What was going through your mind when Manny Machado hit that grand slam to put the Padres up 7-3? Visions of 2011? Thinking about the Phillies winning the division? Wondering what was going on with Huscar Ynoa? All of the above?
My first thought was about the pitching match-ups in the series against the Phillies next week. I think most of us know that the three-game series at Truist Park next week is going to decide the division one way or another. I was already just assuming the Braves would head into that series up or down half a game depending on tomorrow, and setting up the pitching.
I had no thoughts about actually coming back tonight, but I should have.
The Braves scored four runs in the 6th, one with two outs in the 9th and (gasp!) two runs in the 10th inning for their biggest win of the season. It’s difficult to overstate how big that was. The Braves went from needing to win tomorrow just to guarantee staying in first place when they head home to knowing that they will be in first place through at least Tuesday, and potentially longer. They got the extra innings money off their back. They got the Will Smith problem solved (for tonight). Jorge Soler stepped up. It was, without question, the biggest win of the season.
- The biggest swing of the night was via Jorge Soler, and the second biggest one of the night was as well. A game-tying homer in the 6th and a game-winning double in the 10th from the trade deadline acquisition. He has done a lot for this team, but nothing more vital than what he stepped up with tonight.
- On the topic of the trade deadline, Eddie Rosario saved this game with a two-out single in the 9th off former Brave Mark Melancon. The work Alex Anthopolous did on July 31st was arguably his finest in his entire tenure as general manager.
- Shoutout to the bullpen for keeping the game close. Tyler Matzek, Luke Jackson and Rich Rodriguez all gave the offense a chance to steal this game. Big-time stuff from the relief corps tonight.
- Speaking of Rodriguez, that 9th inning flyout on Tommy Pham with the game on the line? Tough as nails.
- I know we’re all focused on the 7-3 comeback, but the 3-0 comeback early in the game was good too. Pulling the game back to 3-3 was absolutely huge early in the game.
- Three more hits for Austin Riley tonight. Keep that MVP hype train going.
- Lo and behold, the Braves won a game in extra innings! I thought I would never see it again.
- Seven different Braves recorded hits, and four had at least two. The depth is still churning.
- I’m giving negatives the night off today. Did you see how they won?!
Former Brave Of The Day:
I guess it has to be Mark Melancon for letting the Braves back in the game in the 9th, huh?
Quote Of The Game:
“You can sum up the game of baseball in one word: ‘I don’t know’
— Joaquin Andujar
If the Braves win tomorrow their magic number drops to six. That would mean they are in range where a sweep over the Phillies would clinch the division, and winning two of three against the Phillies and Mets this week would do it as well. Getting that magic number from seven to six is huge. Just win.