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braves-require-a-hero-in-extra-innings-again-2 | April | 2007 Articles

2007 Archives

Braves Require Another Extra Innings Hero

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I'm starting†in the eighth inning because that's where things really started to get intersting.† Hudson looked great for seven innings†tonight, save the one run homer he gave up in the fifth.† Homer included,†Hudson only gave up two hits in his seven innings.† Gonzalez, however, looked less than terrific.† He took over for Hudson in the eighth,†with the†Braves losing 0-1.†† Let's just get the bad out of the way and on then move on†to the good.† McCann threw one away on a Jimmy Rollins steal at second†in the bottom of the eighth, allowing Rollins to advance to third.† Next batter up doubled to bring Rollins in.† Ok, I've said it.† Now let's forget it.† Only a few pitches later,†McCann threw a strike to Chipper to nab another runner trying to steal third.† Gonzalez gave up a single to the next batter.† Lucky for Gonzalez,†Francouer fielded a double by the next batter†and made a perfect throw to KJ, who turned and threw an absolute strike to home plate to get the runner headed into home.† Really, it was a beautiful play.† By the end of the eighth, Gonzalez had given up two doubles and two walks after facing only five batters. Flash forward only a few minutes to the top of the ninth, where things finally started to look up.† Braves†were down 0-2 and Francouer had just doubled.† Up walks McCann and he spanks one out of the park.† Two 2-run homers in two games...have I mentioned I love this kid?!† On to the ninth where Soriano threw a nice inning, retiring the first three batters he†faced on†two pop flies and strikeout.† Paronto then came on to scare me in the tenth after he gave up a single, allowed the next batter†to lay†down a sacrifice bunt and then intentionally walked the third batter.† An infield grounder produced the second out of the inning, but advanced the runners to second and third.† By now my heart was leaping out of my chest.† Luckily, Paronto was pulled and Macay McBride came in got the third out on the first batter he faced. But the hero emerged in the eleventh, and he was none other than first baseman Scott Thorman.† Thorman didn't start the game, but pinch hit in the ninth for starter Craig Wilson and then hit a solo homer in the top of the eleventh to put the Braves ahead.† Wickman came on in the bottom of the eleventh and got the first two†batters, gave up a single and then struck out the next batter to get the save.† McBride came up with the win. As for offense, Chipper was walked an amazing three times tonight, once intentionally.† Renteria, Francouer and McCann each had two hits.† Orr (who pinch hit), Diaz, Thorman†and Andruw†also had a hit a piece. So, all in all, mostly good outings by our pitchers, and some great offense with 10 hits, but not enough run production to keep it from getting scary there for awhile.† Let's just hope we can win one in 9 tomorrow, these extra innings games are getting stressful!

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