Shane Greene outdueled Yimi Garcia in the 9th, allowing only 3 runs to Garcia’s 4 to force a 10th inning, where the Braves won on Max Fried‘s pinch hit single. You can shut down the internet now; all the possible combinations of words have now been written.
After falling behind 7 – 3 in the top of the 9th, the Braves got 4 in the bottom half to tie it. Austin Riley led off the inning with a single, then after a force out from Dansby Swanson, the Braves peeled off back to back singles from Guillermo Heredia and Orlando Arcia, followed by a walk to pinch hitter Pablo Sandoval. Now down 7 – 4, pinch hitter Abraham Almonte doubled down the 3rd base line to cut the score to 7 – 6. A Ronald Acuna Jr. sacrifice fly tied the game at 7.
A score and 16 years after the game certified as “the wackiest, wildest, most improbable game in history,” Fried added his name to the list just below Rick Camp. Riley began the inning on 2nd base as the designated runner, and after an intentional walk to Swanson from Anthony Bass, he advanced to 3rd on a fly ball from Heredia. Arcia was walked intentionally to bring Kevan Smith to the plate, with the pitcher’s spot on deck.
It looked like all the maneuvering would be moot as Riley apparently scored on a wild pitch to end the game, but at some point during the season it looks like the replay powers determined that it is necessary to touch the plate. To be fair, this is probably best in the long run.
With 2 out as a result of the replay, and the Braves out of position players, the Marlins elected to go ahead and walk Smith to load the bases. Fried was selected to pinch hit, and after a weak swing and miss on the first pitch, he took 3 consecutive balls. With Bass needing to throw 2 strikes to avoid walking in the winning run, Fried ambushed the 3 – 1 pitch and lined it into center field for the game winner.
The Braves got on the board first in the bottom of the 3rd, as Charlie Morton and Acuna got Adam Duvall surrounded. Morton’s bloop into right field in front of Duvall, followed by Ronald’s blast over Adam’s head and into the seats gave the Braves their first 2 runs.
Unfortunately, Duvall surrounded us back. Adam’s sacrifice fly in the 4th cut the Marlins deficit to 2 – 1, and his 3 run homer in the 6th gave the Marlins the lead. Dansby cut the lead to 4 – 3 in the bottom of the inning, doubling in Freddie Freeman. It stood that way until the 9th, when Sandy Leon and Jesus Aguilar concluded the Marlins scoring with solo and 2 run homers respectively, off Greene.
Morton lasted only 5 1/3; 3 of his 5 hits allowed came in the 6th. He struck out 7. A.J. Minter struck out both batters he faced. Will Smith pitched a perfect 10th, appropriately snagging the Independence Day win.
Swanson, Heredia, and Arcia led the Braves with 2 hits a piece. As I noted in May, in 6 MLB seasons Arcia’s career slash line is remarkably similar to those of Swanson, Heredia, and Ehire Adrianza, to give you a baseline of expectations. However, as Ryan also noted in May, Orlando has made some swing changes that resulted in a .303/.380/.553 line at AAA Gwinnett, with 13 homers in 201 at-bats. Arcia turns 27 next month, and should be close to his offensive prime, giving us one more rationalization to hope that he can carry over the kind of hot streak from Gwinnett that we’ve seen from Duvall and Riley in recent years. Anyway, if Arcia, Swanson, and Heredia all get 2 hits per game, that is the kind of similarity I can get behind.
It’s hard to believe it’s been 36 years since the start of the “Rick Camp” game. When I first did the math, I came up with 26 years, which made a lot more sense to me. (Among my understandings: no math.) Some of you probably have some memory of this game; most others have likely heard of it (see also the July 4th game, the fireworks game, the 3:55 a.m. game, the 19 inning game.)
Others may just know it as the game where the relief pitcher hit a home run at 3 in the morning to tie the game in the bottom of the 18th. The one thing I’d like to emphasize about this game is that I’m not sure everyone understands exactly how bad a hitter Rick Camp was. Camp came into the game as an .060 career hitter. In 1982 he was 1 for 41, or .024, however you want to look at it. Between ’82 and ’83, Rick went 4 for 80. Rick Camp’s home run was truly startling. Max Fried, not so much.
The Braves take the series 2 games to 1. At Pittsburgh Monday; Fried vs. Chase De Jong scheduled.