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Braves fall 3-2, will play for survival Monday


 

 

Braves Falter

 

A Brief Summary of Game 3 NLDS;  San Francisco Giants @ Atlanta Braves

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Down by a run, with four outs remaining in the season’s most important game, the Atlanta Braves did what they have done more than any other team in baseball: Snatched victory from an opponent’s ever-tightening grip.

Leading by a slim one-run margin, with three outs standing between the Braves and a 2-1 series lead in the playoff’s opening round, the team did the unthinkable: Handed victory back.

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An eighth inning homerun off the bat of pinch-hitter Eric Hinske lifted Braves players from their dugout seats, and the team to a 2-1 lead over visiting San Francisco Sunday night in Atlanta.

Hinske’s line-drive-shot cleared the right field wall, rattled off the foul pole, and, for a brief moment, erased all memories of botched plays at second base and futile swings at the plate.

The drama would carry over to the final inning; the momentum would not.

A Billy Wagner-less ‘pen walked the first Giants batter, allowed a two-out hit to another, and watched as Brooks Conrad committed his third error in the game, allowing the go-ahead run to score.

“We had this one won,” said Braves manager Bobby Cox. “We gave up a walk, a base hit and a base hit. … We’re not the best team in baseball, okay, but we can win games and we can compete against anybody. But we can’t afford to make mistakes.”

Serving as a prelude to Sunday’s late inning drama, were outstanding performances by the game’s starting pitchers.

Tim Hudson limited the Giants to four hits and one unearned run over seven innings of work. The Braves ace retired 14 of the final 16 batters that he faced.

Jonathan Sanchez allowed just two hits through 7 1/3 innings, punching out 11 en route to a no decision.

Game 3 Keys:

  • Brooks Conrad’s three (yes, three) errors. Two of which led directly to a Giants run
  • The Braves again looked overmatched at the plate – whiffing 12 times. Sanchez’ 11 strikeouts is second only to Tim Lincecum (He struck out 14 in Game 1 of this series) in a Giants postseason game.

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Hinske did all he could...

 

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