Yo, Adrian! One night after being figuratively punched in the gut with the news of Freddie Freeman and his injured wrist, the Braves climbed off the canvas against their own personal Apollo Creed, the Natspos, and delivered a come from behind victory worthy of any Rocky movie.
The Bravos jumped out to an early lead, thanks to a 2 run Dansby Swanson homer in the bottom of the second, but some shoddy defense gave it all back and one more in the third, as Swanson and Jace Peterson committed errors, Dansby the mental kind, and Jace the kind that shows up in the box score, and the Braves fell behind 3-2.
Matt Kemp tied it right back up in the bottom of the frame with a solo shot, his 7th on the year, but R.A. Dickey gave up a solo shot to Daniel Murphy in the 4th – 4-3 Nats. But, Kurt Suzuki tied it up in the 5th, doubling in Nick Markakis. Spoiler Alert – More from those two later.
Both Dickey and Gio Gonzalez, who started for DC, threw a lot of pitches. Dickey 117 in 5 1/3 and Gio 116 in 5 2/3. This put the game in the hands of the bullpens. BIG advantage Braves. Jason Motte closed out the 6th getting both batters he faced. Jose Ramirez may have thrown the best inning of ball for the Braves all year getting Bryce Harper, Ryan Zimmerman, and Murphy out on 12 nasty pitches. Arodys Vizcaino was almost as impressive in a 1-2-3 8th.
In the bottom of the frame, the Braves delivered the knockout punch. With one out Brandon Phillips walked and stole second. Then Nick Markakis – you did remember that spoiler, right? – delivered the go ahead single after battling Enny Romero for 8 pitches. After Kemp lined out, Kurt Suzuki deposited one into the leftfield seats, and just like that it was 7-4 Braves.
However, unlike the Rocky movies, there was no final round drama, as Jim Johnson closed out the game with yet another 1-2-3 inning. Final tally for the Braves pen, 3 2/3 innings, no hits, no walks, 2 strikeouts (by Arodys). For the Nats – 2 1/3, 3 hits, 3 runs, all earned, and 4 walks.
All in all, it was a great game to watch, and the Braves showed some heart to step up and win this one. They may revert back to the club pug they were before, but for tonight, not only did they hang in with the champ, they won the fight.