera splits the gap in left center for a stand up double. Flyball to deep center moves him to second. Casey Kelly’s fooling no one early. Maikel Franco flies to Ender Inciarte in short left, Herrera holding at third. Tommy Joseph lines to Nick Markakis in right. Leadoff double comes to naught, but every Phillies batter hit the ball in the air.
Top 2: Braves seem to be in a hurry to leave Philly. Six in a row set down on only 20 pitches. What is the lowest number of pitches ever thrown in a perfect game?
Bottom 2: Cameron Rupp lines first pitch into the right field bleachers, barely but sufficiently clearing the fence near the foul pole. Freddy Galvis grounds to Freeman, Kelly covering. Tyler Goeddel triples to left center, and Kelly keeps the overthrow at third out of the dugout. The pitcher grounds out, but Peter Bourjos singles in the Phils’ second run. Herrera walks. Cesar Hernandez grounds out pitcher to first to end the inning, but two runs score. Ball game?
Top 3: Woo-hoo! Daniel Castro bloop ends perfect game and no hitter. Can we score? Kelly can bunt. Jury’s still out on whether he can pitch. Mallex Smith pops to center: two outs. It’s up to Inciarte. His pop to right ends the threat.
Bottom 3: For what it’s worth, Castro plays a decent shortstop, making the routine plays and making accurate throws. Hey, in dark days you appreciate small proficiencies. Good inning for Kelly. Get him some runs, boys.
Top 4: With one out, Freeman singles. Markakis, the cleanup hitter du jour, ends all hope by grounding into a double play.
Bottom 4: Galvis lines a triple into the right field corner to start the fourth. Kelly plunks Goeddel with a slow curve to the top of the helmet. So far, this is not Kelly’s dream start. Jerad Eickhoff’s grounder high over the mound plates Galvis and moves Goeddel to second. Bourjos fans for the second out, and Kelly drills Herrera in the rump to put Phils on first and second. Franco ends the inning by grounding to Freeman unassisted, and only the one run scores. Leadoff triples are hard to pitch around, and Kelly cannot.
Top 5: Three up, three down on a hand full of pitches. Eickhoff is odds on to win the NL Cy Young.
Bottom 5: Franco doubles. Kelly’s start is inauspicious so far. With one out, Cameron almost decapitates Kelly with a liner up the middle. Fortunately, Franco has to hold up in case the Braves made a play, and can only move to third; and Kelly channels his inner Houdini to escape further damage. Tough inning, but Philadelphia does not score.
Top 6: Braves trail 3-0 with
15 12 outs remaining. Now is the time, gentlemen, if you mean to compete in this game. Somehow the Braves mount a challenge, bringing Freeman up with two outs as the potential tying run. Freddie’s line drive to first ends the threat. Phils 3, Braves suck.
Bottom 6: With Eric O’Flaherty pitching, the Phils put runners on the corners with two outs, ending EOF’s day. Alexi Ogando — everyday Alex — gives up a two run bloop single to end the inning. Unusual. Phillies pad lead to 5-0.
Top 7: Moribund Braves offense is still dead; but A.J. Pierzynski breaks his bat for a two out single, and Castro singles him to third with his second hit of the day. Kelly Johnson ends all hope with a broken bat dribbler to first.
Bottom 7: AJP stretches his streak of caught pop fouls to four. Eickhoff ends his day with seven shutout innings, and Ian Krol keeps Philadelphia off the board. Still 5-zip, Phils.
Bottom 8: Krol avoids decapitation into a double play. Bloodshed averted. No deaths, no runs and three outs to score five to tie. Good luck.
Top 9: Braves go meekly, then home. I’d say they need tomorrow’s off day, but they were off today. Come on, Super Two deadline. I’m sick of losing with the same tired cast.